Film festival examines human inequality, solutions

Contact: Deanne Puca

Photo collage forms the shape of the U.S. with the words America Divided underneath.KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Stories of inequality in people's everyday lives and solutions that can help unite the country are themes of a free film festival beginning Wednesday, Feb. 21, on the campus of Western Michigan University.

Three films from the America Divided docu-series, produced by Norman Lear, Common and Shonda Rhimes, will be featured. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. in the Bernhard Center's North Ballroom, with films and post engagement activities running from 7 to 9 p.m. Dates and overviews of each film include:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 21, "The System"—Producer Common returns to his hometown of Chicago, the epicenter of national debates around police violence, racism and accountability. Working with community activists and whistleblowers, Common finds a pattern of police corruption and sophisticated cover-ups, but also finds reason for hope.
  • Monday, March 19, "Something in the Water"—Correspondent Rosario Dawson investigates how a government could poison its own citizens, what forces may have been at work, and how specific policies unique to Michigan led to a crisis in the city of Flint.
  • Wednesday, April 11, "A House Divided"—Norman Lear speaks with tenants, realtors homeless people, housing activists, landlords and city officials to investigate New York City's affordability crisis, hedge fund speculation on residential housing, and a legacy of racist discrimination that persists today.

Read more about the America Divided docu-series at

Free refreshments and parking will be provided. For more information, visit or call (269) 387-2141.

The film festival is sponsored by WMU's Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations in collaboration with registered student organizations FemiNOW, FOCUS Kalamazoo and Sincerely From. The film series is supported by Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Kalamazoo. For more information on TRHT, visit

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit