Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Film Forums and Global Diversity Issues: Changing the World through Student Engagement and Advocacy

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

Recent films like Amazing Grace and Blood Diamond put a human face on complex global tensions. Rather than abstract concepts, genocide, war crimes against women and children, and human rights become real to students when they encounter them through such human characters as Solomon Vandy (Blood Diamond). The role of economics and policy in global tensions transcends the textbook to become a personal experience when seen from a seat on Parliament with William Wilberforce (Amazing Grace). Students experience the power of the individual and heroism through individuals like Paul Rusesabagina (Hotel Rwanda). But can movies do more? Based on research in cinemeducation, this study explored the effects of a student-sponsored film forum on student awareness, engagement, and commitment to advocacy. A student team reviewed films with implications in human rights and global justice. They collaborated in hosting a film forum where diverse student groups from multiple disciplines viewed one of the films, while a comparison group attended a presentation. Pre- and post-tests of both groups were compared. The results of the study include an evaluation of the effectiveness of both treatments, the project, and recommendations for student programs to promote student engagement and advocacy as a way to change the world ... one voice at a time.

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Film Forums and Global Diversity Issues: Changing the World through Student Engagement and Advocacy

Recent films like Amazing Grace and Blood Diamond put a human face on complex global tensions. Rather than abstract concepts, genocide, war crimes against women and children, and human rights become real to students when they encounter them through such human characters as Solomon Vandy (Blood Diamond). The role of economics and policy in global tensions transcends the textbook to become a personal experience when seen from a seat on Parliament with William Wilberforce (Amazing Grace). Students experience the power of the individual and heroism through individuals like Paul Rusesabagina (Hotel Rwanda). But can movies do more? Based on research in cinemeducation, this study explored the effects of a student-sponsored film forum on student awareness, engagement, and commitment to advocacy. A student team reviewed films with implications in human rights and global justice. They collaborated in hosting a film forum where diverse student groups from multiple disciplines viewed one of the films, while a comparison group attended a presentation. Pre- and post-tests of both groups were compared. The results of the study include an evaluation of the effectiveness of both treatments, the project, and recommendations for student programs to promote student engagement and advocacy as a way to change the world ... one voice at a time.