Boulder Country Day to screen film - This is [NOT] Who We Are
February 8, 2023
Boulder Country Day School will present the thought-provoking film, "This Is [NOT] Who We Are," on Wednesday, Feb. 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the school. The screening will be followed by a Q & A session with the film's director, Katrina Miller.
This event is free and open to the public. Anyone interested in attending can register at http://www.bouldercountryday.org.
A synopsis of the film, provided by the school, states, "Boulder, Colorado, prides itself on being beautiful, welcoming, and inclusive. However, in 2019, racially-charged and dangerous policing involving a Black university student made national news. The documentary film, This Is [Not] Who We Are, explores the gap between Boulder's self-image and the more complex lived experiences-both historical and contemporary-of its Black citizens."
The synopsis continues, "Black people have lived in Boulder continuously for nearly 150 years, but their history is not well known. Black families faced discrimination in housing, employment, education, health care, criminal justice, and social activities. By the 1920's, Boulder had become a rallying point for the Ku Klux Klan.
"In the 1970s employment and housing opened up, but many problems remain. Although the particulars of Boulder's history are unique, its social trajectory into the 21st century is nevertheless emblematic of many cities across the country that struggle to reconcile their liberal politics with the reality of their communities.
"'This is [Not] Who We Are' braids the lived experiences of Black characters ranging in age from 12 to 78. Some stories are searing, while others are hopeful. The film seeks to open a space for dialogue among Boulderites and about cities like Boulder, overwhelmingly white, wealthy, and conflicted about issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity. Is a more economically and racially diverse future possible, both in Boulder and in cities like it across America?"
Gabriel Lopez, the Coordinator of Equity and Community Engagement at Boulder Country Day School, explained how BCD decided to bring the film to the school. "A few months back, there was a screening at CU Boulder and a small group of BCD faculty attended," he said. "Once the film was over and we debriefed as a group, we all agreed that it would be a great idea to bring the film to school. It is a compelling film about our own community and the learning opportunities for us were evident."
The school has received some negative reaction due to the subject matter. Lopez said, "We have had a small amount of pushback from the community, though it mostly has been from people's assumptions about what the film portrays and from people who have not seen it. The film provides a glimpse into what the Black community in Boulder faces. When people understand the lived experience of others, there is an opportunity to develop empathy. This is one of the benefits to BCD students and parents."
Lopez cited another benefit of the film. "It is a historical account of how systematic racism here in Boulder causes generational trauma and inequities. The film serves as a fantastic catalyst for conversation. Everyone I've spoken to who has seen it wants to engage in further dialogue, and more importantly, is curious about what they can do. People want to be proactive after watching the film."