December 1, 2017
We kicked off the last month with the National Association of Multicultural Educators (N.A.M.E.) Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah with a special screening of “The Uncomfortable Truth“. This was a standing room only screening with people even sitting on the floor. It was a pleasure to meet so many new faces and connect with educators who are excited to share in the vision of the Joan Trumpauer Mulholland Foundation.
Loki Mulholland was to fly to Indianapolis, IN for a screening of “The Uncomfortable Truth” but after sitting at the airport for seven hours his flight was canceled and the next one out wouldn’t get him there in time for the screening. But, the show must go on and so Loki was able to Skype in for the Q&A that followed. One person posted about the film on Facebook, “I had the privy of viewing a screening by director Loki Mulholland and interact with him regarding his documentary “The Uncomfortable Truth”. If you have problems getting people who have a narrow view of racism or the problems in society in general today, I will link his documentary for the hopes of breaking down those barriers to open dialogue of understanding. I have to say any argument, disagreement, or prejudice conversation you have had, let the film do its talking and then engage them. If they are open to seeking true knowledge, I believe you will see a transformation in their thoughts. Dare I say, a humbleness from them. My review is 2 toes and thumbs up!”
And then there was this from Bianca Lynne who attended the same screening, “Just finished up with the screening of “The Uncomfortable Truth “ at The Church Within. When I tell Loki Mulholland is dope, he gets a ✊🏾.This film is of equal caliber with 13th. This offers a unique look at generational privilege while opening your eyes to being “woke” in practice. Well done Mr. Mulholland.”
Next, we traveled to Pomona, California to meet and interview the widow of slain Civil Rights Leader, Medgar Evers. Mrs. Myrlie Evers was a delight. There’s more about that encounter on our blog post titled, “Who Killed Medgar Evers?” Upon returning to Utah from California we had a meeting with the Jordan School District and they, along with the the Salt Lake School District will be providing a curriculum package to every fifth grade class in their district. It was then BACK to California for the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Annual Conference in San Francisco where Loki Mulholland joined the foundation’s education partner, Studies Weekly and gave two presentations on how to talk about racism in the classroom.
Meanwhile, The Men of Iota Iota Iota Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. had their 2017 Achievement Awards Ceremony where a $1,000 scholarship provided by the Joan Trumapuer Mulholland Foundation was presented to M. Kasim BakenRa who is attending Arizona State University as biochemistry major.
During Thanksgiving, Loki Mulholland wrote the first few drafts of his next illustrated children’s book titled, “Big Nose”. The book was one he wanted to do prior to “She Stood for Freedom” and with a couple of days off he was able to get a serviceable version ready to pursue an illustrator.
The month ended with development of a new podcast series that will start “airing” in 2019, a successful Facebook fundraising campaign on Giving Tuesday, a meeting to start developing a teachers guide to “The Uncomfortable Truth” which should be ready by March 2018 and “An Ordinary Hero” being recognized as an Amazon Choice!
Thank you to all of your for your support and helping us move the work forward.
November 2, 2017
The last month has been incredible for the Joan Trumpauer Mulholland Foundation. We started it off with a meeting with the Salt Lake City School District and they not only want to have the “She Stood for Freedom” Curriculum for all of their 5th graders but asked if they could help create a teachers guide for “The Uncomfortable Truth”. They said, “All of our high school students should be watching this film.”
The next three weeks was filled with traveling to conferences, speaking at schools and shooting a new documentary. Joan and Loki thoroughly enjoyed their opportunity to attend the Georgia Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference in Athens, GA with their education partner, Studies Weekly. Joan was the keynote speaker. Joan and Loki were also able to slip in an assembly at Hilsman Middle School in Athens. After that, Joan and Loki caught up with fellow Freedom Rider, Hank Thomas and then Joan flew to Naples Florida where she visited with another son, Geronimo, and spoke at his school. Loki drove to Jackson, MS with a stop in Montgomery at the Freedom Ride Museum and then in Selma to visit Civil Rights Activist, Joann Blackmon Bland.
In Jackson, Loki, along with Medgar Evers daughter, Reena Evers, visited the Mississippi Department of Archives and History where they brought out the gun used to assassinate Medgar Evers. Next, Loki drove to Tampa, FL where he spoke at the Florida Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference (FCSS) and then did a break-out session titled, “The History of Racism in America and How to Teach it in the Classroom.” FCSS shared that, “The Lunch and Learn was delicious but more significantly informative, engaging, and inspiring. Many participants shared that they learned about resources that they can immediately implement in the classroom. Others shared that the session prompted them to think differently about institutional racism. Loki provided an amazing professional learning opportunity. He expertly balanced complex content and potentially controversial topics.”
Meanwhile, Joan went to West Palm Gardens, FL where she spoke and did a screening of “An Ordinary Hero” at the Weiss School. Steven Hammerman who worked for two years to pull this together said it was the highlight of his professional career.
Joan and Loki then both flew to Utah where they had 11 events in six days including four screenings of “The Uncomfortable Truth”. One of the places we screened the filmed was at Weber State University. Adrienne Andrews, the Chief Diversity Officer, shared her thoughts on the event:
“Weber State University has been proud to work with Loki Mulholland and the JTM Foundation on multiple occasions. Most recently, we hosted Loki on campus to view his new documentary, “The Uncomfortable Truth.” As we began marketing the event, originally scheduled for the morning, community partners and students let us know that the timing did not work for everyone. To this end, Loki worked with us to host two viewings and discussions to meet our needs – one in the morning, the other in the evening. The responses to both events were nothing short of spectacular. Audiences that have trouble reconciling our American past and present were provided with the tools to understand systemic and institutionalized racism we still experience. Less about pointing fingers and placing blame in a current context, the documentary and following discussion by Loki empowered us to recognize and challenge existing obstacles and exclusions to move toward equity and inclusion.”
On the 26th of October we held two assemblies at the American International School of Utah (AISU) in Murray, UT. 1,000 middle school and high school students packed the auditorium all because one student reached out to us and asked if Joan was ever back in Utah if she could come to their school. So, we did. We called up the principal and made the arrangements. Nathan Justis, the head administrator said that one staff member said afterwards, “I heard two middle school students walking out saying that was the best assembly they had ever been to.” It doesn’t get much better than that. Our second assembly was a little smaller with 75 5th graders as Joan read “She Stood For Freedom” to them and answered awesome questions like, “What’s your favorite color.”
We concluded the month with a screening of “The Uncomfortable Truth” at Brigham Young University, Joan’s keynote address at the Salt Lake City NAACP Freedom
Banquet and then an appearance at the Utah Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference where we presented a 4th grade teacher, Jim Fearick of Jackson Elementary with the Joan Trumpauer Mulholland Teacher Award.