Next Tuesday, the Boston Public Health Commission and World Trust Educational Services will host a special screening of Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity with several local partners. Featuring stories from two dozen leaders in the equity movement, with original music by Amikaeyla Gaston and spoken word by Oakland Poetry Slam finalist Y. Jelal Huyler, the film’s debut in Boston is part of a multi-city tour.
Cracking the Codes premiered to a standing room only crowd in Chicago last month, and the new documentary is spurring a nationwide conversation about the causes and impact of inequity in America.
On Wednesday, Dr. Shakti Butler, the film’s director and the founder of World Trust, will facilitate a community forum to continue the dialogue from the previous night.
The film screening will take place on Tuesday, October 23 at the historic Strand Theatre in Uphams Corner from 6:30-9:00 p.m. Advanced tickets, which include a reception with the filmmaker at 5:30 p.m., are $20. “Pay-what-you-can” tickets will be available at the Strand box office beginning at 5:30 p.m. on the night of the event. To purchase tickets for the screening or community forum, visit www.crackingthecodes.org/boston.
“Cracking the Codes is designed to deepen and shift the framing of racial disparities in this country,” said Shakti Butler, PhD. “The current conversation is not only shallow, but actually harmful. We continue to primarily focus on individuals, when institutional and structural inequities are the bigger problem.” Cracking the Codes is Dr. Butler’s fourth documentary film with cinematography by her husband, Emmy award-winner Rick Butler. Her films reach both head and heart with a critical mass of stories intertwined with music, art, and poetry.
At the special screening on October 23, film clips will be paired with time for personal reflection and conversation between participants. The event is ideal for anyone yearning for change but wary of conversations about race. “In these divisive times, one of our goals is to deepen the conversation;” says Dr. Butler, “film lends support by allowing folks to see the multiple ways we walk through the world. Dialogue rekindles our connection to one another and enables us to hold a paradox: Your experience is different than mine. The world is not only the way I see it. To heal the wounds of racism and dismantle systemic inequity, we must be able to hold that paradox. And we can, for in our heart of hearts we all want to create a world that works for everyone.”
The event is open to the public and promises to be an evening that engages the community at large. The screening will be hosted by Jose Masso, host of “¡Con Salsa!” on WBUR 90.9FM and facilitated by Dr. Butler. Masso explains his interest in the project saying, “I believe that our future depends on all of us in the 21st century being healthy: physically, mentally, emotionally, economically, socially, and spiritually. Cracking the Codes provides insight, guidance, and the necessary tools for us to accomplish this.”
Following the film’s Boston debut, Dr. Butler, a racial justice educator, will facilitate a community forum on October 24 at Hibernian Hall in Dudley Square. This dialogue will focus on building skills to advance racial justice and strengthen the network of people and organizations committed to equity. Using the film as a catalyst for discussion, participants will work to develop new questions and approaches to further racial justice efforts in greater Boston.
“We are thrilled to co-sponsor the Cracking the Codes events in Boston to engage people from all over the city in a rich conversation about identity, healing, and movement building,” said Nashira Baril, Co-Director of the Boston Public Health Commission’s Center for Health Equity and Social Justice. “Having worked with Shakti in the past, I know that the participants are in for a moving experience.”
The film tour continues in Oakland on November 8 and in Seattle next spring, with more cities on the horizon. For film clips and more information visit www.crackingthecodes.org.
About Shakti Butler and World Trust
Shakti Butler, PhD is Founder and Creative Director of World Trust Educational Services, a nonprofit based in Oakland, CA. Through education rooted in love and justice, World Trust is a catalyst for racial equity. Using the powerful combination of film, dialogue, and transformative learning World Trust strives to create new understanding and build community. World Trust produces programs and seminars based on Dr. Butler’s acclaimed documentary films, such as “The Way Home: Women Talk About Race in America” and “Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible.” The film-based conversations and study programs are in continual use at hundreds of schools, universities, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and government institutions nationwide. The films, learning events and programs engage thousands of new people in racial equity each year. Visit www.world-trust.org for more information.