FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC – November 7, 2017 – In honor of the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Rosenwald Fund, the Ciesla Foundation, the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), and the Israeli Embassy will present a FREE screening and discussion of Aviva Kempner’s ROSENWALD on November 7th at 4:30pm. The screening at UDC’s David A. Clarke School of Law will be followed by a 7:00pm reception at the Israeli Embassy. This event also celebrates the Rosenwald two-disc DVD release, available for purchase November 7, 2017. The documentary focuses on Julius Rosenwald, a businessman and visionary whose “legacy of correcting society’s ills during the Jim Crow period is sadly pertinent today as America still needs to address racial inequalities in our society,” says award-winning filmmaker Kempner, also a graduate of the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law’s predecessor, the Antioch School of Law
Acknowledging Kempner’s contributions to social justice, Dean of UDC Law Katherine “Shelley” Broderick says, “UDC Law is now, as it was when Kempner attended it during its founding years, the nation’s law school most committed to training lawyers through the provision of legal services to low-income people.”
A panel discussion will follow the Rosenwald screening with honored guests: Danielle Holley-Walker, dean of Howard University School of Law, Dr. Charlene Drew Jarvis, daughter of Dr. Charles Drew, and filmmaker Kempner. Dean Broderick will moderate the discussion. Ward 3 Councilwoman Mary Cheh will welcome guests at the Israeli embassy.
Dr. Drew Jarvis, whose father Dr. Charles Drew received a Rosenwald Fund grant and pioneered blood storage methods used by the American Red Cross, is also a member of the UDC Board of Trustees. She notes, “Julius Rosenwald recognized the enormous potential, strength of character and unparalleled talent existing in the African-American community. That’s why when Booker T. Washington asked, he gave his time and treasure to help build 5,000 schools for black children in the south.”
Dean Holley-Walker and Kempner will shed light on the legacy of Charles Hamilton Houston, whose film footage of Southern segregated schools supported legal arguments in desegregation cases, like the 1954 Brown vs. the Board of Education decision. This historical footage can be found in Rosenwald. Houston, who was a dean of Howard University School of Law from 1929-1935, was also a mentor to civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall and is known as the “man who killed Jim Crow.”
In the spirit of Rosenwald’s efforts to address systemic and social discrimination faced by African-American and Jewish communities, the Israeli Embassy will host a reception after the screening. The Israeli cultural attaché, Ms. Delphine Gamburg, initiated this partnership. “We need to continue the dialogue on the long-standing African-American and Jewish alliances. It is essential, particularly in the climate of tension as we know it today, to maintain and strengthen the ties between African- American and Jewish communities. More than ever, we must work hand in hand together for greater fraternity, solidarity and justice,” she said.