inspiring new film, american idealist (re:Maria Shriver's dad) tonight Jan 21 on PBS

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    Nonprofit leaders, activists, educators, and anyone interested in making our country -- and world -- a better place won't want to miss American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver. This inspiring new documentary shows how Shriver, though overshadowed by his in-laws, the Kennedys, was the driving force behind many innovative social justice initiatives in the 1960s. It airs Monday, January 21, 2008 on most PBS stations. Download a PDF of the air times and dates here and check out some short clips here.

    It's a brilliant film that is sure to get people thinking differently about the sixties and to inspire young people to get involved in working for peace and social justice. Its emphasis on Sargent Shriver's signature contribution -- the creation of pathways for young people to get involved in public service (Peace Corps, VISTA, Head Start, Youth Corps, and Legal Services) -- could even inspire fresh thinking along these lines in the presidential election.

    PBS is broadcasting the film Monday in honor of Martin Luther King's birthday. It offers a powerful new look at one pivotal moment in King's life (as well as, sadly, one of Coretta Scott King's last recorded interviews), and the story of Head Start's struggle in the Mississippi Delta is its dramatic climax.

    While appealing to people of all ages, the film would be great to show to young people -- from junior high to grad school -- in youth programs, service learning and civic engagement programs, history and social studies courses, and the like. If you are an educator or nonprofit staffer, you can obtain a copy of the DVD from the organizations (such as Facing History and Ourselves) listed here.
    Some testimonials about American Idealist:
    • "Splendid. The best depiction of the War on Poverty I have ever seen on film. What an amazing man. I never knew how absolutely essential he was to 1960s social change. I want to share this new knowledge with the world." Darlene Clark Hine, Board of Trustees Professor of African American Studies and History at Northwestern University, and past president of the Organization of American Historians.
    • "An exceptional achievement. One of the best documentaries ever made about the history of the 1960s." Michael Kazin, Professor of History, Georgetown University, and author of America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s.
    • "American Idealist is wonderful. It should be on the shelves of every schoolhouse in America, for it can awaken in children a sense of hope and possibility." John Bridgeland, Assistant to the President of the U.S.,Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council (2000-2002), and USA Freedom Corps.
    The documentary's website, MySpace page and Facebook page.
  2. Sorry, mods! Thanks.