The idea for SKIN DEEP came about in the late 1980′s when Frances Reid, the producer / director, noticed a dramatic increase in the number of racial incidents at colleges and universities across the country. Twenty-five years after the Civil Rights Movement racism and racial tension seemed to be very much alive in this country. Maybe less overt, but very much alive.
After gathering newspaper clippings documenting the increase in racial violence and tension, we decided to do some interviews. It immediately became clear that a scratch beneath the skin of supposedly successful “multicultural” and “diversity” programs revealed some very painful experiences and deep wounds. If racism was a thing of the past, then how come so many individuals were being scarred by its nasty presence everyday? And this was especially disheartening on college campuses, our institutions of higher education where learning and open-mindedness were theoretically encouraged. As we interviewed students we were told over and over again that they felt unable to speak out. Their tongues were tied because there was no where to discuss problems and no one wanted to acknowledge the ugly reality of racism on campuses. Many students, both white and students of color, told us they were afraid to speak up because if they did they might be misinterpreted or seen as complainers. There was no place safe or constructive for dialogue.
This site is dedicated to continuing and opening up the discussion initiated by SKIN DEEP, a 53 minute documentary film on college students confronting racism.
If you’ve already seen the film, use this site to share your thoughts and stories. Here is a safe environment for you to speak honestly about your personal experiences with race and racism in this country and discuss your views with others. This is the place to respond to SKIN DEEP. How were you affected by the students in the film? Is there anyone you thought was right on, or someone who was way off the mark? How do these students’ experiences compare with your own at school, at home, at work, on the street or anywhere you spend your time?
If you haven’t seen SKIN DEEP, this site will give you a good idea of what the film is about, introduce you to the characters in the film and let you tell your own story.
You can also find out how people across the country are using SKIN DEEP to initiate interracial discussions and take concrete action against racism.
Film as Catalyst
Films have the power to move people to new levels of social critique and self-examination. They also get people talking. SKIN DEEP was conceived as a tool for sparking discussion about race and racism. The film, along with the facilitation guide, allows teachers or group leaders of any kind create an ideal environment for genuine exchange. Honest dialogue is the first step to addressing racism and coming together to work against it.
Get the Film
COLLEGES, UNIVERSITIES, LARGER NONPROFITS
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|SKIN DEEP • $195
VHS or DVD
|TALKING ABOUT RACE • $110 (VHS Only)|
|Purchase Both • $290 (SKIN DEEP & TALKING ABOUT RACE)|
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IRIS FILMS LIBRARY
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