Arizona PBS to host screening of ‘American Creed’ documentary at Chandler Public Library March 7

Naturalization ceremony in New citizens applaud during a naturalization ceremony in the documentary, “American Creed.”

Arizona PBS is partnering with the Chandler Public Library to host a special screening of highlights from “American Creed,” a new documentary, featuring former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Kennedy, which explores what it means to be American.

The documentary examines the American ideals of freedom, fairness, equality and opportunity and features acclaimed novelist Junot Diaz, Marine Sgt. Tegan Griffith and baseball manager Joe Maddon, among others. The stories in “American Creed” are told from the points of view of unlikely activists who seek to creatively bridge cultural, economic and/or political divides.

The special screening is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7, from 6:30-8:45 p.m. at the Chandler Downtown Library on 22 S. Delaware St.

“Chandler Public Library is pleased to bring this PBS documentary to the community,” said Dan Lee, manager of the Chandler Public Library. “Our libraries our excellent places to host programs that support public dialogue and civic engagement on issues that impact our communities. This screening will offer community members a chance to discuss contemporary social challenges in America and opportunities for collaborative action.”

The event will include a panel and audience discussion on the themes of the documentary. Steve Goldstein, KJZZ radio reporter and host, will moderate this discussion, with input from panel members Dr. Kathy Nakagawa and Dr. Keon McGuire. Event registration is open to the public at https://chandlerlibrary.libcal.com/event/3941864.

A professional development session will be held for teachers following the discussion from 8:15-8:45 p.m. Teachers can register at the link above.

Written, directed and produced by Sam Ball, “American Creed” will air on Arizona PBS on Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m.

This screening program also sponsored by Arizona Humanities, who supports public opportunities to explore our shared human experiences through discussion, learning and reflection.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Chandler Public Library in this special event,” said Arizona PBS General Manager Mary Mazur. “The stories in ‘American Creed’ bridge cultural, economic and political divides to help people find common ground.”

In his hometown of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Maddon brings new immigrants and long-time residents together after a controversial local election. In Oklahoma, Lindbergh Elementary School principal Deidre Prevett, a dual citizen of Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the U.S., fights for the struggling children and transient families of many different ethnicities who pass through her hometown of East Tulsa.

Diaz from urban New Jersey, and Griffith from rural Wisconsin work in very different spheres to achieve “the dream of an America where we can be on each other’s side.” Based in Seattle, Eric Liu brings community organizers together across ideological divides.

By “being open and listening,” the founders of the grassroots organizations MoveOn.org and the Tea Party Patriots unexpectedly find common ground. In the Arkansas Delta, where mechanization threatens agricultural jobs, entrepreneurs Leila Janah and Terrence Davenport start an innovative technology company based on what they see as America’s promise of equal opportunity for all.

Adding depth and context as each story builds on the next, Rice and Kennedy lead a moving discussion of the question at the heart of this film (What does it mean to be American today?) with a group of first-generation college students at Stanford University, where Rice teaches political science and Kennedy teaches history.

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