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Oakland Hires Former LAPD Chief Who Says Cities Without ‘Stop-and-Frisk’ Are Doomed

Oakland Hires Former LAPD Chief Who Says Cities Without 'Stop-and-Frisk' Are Doomed

Early Wednesday morning, the Oakland City Council approved a $250k consulting contract with a team that includes former Los Angeles Police Department chief William Bratton. Mayor Jean Quan proposed hiring Bratton to develop a public safety plan and the City Council supported her, voting 7-1 to hire the former LAPD chief.

Bratton, who also served as the New York City Police Commissioner and Boston Police Commissioner, is known for his unapologetic support of ‘stop-and-frisk’ laws.

The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed Councilwoman Desley Brooks who was the lone “no” vote against hiring the consulting team:

Brooks, who cast the lone “no” vote, said Bratton would have little accountability under the $250,000 contract, and would be obligated to set foot in the city only three times over six months. She also said his overwhelmingly white consultant team didn’t reflect Oakland’s diversity.

“I am deeply concerned that we are feeding into the politics of fear and playing on people’s emotions on crime,” Brooks said. “It makes it seem like if we don’t pass this contract tonight that nothing gets done

Critics worry Bratton will suggest a ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy that could lead to racial profiling.

“Bratton is the father of suppression policing,” Oakland resident Jay Donahue told the Oakland Tribune. “He destroys black and brown communities.”

Last year the NYPD released ‘stop-and-frisk’ statistics to the City Council that revealed that out of 685,724 stop-and-frisk stops, 87% percent of those stopped in 2011 were black or Latino. The stats also showed nine out of ten persons stopped were not arrested, nor did they receive summonses.

An NYCLU analysis showed that black and Latino males between the ages of 14 and 24 accounted for 41.6 percent of stops in 2011, though they make up only 4.7 percent of the city’s population.

Bratton is an unapologetic supporter of ‘stop-and-frisk’ policies.

“I’m sorry, but any police department in America that tries to function without some form of ‘stop-and-frisk,’ or whatever terminology they use, is doomed to failure. It’s that simple,” Bratton told San Francisco CBS affiliate KPIX earlier this month.

Bratton told CBS 5 he also has a consulting contract in Detroit and a proposal to consult police in Baltimore, which recently hired former Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts to lead the force.

Professional Lip Reader Says He Knows Why The First Lady Rolled Her Eyes at Boehner

Professional Lip Reader Says He Knows Why The First Lady Rolled Her Eyes at Boehner

Leave it to the investigative reporters at “Inside Edition” to hire a professional lip reader to make out just what was said before the First Lady rolled her eyes and delivered a bit of shade to John Boehner.

Inside Edition has the details:

So what was said? We asked expert lip reader Larry Wenig. Wenig believes John Boehner is asking President Obama whether he had a chance to have a cigarette before the luncheon.

President Obama gave up cigarettes three years ago. Boehner is a known chain smoker.

Our lip reader, Wenig, caught Boehner saying, “Somebody won’t let you do it”, referring to Michelle, which prompted the first lady’s big eye roll.

The Hill reached out to Boehner’s camp, which has rejected Wenig’s reading of the brief conversation, calling it “not true.”

The UK’s DailyMail also reached out to three different lip-reading experts but none of them could confidently make out the words.

Laurene Powell, Steve Jobs’ Widow, Launches DREAM Act Website

Laurene Powell, Steve Jobs' Widow, Launches DREAM Act Website

Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, has teamed up with documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim to launch a website and film that urges congress to pass immigration reform for young immigrants. The website, TheDreamIsNow.org, collects videos of undocumented immigrants describing how their lives would change for the better should the Dream Act pass.

“Tell your story, send in a picture, sign the petition and become a part of a living, breathing call to action that Congress can’t ignore. Story by story, voice by voice we will make it happen,” reads the main page on TheDreamIsNow.org.

Yahoo News’ “The Lookout” blog describes the project:

To push for passage of the provisions in the Dream Act, Cendy and others agreed to share their stories on www.thedreamisnow.org, a website launched Tuesday by filmmaker Davis Guggenheim (“Waiting for Superman” and “An Inconvenient Truth” ) and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs.

The project allows young undocumented immigrants to submit videos describing how their lives would change if the Dream Act were passed. Others can also submit posts, including teachers, relatives and friends of the young immigrants, as well as those involved in developing policy around immigration. The videos will be posted on the website, and Guggenheim will compile them into a documentary film.

“The documentary becomes a living, breathing petition,” Guggenheim told Yahoo News. “These DREAMers are putting everything on the line. When they come out like this, they are saying, ‘I’m ready to risk it all for what I believe.’”

“There needed to be a demystification—to put a face to these people, to hear the individual stories,” Powell Jobs told Yahoo News. “They’re our children’s friends. They are people we know. This is a huge national problem that needs resolution.”

Powell Jobs told Yahoo News that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s recent immigration reform proposals for young immigrants seemed “reasonable and principled,” but that she wanted to learn more. “The key is to see the legislation once it’s written,” she said.

It should be noted Rubio’s earlier proposal to legalize DREAMers did not include a path to citizenship.

I’m Barack Obama and I Approve These Bangs

I'm Barack Obama and I Approve These Bangs

“I love Michelle Obama,” the president said at the start of brief remarks at a candlelight reception at the National Building Museum on Sunday. “And to address the most significant event of this weekend: I love her bangs.”

TAGS: Inauguration

Study Finds 90% Jump in ADHD Diagnosis Amongst Black Girls

A new study of health records from California found the rate of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) rose dramatically between 2001 and 2010. The study found white children from high-income homes are most likely to be diagnosed with ADHD but it also found a spike in new diagnosis amongst black girls.

The Kaiser Permanente study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics found there was a 90 percent increase in the diagnosis of ADHD among non-Hispanic black girls during the same nine-year period.

More details from the study are cited below:

The study examined the electronic health records of nearly 850,000 ethnically diverse children, aged 5 to 11 years, who received care at Kaiser Permanente Southern California between 2001 and 2010. It found that among these children, 4.9 percent, or 39,200, had a diagnosis of ADHD, with white and black children more likely to be diagnosed with the neurobehavioral disorder than Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islander children. For instance, in 2010, 5.6 percent of white children in the study had an ADHD diagnosis; 4.1 percent of blacks; 2.5 percent of Hispanics; and 1.2 percent of Asian/Pacific Islanders.

The study also examined increases in the rates of first-time ADHD diagnosis. Researchers found that the incidence of newly diagnosed ADHD cases rose from 2.5 percent in 2001 to 3.1 percent in 2010 — a relative increase of 24 percent. Black children showed the greatest increase in ADHD incidence, from 2.6 percent of all black children 5 to 11 years of age in 2001 to 4.1 percent in 2010, a 70 percent relative increase. Rates among Hispanic children showed a 60 percent relative increase, from 1.7 percent in 2001 to 2.5 percent in 2010. White children showed a 30 percent relative increase, from 4.7 percent in 2001 to 5.6 percent in 2010, while rates for Asian/Pacific Islander children and other racial groups remained unchanged over time.

“While the reasons for increasing ADHD rates are not well understood, contributing factors may include heightened awareness of ADHD among parents and physicians, which could have led to increased screening and treatment,” said study lead author Darios Getahun , MD, PhD, from Kaiser Permanente Southern California’s Department of Research & Evaluation.. “This variability may indicate the need for different allocation of resources for ADHD prevention programs, and may point to new risk factors or inequalities in care.”

It’s important to note this study only analyzed Kaiser Permenante patients.

“I’m concerned that this paper will raise concerns that are not justified,” Benjamin Lahey, a psychologist at the University of Chicago told USA Today. Lahey was on a scientific panel in the 1990s that helped develop the current definition of ADHD and questions the study’s methods and validity.

“It certainly should not lead to the conclusion that there’s an increase in the prevalence of ADHD in the United States,” Lahey said.

Bidding War at Sundance for Oscar Grant Film

Bidding War at Sundance for Oscar Grant Film

The Weinstein Company is wrapping up a deal to acquire “Fruitvale,” a drama based film based on Oscar Grant’s last days. Grant’s murder made national headlines in January 2009 after cell phone video surfaced showing a BART police officer shooting him while he was laying on the ground.

The film was written and directed by 26 year-old USC grad Ryan Coogler and stars Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Tristan Wilds and Melonie Diaz. The film was produced by Forest Whitaker.

Variety reports on the Sundance deal:

The Weinstein Company is wrapping up a deal to acquire “Fruitvale,” a drama based on a tragic true story that was written and directed by 26 year-old USC grad Ryan Coogler.

Deal is worth between $2 million and $3 million and guarantees a sizable theatrical release, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

Shadow & Act has more details on who was bidding:

And what distribution companies are in the mix? The biggies, like The Weinstein Company, Fox Searchlight, with Paramount Pictures and Focus Features.

In fact, word from Deadline is that buyers are calling it this year’s Precious or Beast Of The Southern Wild, as in the little indie film that goes on to capture audiences and critical acclaim, as it travels throughout the year.

Sasha Obama: ‘Good Job, Dad. You Didn’t Mess Up’ This Time

Sasha Obama: 'Good Job, Dad. You Didn't Mess Up' This Time

After reciting the official oath of office on Sunday, Obama was first congratulated by the Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who said “Congratulations, Mr. President.”

The President went on to hug the First Lady and Malia Obama but it was the youngest daughter Sasha who followed up with her own version of a congratulatory note.

After giving Dad a “Good job!” she added a reminder of his flubbed words four years ago. “You didn’t mess up,” Sasha went on to say, teasing the commander in chief.

Cornel West Explains Why it Bothers Him Obama Took Oath Using MLK’s Bible

Cornel West Explains Why it Bothers Him Obama Took Oath Using MLK's Bible

At a “Poverty in America” forum held last week, Princeton professor Cornel West said he was “upset” after learning that President Barack Obama would be sworn in using Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Bible.

“When I got the news that my dear brother Barack Obama—President Obama—was going to put his precious hands on Martin Luther King’s Bible I got upset,” West said.

Full Text of President Obama’s Second Inaugural Address

Full Text of President Obama's Second Inaugural Address

THE PRESIDENT: Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Each time we gather to inaugurate a President we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional — what makes us American — is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Today we continue a never-ending journey to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they’ve never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. (Applause.) The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.

And for more than two hundred years, we have.

Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers.

Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.

Asian-American Voters Really, Really Loved Barack Obama in Election 2012

Asian-American Voters Really, Really Loved Barack Obama in Election 2012

One of the 2012 election surprises was the impressive support President Obama got from Asian-American voters—despite being widely ignored by both parties. A widely circulated CNN exit poll pegged Asian American support for Obama in 2012 at 72 percent. But new poll numbers suggest Asian American support for Obama is even stronger than that, and likely just as misunderstood.

Seventy-seven percent of Asian Americans voted for Obama in 2012, according to new findings released by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund on Thursday. AALDEF conducted a multilingual exit poll on Election Day in 14 states. But in the biggest surprise, a whopping 96 percent of Bangladeshi voters backed Obama, according to AALDEF. That number is higher even than the 93 percent of black voters who voted for Obama in this election. Ninety-one percent of Pakistani voters voted for Obama, as did 84 percent of Asian Indian voters, 81 percent of Chinese, 78 percent of Korean and 65 percent of Filipino voters.

But Obama didn’t get so much love from all Asian groups. More than half of Vietnamese voters—54 percent—backed Republican candidate Mitt Romney, still less than the nearly 60 percent of white voters who voted for Romney. But the Vietnamese community, not unlike Cuban-Americans in the Latino community, tend to vote more conservatively than other Asian Americans.

“Asian Americans are a diverse community with varying social, political, and economic backgrounds,” said AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung. What’s more, understanding Asian Americans is of particular relevance to the country. While they’re but 4 percent of the U.S. population, Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial group in the country.

Majority of Voters of Every Race Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Majority of Voters of Every Race Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform

The overwhelming majority of 2012 voters strongly support the passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. According to a new bi-partisan poll released today, voters across racial, geographic and, perhaps most significantly, partisan lines, want Congress to pass an immigration bill.

The poll asked just over 1000 recent voters to weigh in on an immigration reform bill this year and 73 percent of respondents said they support a path to citizenship. Just one in five respondents said they undocumented immigrants should be forced to leave the country.

The poll adds new weight to a push for immigration reform that’s already gained significant momentum in Washington and sends a message to wary Republicans that their constituents support action. In the past, many conservatives on the fence about immigration have decided not to support reform because of fears that they could put off primary voters. Advocates said today that the poll—conducted by Democratic Hart Research Associates and Republican Public Opinion Strategies—would help put these fears to rest.

The poll shows broad support for “rational immigration policy that serves the interests of every American and their family…. Reform that ensures our security and respects the rule of law,” said Jeb Bush Jr., the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sr., and a board member for National Immigration Forum, which co-sponsored today’s press conference along with SEIU and America’s Voice.

Over half of those polled said they would be more likely to vote for a Congressperson who supported immigration from. Only 8 percent said an elected official’s support for immigration reform would drive them to vote against a candidate.

“We have firmly believed that fixing the broken immigration system is not just a Latino or immigration priority but in fact it is a priority for the American people,” said Eliseo Medina, secretary-treasurer at the Service Employees International Union. “The poll tests that theory…. I am absolutely amazed by the level of bi-partisan support.”

For most of the last decade, many Republicans have demanded that before adding their support to an immigration bill, the government must first bolster border and interior immigration enforcement. Poll respondents pushed back against this two step approach, saying clearly that they support immigration reform that creates a path to citizenship along side changes in enforcement practices. Half of Republican respondents said a path citizenship should be coupled with immigration enforcement in the same bill.

Most respondents said that an immigration reform package that creates a path to citizenship should require that undocumented immigrants pay taxes owed and that employers should be forced to check immigration status of those they hire. Two thirds of respondents also said an immigration reform bill should prevent employers from lowering wages by hiring workers. Over half of respondents said immigration policy should reunify separated families.

In the past, Republican lawmakers have proposed reforms that provide a route to residency that does not end in citizenship. But only a third of those polled said they would prioritize an immigration bill without a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Washington lawmakers from left to right have promised immigration reform this year, and the president reiterated in recent weeks that the issue is at the top of his agenda. But adviocates are nonetheless clear that there remains work to be done.

“We will continue to build support throughout the country and keep reaching out to all sectors of society,” Medina said. “We believe the time is now, and we look forward to getting it done.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Joins the GOP Retreat on Voting Rights

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Joins the GOP Retreat on Voting Rights

The Voting Wars across America seem lately to be two steps forward, one step back. In Florida, where long lines, blocked voters, robocalls with misinformation and elderly voters denied water reinforced the state’s electoral notoriety last November, Gov. Rick Scott appears to have seen the light. Earlier this week he endorsed a number of electoral reforms, most notably expanding early voting, including the Sunday before Election Day.

In 2011, Scott signed into law HB 1355, which was engineered by a Republican lobbyist and passed purely by Republican state legislators that shrank the early voting period from 14 days to 8 and stripped away the Sunday before Election Day, which was the day that black churches banded together for “Souls to the Polls” to increase voter turnout. I reported on the ugly results of that during election season.

“We are encouraged Gov. Scott is finally joining Mi Familia Vota, Florida New Majority, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Advancement Project and many others in advocating for the expansion of early voting and early voting sites,” said Judith Browne-Dianis, co-director of the civil rights nonprofit Advancement Project. “Gov. Scott’s actions today are an important step but more work remains. While the governor has taken a step forward, his actions are a floor and not a ceiling for the work that must be done to guarantee full access to the franchise and truly restore democracy in Florida.”

Cuban-American Director Premieres David Sedaris Film Adaptation at Sundance

Cuban-American Director Premieres David Sedaris Film Adaptation at Sundance

Writer and director Kyle Patrick Alvarez will premiere his second feature film at the Sundance Film Festival this coming Saturday. The Cuban-American director’s latest film “C.O.G.” is the first movie ever produced based on a David Sedaris essay, with his permission.

Entertainment Weekly describes how Alvarez connected with Sedaris:

Hollywood had been knocking on Sedaris’s door for years, and he’d always turned suitors away. But Alvarez, whose promising first film, Easier with Practice, was based on a 2006 GQ article by another public-radio raconteur Davy Rothbart, took a more personal approach: he went to a Sedaris book signing. “I waited in line with everyone for him to sign my book after he read,” says Alvarez. “I tried not to be aggressive, but I gave him the a copy of my first film and said there were some things I’d like to talk to him about. I was incredibly anxious about it, but fortunately, he really liked the movie.”

They began exchanging emails, with Sedaris asking Alvarez why he specifically wanted “C.O.G.” — which stands for Child Of God — an essay from Naked, Sedaris’s best-selling 1997 collection. “It’s not like I went through every Sedaris story and tried to find the one to make into a movie,” says the 29-year-old, who also wrote the screenplay. “I liked this story. Had he not written it, and it was another writer, I would still have been incredibly interested and tried to make it into a film. There’s a coming-of-age aspect to it that I felt was really unique and particular.”

Sedaris has yet to see the film. He’ll see it for the first time at the Sundance premiere this coming Saturday.

“C.O.G.” will premiere at Sundance on January 20th, 2013. All five screenings of his film are sold out online and only have “wait-list only” availability.

GQ Publishes ‘Hottest Women’ List and Ranks Women By Race

GQ Publishes 'Hottest Women' List and Ranks Women By Race

There are still 987 years left in this millennium but the editors of GQ just unveiled “The 100 Sexiest Women of the Millennium.”

Beyoncé Knowles tops the list and is followed by other notable actresses and models like Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Aniston and Sienna Miller.

But here’s where the list is creating a stir: a handful of women were categorized by their ethnicity or nationality.

  • “Hottest Indian Chick”: Freida Pinto
  • “Hottest Pregnant Sri Lankan”: M.I.A
  • “Hottest Italian Chick”: Monica Belluci
  • “Hottest Chinese Chick”: Zhang Ziyi (sometimes credited as Ziyi Zhang)

Interestingly enough, the magazine included black and Latina celebrities on the list but they were not identified by their ethnicity or nationality.

For example, Beyoncé was “Miss Millennium” but not “Miss African-American Millennium. Eva Mendez, Halle Berry, Penélope Cruz, Rosario Dawson and Shakira are also included on the list with no mention of their nationality.

But when it came down to Freida Pinto she was labeled the “Hottest Indian Chick.”

“If the magazine were saying, ‘These are all the beautiful women from every country in the world’, that would be a bit different; that’s what the Miss Universe pageant is all about,” Ruth C. White told Yahoo’s “Shine” blog. White is an Associate Professor of Social Work in the Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work at Seattle University.

“But by calling out certain women’s ethnicity and not others, what they’re implying is that these women are not beautiful simply because they’re beautiful; they’re only attractive within the context of their own ethnicity. This is qualifying their beauty and dismisses the idea that beauty comes in many different forms.”

Rosa Parks Statue to Be Added to the Capitol

Rosa Parks Statue to Be Added to the Capitol

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said today that a bronze, full-size statue of Rosa Parks will be installed in Washington, D.C. later this year. Parks will become the first African-American woman to have her own statue in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

The New York Times has more details:

Statuary Hall is ordinarily reserved for full-size statues from the states; each state sends two statues of its choosing to be put on display. The likeness of Ms. Parks was authorized by a special act of Congress in 2005; it represents the first commission by Congress for a full-size statue since the 1870s, according to the National Endowment for the Arts, which oversaw the design competition for the statue.

Issa Rae Has an Awkward Black Girl Moment With Katie Couric [Video]

Issa Rae Has an Awkward Black Girl Moment With Katie Couric [Video]

Issa Rae appeared on the “Katie” show on Thursday.

TAGS: Issa Rae TV

For Her Birthday, Michelle Obama Got a New Twitter Account (And New Bangs)

For Her Birthday, Michelle Obama Got a New Twitter Account (And New Bangs)

So this is a brilliant way of ensuring your new Twitter account get followers: unveil it on your birthday and show off your new hair cut.

Michelle Obama’s office debuted a new official Twitter account for her on Thursday with a tweet seeking well wishes for the first lady on her 49th birthday.

The First Lady’s other account, @MichelleObama, is run by President Obama’s campaign team and has more than 2.6 million followers but hasn’t consistently tweeted since the election.

An Argument to Bring ‘All My Babies’ Mamas’ Back

An Argument to Bring 'All My Babies' Mamas' Back

On Tuesday the Oxygen Media group announced they were canceling a new show titled “All My Babies’ Mamas” that was centered around Atlanta-based rapper Shawty Lo and his 11 children with 10 different women.

Oxygen Media made the decision after the online civil rights group ColorOfChange and a petition (that received more than 37,000 signatures) demanded the network cancel the show.

“The airing of a reality show like All My Babies’ Mamas would have reinforced many of the stereotypes about Black men and women that have power to influence public policy,” said ColorOfChange.org’s Rashad Robinson in a statement. “Research shows that exploiting persistent racial stereotypes that marginalize Black Americans have real world consequences.”

Other folks are wondering, what if? What if ‘All My Babies’ Mamas’ wasn’t canceled? Would it be so bad?

Gene Demby poses this question on NPR.com:

If unconventional families — polygamists, huge broods, marginal celebrities — are a staple of the reality show genre, Babies’ Mamas would seem to fit neatly within those parameters. What if the show’s subjects were mostly concerned with mundane stuff like carpooling logistics and dance rehearsals? Isn’t it possible that Babies’ Mamas could have also granted some humanity to real baby’s mamas and complicated some simplistic, ugly stereotypes about them?

A spokesman for Shawty Lo told RumorFix the rapper plans to fight his show’s cancellation with a petition of his own. Lo has received 123,000 e-mails in support of the show, his representative told RumorFix. 

A Change.org petition urging the Oxygen Network “Put Shawty Lo and Baby Mamas back on the air!” had 703 signatures at the time this story was published.

Visit NPR’s Monkey See blog to get Demby’s full analysis.

10 Sundance Festival Films You Should Know About

10 Sundance Festival Films You Should Know About

The Sundance Film Festival opens today in Park City, Utah. The 11-day festival will showcase 119 feature films and documentaries that range from a drama based on Oscar Grant’s last 24-hours to a short film that follows real life high-rise window washers in Chicago.

In conjunction with the start of the festival today, the Screening Room YouTube channel will showcase 12 short films from the 2013 Sundance Short Film program.

There are also a number of Q&A sessions and other panel discussions with directors that will be live-streamed on the Sundance website. Visit Sundance.org/live to see the week’s schedule along with an archive of past discussion.

In the meantime take a look at the 10-films below that you’ll undoubtedly hear about throughout the year.

(Film descriptions provided by Sundance.org)


“Linsanity” / (Director: Evan Leong) 

Jeremy Lin came from a humble background to make an unbelievable run in the NBA. State high school champion, all-Ivy League at Harvard, undrafted by the NBA and unwanted there: his story started long before he landed on Broadway.



“FRUITVALE” / (Director: Ryan Coogler) 

Oscar Grant was a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who loved his friends, was generous to strangers, and had a hard time telling the truth to the mother of his beautiful daughter. He was scared and courageous and charming and raw, and as human as the community he was part of. That community paid attention to him, shouted on his behalf, and filmed him with their cell phones when BART officers, who were strong, intimidated, and acting in the way they thought they were supposed to behave around people like Oscar, shot him in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day in 2009.

Director Ryan Coogler makes an extraordinary directorial debut with this soulful account of the real-life event that horrified the nation. Featuring radiant performances by Melonie Diaz and Michael B. Jordan as Grant, a young man whose eyes were an open window into his soul, Fruitvale offers a barometer reading on the state of humanity in American society today.



“PARAISO” / (Director: Nadav Kurtz) 

Three immigrant window cleaners risk their lives every day rappelling down some of Chicago’s tallest sky-scrapers. Paraíso reveals the danger of their job and what they see on the way down.

The ‘Stop Saying These Things to Asians’ Video

The 'Stop Saying These Things to Asians' Video

Comedian Eliot Chang’s latest video is a public service announcement. He’s dubbed it the “Please Stop Saying These Things to Asians” video.

Born in NY, Chang is now based in LA, and travels regularly between both coasts for projects.

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