The Central Park Five, a new documentary film from award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, tells the story of the five black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park in 1989. The film chronicles the Central Park Jogger case from the perspective of the five teenagers whose lives were upended by a miscarriage of justice.
WTCI-PBS hosted a screening of this powerful documentary at Howard High School of Academics and Technology. Several students joined Jeff Styles from WGOW Talk Radio 102.3 on-air for a live discussion and a leadership seminar class conducted an online screening and panel discussion. WTCI-PBS is a beta testing site for OVEE, a new social screening platform for watching PBS and local public television programs together on demand.
Panelists engaged with the students online through OVEE to discuss the film and the issues that these students experience in their communities. Filmmaker David McMahon joined the students and shared his experience as producer and as an observer of how the film has been received in New York and how it has impacted the five men who were wrongly convicted.
Bruce Stewart, former headmaster of the Sidwell Friends School, joined the students and shared his experiences integrating schools in Greensboro, N.C. during the Civil Rights movement. Mary Edwards from the Chattanooga Urban League shared resources with the students and the audience and Sergeant Craig Joel, vice president of the Chattanooga Fraternal Order of Police, engaged with the students and celebrated the advances in forensic investigations and police training that are designed to prevent these miscarriages of justice.
“OVEE opens a portal to an experience of education and interaction that puts flesh on the pages of history while facilitating dialogues that are potentially transformative for cross-cultural and multi-generational audiences,” said Exavious Farley, teacher at Howard High School.
As a part of the WETA grant two students at Howard who demonstrated leadership and excellence in education were presented with iPad Minis. Officials said Winston Clay is a passionate and committed young man with deep-seated beliefs and a vibrant personality. He stands out among his peers and speaks as the voice of The Howard School on Power 94. Mr. Clay leads a team of fellow students in an entrepreneurial venture through Launch Chattanooga. Mr. Clay is a proud Howard Tiger and embodies the character, spirit, and tenacity that determines a future of success.
Officials said Antania Shackleford is an academic all-star. She bears a sweet, quiet demeanor but is a ferocious student in the classroom. As a sophomore, she has already secured the prestigious Ben Carson Award and proved her worth as the top ACT scorer at The Howard School.
For information on OVEE screenings for a school or organization, contact Jennifer Crutchfield at 702-7815 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Antania Shackleford with Howard Principal Paul Smith and Jennifer Crutchfield of WTCI.