Know Your Place Film- Heart of United Way

Prominent community voices at the know your place public movie premiere.

Know Your Place Public Premiere

In a poignant tribute to Black History Month, the Heart of Florida United Way recently unveiled a groundbreaking documentary, “Know Your Place,” at a public premiere in Central Florida on Feb.5. This film intricately weaves the narratives of influential community leaders who delve into the region’s recent history, shedding light on the untold stories of discrimination, segregation, and bias.

Celebrating Black Excellence Through Untold Stories

“Know Your Place” features the personal stories of several notable figures, including Nick Aiken, Jr., Mable Butler, Jerry L. Demings, Val Demings, Kathleen “Kat” Gordon, Belvin Perry, Jr., Alzo Reddick, Lorenzo “Tee” Taylor, Geraldine Thompson, Clara Walters, and Annetta Wilson. These individuals, who are still with us today, remind us that the events and experiences depicted in the film are not relics of a distant past but are part of a history that continues to shape the present.

Let’s Talk About It

The premiere sparked dialogue and introspection among the nearly 250 attendees. The post-film discussion, led by Annetta Wilson, one of the film’s participants, underscored the importance of acknowledging our past to pave the way for a more inclusive future.

President and CEO of Heart of Florida United Way, Jeff Hayward, emphasized the film’s role as a catalyst for change, stating, “To build a thriving community, we must confront the realities of our past.”

Heart of Florida United Way DEI Initiatives

HFUW’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) was evident even before the film’s release. Hayward shared how the organization embarked on an introspective journey, examining its own practices and policies to ensure they were not just preaching change but living it. This internal review led to the formation of a committee dedicated to identifying and prioritizing DEI initiatives, a move that underscores the film’s role not just as a historical recount but as an educational tool that prompts viewers to reflect on their own positions and actions within the community.

No Fabrication, Pure Authenticity

The film’s production, spearheaded by Macbeth Studio, is a testament to the power of storytelling in fostering understanding and empathy. There are no voiceovers, no narratives, just the people explaining their experiences.

“There are no voiceovers; there’s no narrative; it’s just them speaking,” said Jim Hobart, the film’s director. “We didn’t want to show the film in any way other than just to let the story unfold. I think it was important to have very long dialogues with each person so that we weren’t just grabbing a sentence out of context.”

This approach ensured the authenticity and integrity of the personal accounts, providing viewers with an unfiltered glimpse into the lived experiences of the film’s subjects.

By bringing these personal stories to light, “Know Your Place” challenges viewers to reflect on their own perceptions and biases, encouraging a collective effort to educate and inspire the Central Florida community.

Know Your Place Broadcast on Feb.10

As the film progresses to broader audiences, including a scheduled broadcast on WFTV Channel 9, it serves as a reminder to keep the conversation alive beyond the screen. It’s a call to action for all community members to engage in meaningful conversations, educate themselves and others, and actively participate in shaping a more equitable future.

Sponsors and partners, including Florida Blue, the Central Florida Foundation, the African American Chamber of Commerce, Ernst & Young, the Orlando Magic, and Meris Law Firm, reflect the broad support and recognition of the importance of this project within the community.

Join the Know Your Place Conversation

For those seeking involvement, the Heart of Florida United Way invites individuals and organizations to partner in bringing the film to various platforms, fostering discussions that can lead to tangible change. www.knowyourplace.org

 

 

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Written by Alexis George

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