We were thrilled to be invited to take part in Talking Transition, a community engagement initiative that gives New Yorkers the opportunity to talk about the issues that matter most following the election of the new mayor, Bill de Blasio.

POV presented our two American Graduate Season 26 films, Brooklyn Castle and American Promise, on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013 at the Talking Transition tent in Lower Manhattan.

First at 4 p.m., we screened excerpts from Brooklyn Castle, followed by a Q&A, moderated by Ursula Helminski from After School Alliance, with Brooklyn’s I.S. 318 chess champ Pobo Efekoro, coach and assistant principal John Galvin and Brooklyn Castle director Katie Dellamaggiore. Panelists discussed the positive effects of after school programming and I.S. 318’s ongoing budget problems. Pobo Efekoro, one of the students prominently featured in the film, talked about the immense difference after school programs and playing chess made in his life, and assistant principal John Galvin shared some ideas of how to afford after school, like cutting back testing costs and using that money to support  programs that keep kids engaged. Attendees were invited to play chess after the program.

American Promise, in theaters now and coming to POV on Februrary 3, 2014, screened in the main room of the Talking Transition tent at 6:30 p.m. After the film, rashid shabazz, Open Society Foundation‘s Program Officer with the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, sat down with American Promise directors Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster to discuss turning the cameras on themselves for the 13 years it took to make this film, the evolution of its message and their advocacy and activism around black male achievement.

Many thanks to the Open Society Foundation and Talking Transition for putting together POV Sunday!

Brooklyn Castle and American Promise are part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, a national public media initiative made possible by CPB to identify and implement solutions to the dropout crisis and help parents and teachers keep students on the path to a successful future.

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POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.