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Photo credit: Luca Dean Balser

AFSCME’s Partnership with The Film Foundation Engages Youths, Spotlights Workers

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By Pete Levine Explore the Issues

Few media have the ability to speak to – and move – millions of people like film. That’s why AFSCME is partnering with The Film Foundation to educate young people about labor history and civil rights.

Founded in 1990 by the Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese, the Film Foundation is dedicated to protecting and preserving motion picture history. Through their free educational curriculum, “The Story of Movies,” the Film Foundation brings the powerful medium of film to young people in schools nationwide.

Their latest curriculum is “Portraits of America: Democracy on Film.” It includes labor- and democracy-centered feature films like “Norma Rae,” “Glory” and “Modern Times.”

Sparking a conversation with young Americans around the labor and civil rights movements has never been more important.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders was in New York City on Tuesday to announce the partnership and help launch the latest curriculum.

In discussing the parallels between the work of the Film Foundation and AFSCME’s I AM 2018 campaign, Saunders said, “We must ensure every American understands [Dr. King’s] unfinished work, starting with our young people. We must use every tool – and none more important than film – to move our people toward a greater understanding of our past and a greater responsibility for our future.”

As the freedom to come together in strong unions, to have a voice on the job and to enjoy a secure future are being threatened, amplifying the stories of working families who never quit on their communities is more relevant now than ever.

Martin Scorsese and AFSCME President Lee Saunders

Movie director Martin Scorsese (left) and AFSCME President Lee Saunders on Tuesday announced a partnership between the union and Scorsese’s Film Foundation. (Photo credit: Luca Dean Balser)