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Illinois Public Media’s Community Cinema: The Graduates/Los Graduados

The new season of Illinois Public Media’s Community Cinema begins in a new location, the Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois, on Tuesday, Oct. 1, with the film The Graduates/Los Graduados, which examines the roots of the Latino dropout crisis and efforts to turn it around.

The free screening, sponsored by the Illinois Public Media/Spurlock Museum Community Cinema Partnership, begins at 7 p.m., and will be followed by a discussion by the audience and a panel made up of Jorge Chapa, University of Illinois professor of sociology and Latina/Latino studies; Alejandra Coronel, president and CEO of Coronel Bilingual Services, and language services supervisor at Presence Covenant Medical Center, Urbana; Sue Grey, president and CEO of the United Way of Champaign County; and Samuel Banks, CEO of the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club in Champaign.

The museum is at 600 S. Gregory St. in Urbana, just east of the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

The event will feature one part of a two-part documentary that looks at the many roots of the Latino dropout crisis through the eyes of six inspiring young students who are part of an ongoing effort to increase graduation rates for a growing Latino population. These student profiles offer a first-hand perspective on the challenges facing many Latino high school students, including over-crowded schools, crime-ridden neighborhoods, teen pregnancy and pressure to contribute to the family finances.

The Graduates/Los Graduados premieres on WILL-TV’s Independent Lens on two consecutive Mondays, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4, at 9 p.m.

Other Community Cinema screenings this season are The State of Arizona, Dec. 3, about the divisive battle over illegal immigration in Arizona; Las Marthas, Feb. 4, 2014, about a Mexican-American debutante ball in Laredo, Texas; The Trials of Muhammad Ali, March 4, 2014, about the famed boxer’s exile years; Medora, April 1, 2014, about an Indiana town’s down-but-not-out varsity basketball team whose story parallels the town’s fight for survival; and The New Black, June 3, 2014, about the historic battle for marriage equality in Maryland. All will be held at the Spurlock Museum.

“The Spurlock Museum is a great venue for both students and the community,” said Kimberlie Kranich, Illinois Public Media’s director of community content and engagement. “The museum has a history of showing films from underrepresented voices, and we look forward to adding to that tradition.”

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