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McKinley Foundation showing Rosenwald documentary in their new theater space

This summer The McKinley Foundation installed a brand new theater space with surround sound. They plan to use the space for an upcoming film series on confronting racism, but first they will feature Rosenwald, a documentary about Julius Rosenwald, Jewish philanthropist and former president of Sears. The McKinley Foundation has long been dedicated to bringing attention to social justice issues, and this theater will be one more way for them to do so. Here are the details about the upcoming showings:

The McKinley Foundation at the University of Illinois
to Present Documentary Rosenwald

The McKinley Foundation will host two screenings of the documentary Rosenwald at their new theater space located at 809 S. Fifth Street in Champaign (corner of 5th and Daniel) on October 8 at 2 PM and October 17 at 7 PM. This event is open to the public. Suggested donation is $5.

Aviva Kempner’s Rosenwald is the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, who never finished high school, but rose to become the President of Sears. Influenced by the writings of the educator Booker T. Washington, this Jewish philanthropist joined forces with African American communities during the Jim Crow South to build over 5,300 schools during the early part of the 20th century.

Inspired by the Jewish ideals of tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (repairing the world), and a deep concern over racial inequality in America, Julius Rosenwald used his wealth to become one of America’s most effective philanthropists. Because of his modesty, Rosenwald’s philanthropy and social activism are not well known today. He gave away $62 million in his lifetime.

Interviewees include Maya Angelou; Peter Ascoli – Rosenwald’s grandson and biographer; Julian Bond; Rep. Danny Davis; Rita Dove; Benjamin Jealous; Rep. John Lewis; journalists Clarence Page, Eugene Robinson, and Cokie Roberts; Ambassador David Saperstein, Eleanor Roosevelt Seagraves and Anna Seagraves First-granddaughter and great granddaughter, respectively, of Rosenwald Fund board member Eleanor Roosevelt; George Wolfe.

A discussion of the film will take place after the screening.

The screening at the McKinley Foundation is part of its mission to reflect and act on issues of social justice, diversity and sustainability.

Managing Editor

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