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To Kill A Mockingbird - A Catalyst for Conversation in Nashua NH

Nashua, NH --On Saturday, May 11, 2019, the New Hampshire Institute for Civics Education (“NHICE”) will screen To Kill a Mockingbird as part of a multi-year statewide program designed to foster conversations with the public on law, justice, and civics.  The screening will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. at Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, New Hampshire.  There will be a break midway through the movie, and a light snack will be provided.  The program was made possible with support from New Hampshire Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities.


New Hampshire Humanities awarded a Community Project Grant to NHICE for film screenings in all ten New Hampshire counties to start multigenerational conversations through film about law, justice, and civics.  NHICE selected To Kill a Mockingbird to kick off the Lights, Camera, Civics! program because of the civics, social, and justice issues it raises, and its broad appeal to a range of ages and demographics.  A local team, consisting of an attorney, a teacher, and a high school student will lead the community discussions that accompany all film showings. The event, the team consists of Corey Genest a social studies teacher at Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua, NH.  In his years at BGHS he has involved himself with a variety of service projects and leadership initiatives; Dave Tencza is an associate attorney with the law firm of Welts, White and Fontaine in Nashua.  Dave's practice focuses primarily in the areas of criminal and family law.  Prior to entering private practice, Dave served as an Assistant County Attorney in the Hillsborough County Attorney's Office for ten years from 2007 to 2017; Elizabeth Shearman is from Merrimack and is a senior at Bishop Guertin High School.  She has been involved in the performing arts at BGHS over her four years as a student, specifically with set design and construction.  She works part time at a local elementary school and will attend the University of New Hampshire beginning in the fall of 2019,


 The organizers of Lights, Camera, Civics! hope that the panel discussions accompanying its film showings will encourage civil conversation on sensitive topics and promote understanding among people with diverse viewpoints.  In discussing To Kill a Mockingbird, for example, panelists and audience members will likely discuss racism, intolerance, and segregation--the movie’s central themes--as well as how personal opinion affects legal decision-making, and whether and what procedures are in place in the criminal justice system to protect against personal opinion taking hold of a criminal case.




“Movies help us to experience and understand each other and the world around us. They educate and enlighten us.  And, they can lead to a meaningful and much-needed civil discourse,” said Martha Madsen, NHICE’s President.  “They can serve as a catalyst for meaningful and thought-provoking conversations.”


Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel came to film in 1962.  Set a small fictitious Southern town during the Depression, local lawyer Atticus Finch, played by Gregory Peck, is appointed to represent a male person of color falsely accused of raping a white woman. To Kill a Mockingbird won Academy Awards for Best Actor (Peck), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Art Direction.  The novel was recently adapted for the theatre, and the resulting play is currently being shown at the Shubert Theatre in New York City. 




The event is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required. For more information and to register contact is Corey Genest: coreygenest@gmail.com 


Contact Martha Madsen at martha@constitutionallyspeakingnh.org for more information about Lights, Camera, Civics! including how to participate in the program or arrange a showing in your county.  Learn more about New Hampshire Humanities at www.nhhumanities.org