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To Kill A Mockingbird - A Catalyst for Conversation in Peterborough and Antrim

Peterborough, NH —On Friday and Saturday, June 14-5, 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 Friday, June 14 at 7 pm and the Antrim Town Hall. Then on Saturday, June 15  there will be a  discussion open the film at 10 am at the Peterborough Town Library. 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 discussion team consists of Amanda Quinlan, who was admitted to the New Hampshire Bar in December of 2018 after graduating from Vermont Law School in May 2018.  Amanda is a litigation associate at McLane Middleton in Manchester, New Hampshire.  In addition to working as a summer associate at McLane Middleton in 2017, Amanda also clerked at the Vermont Defender General Appellate Division while in law school. Eric Bowman has been teaching social studies at ConVal High School for over 20 years. He is also the adviser to the Student Council. Eric enjoys spending time with family, being active outside, and running an ethics seminar, the Revolution Ethics Project. Reagan Riffle is a sophomore at ConVal High School who loves math and meeting new people. She runs track, helps out in her student government, sings in the ConVal choirs, and is adamant about staying busy. Rosie Crooker is a sophomore at Conval High School who loves to learn from and work with those in her community. She is also very interested in world history, humanity and social justice. She is Vice President of her class, a member of Student Council and a student representative in various counseling department committees.


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. 


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