American Promise Theatrical Release – RIISE Showing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Phone: 917.370.2840
Contact: Gina Parker Collins Email:



RIISE to Host Screening of Sundance Award-Winning Film,

American Promise, on 10/20/13

An outstanding, honest portrayal of the complexities involved in steering black boys to success where cultural barriers and environmental obstacles still remain.

—Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

Fleetwood, NY– 9/13/13: In the U.S. today, African-American students across all income levels score an average of twenty-five points lower than their white counterparts on standardized tests. This is known as the racial achievement gap. The group that suffers most from this debilitating phenomenon is African-American males. Unfortunately, the racial achievement gap is just the beginning of lifelong inequality.

Resources In Independent School Education-RIISE is hosting an educational screening of the film at The Film Society of Lincoln Center-
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center 144 W 65th St., NYC on October 20, 2013 at 5pm and 8pm.

American Promise spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, who make their way through one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Chronicling the boys’ divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation at Manhattan’s Dalton School, this provocative, intimate documentary presents complicated truths about America’s struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity. An Official Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and winner of the Grand Jury Award at the 2013 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. A co-production of Rada Film Group, ITVS and POV’s Diverse Voices Project. Part of American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen, made possible by CPB.

“RIISE is proud to support the theatrical release of American Promise. This compelling personal journey acknowledges the unspoken, that raising black boys in distinguished educational institutions can quickly bring to the surface contingencies of stereotype threat that parents must be mindful to recognize and remedy.”
– Gina Parker Collins; Founder, Resources In Independent School Education

“All American families want to give their children the opportunity to succeed. But the truth is, opportunity is just the first step, particularly for families raising black boys. We hope American Promise shines a light on these issues.
– Michèle Stephenson; Co-Producer, Co-Director

 “Our goal is to empower boys, their parents, and educators to pursue educational opportunities, especially to help close the black male achievement gap.”
– Joe Brewster; Co-Producer, Co-Director

About HOSTING ORGANIZATION RIISE: Resources In Independent School Education was founded in 2004 by indy school mom, Gina Parker Collins to build bridges between families of color and the culture of independent schools. The RIISE network interprets experiences with systems and strategies for independent school success and beyond. To learn more and to become a member, please visit

About AMERICAN PROMISE: American Promise premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, won the Grand Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking, and is currently playing at film festivals around the world. The film will broadcast on PBS in 2014 in conjunction with the release of Michèle Stephenson and Joe Brewster’s book by Random House. To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, please visit

5pm screening sold out.

We have closed ticket sales through RIISE for 8pm day of screening this evening. Please go to Lincoln Center website to purchase tickets.

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