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“Rise: How A House Built A Family,” Cara Brookins
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
– After escaping an abusive marriage, Cara Brookins of Central Arkansas had four children to provide for and no one to turn to but herself. In desperate need of a home, but without the means to buy one, she decided to build one. Equipped only with YouTube instructional videos and a small bank loan, Brookins built her own house from the foundation up with a work crew made up of her four children. With no experience nailing together anything bigger than a bookshelf, she and her kids poured concrete, framed the walls and laid bricks for their two story, five bedroom house. Rise is a memoir that traces one family’s rise from battered victims to stronger, better versions of themselves. Join Cara and her family as they discuss their inspirational do-it-yourself project.
Friday, March 3, 2017 at 12:00 noon (Sturgis Hall)
– Robin Ferriby is a Scholar in Residence with the Center on Community Philanthropy at the Clinton School of Public Service. He is vice president of Philanthropic Services for the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and a vice president of the Foundation for Detroit’s Future, an organization that administers and oversees the “Grand Bargain” that resulted in Detroit’s exit from bankruptcy. Ferriby graduated from the University of Detroit School of Law and holds an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University. Today, his philanthropic leadership at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan includes responsibility over new gifts, donor stewardship, professional advisor relationships, new market and product development, philanthropic planning for individuals, families and businesses, and foundation relationships.
“Indentured: The Inside Story of the Rebellion Against the NCAA,” Joe Nocera
Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 12:00 noon (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
– In the four years since Joe Nocera wrote a controversial New York Times column on the subject of student-athletes, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has come under fire. Fans have begun to realize that the athletes involved in the two biggest college sports, men’s basketball and football, are little more than indentured servants. For about 5 percent of top-division players, college ends with a golden ticket to the NFL or the NBA. But what about the overwhelming majority who never turn pro? They don’t earn a dime from the estimated $13 billion generated annually by college sports. Indentured tells the story of a loose-knit group of rebels who decided to fight the hypocrisy of the NCAA.
“20th Anniversary of ARKids First”
Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 12:00 noon (Sturgis Hall)
– In 1997, nearly one in four Arkansas children was uninsured. Twenty years later, we’ve reversed that trend in large parts to landmark legislation that created ARKids First. Join us for a discussion about the impact of this game-changing public health program for children. Learn more about the history of the program and hear from local and national child health experts, including the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.
“The Dust of Kandahar: A Diplomat Among Warriors in Afghanistan,” Jonathan Addleton
Friday, March 10, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
– The Dust of Kandahar provides a personal account of one diplomat’s year of service in America’s longest war. Ambassador Jonathan Addleton movingly describes the everyday human drama of the American soldiers, local tribal dignitaries, government officials, and religious leaders he interacted and worked with in southern Afghanistan. Addleton was born and raised in Pakistan. A five-time USAID mission director, he has also served as U.S. ambassador to Mongolia; USAID representative to the European Union; and U.S. Senior Civilian Representative (SCR) to southern Afghanistan.
“Latino Leadership and the Cinco de Mayo in the American West”
Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
– While millions of people across the USA celebrate the Cinco de Mayo, very few know that this was begun by Latinos in California, Nevada, and Oregon as part of the Latino experience of the American Civil War in the Far West. This presentation will explain why the Cinco de Mayo is so widely celebrated in the US, and why it is not so celebrated in Mexico. David E. Hayes-Bautista is currently distinguished professor of medicine and director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley, and completed his doctoral work in Basic Sciences at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco. He served on the faculty at the School of Public Health at U.C. Berkeley until 1987, when he took his current position at UCLA. His research on the Latino Epidemiological Paradox led him to analyze linkages between culture, behavior, and health outcomes. This program is in partnership with UAMS Center for Diversity Affairs, UAMS Translational Research Institute, UAMS College of Pharmacy, Arkansas Center for Health Disparities League, League of United Latin American Citizens, and UALR Joel E. Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity.
“Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race,” Margot Lee Shetterly
Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. (Great Hall) *Book signing to follow
– Hidden Figures is the true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA at the leading edge of the feminist and civil rights movement, whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space. Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets and astronauts into space. Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right skills. Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future. The book is a #1 New York Times bestseller and is now an Oscar-nominated film starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kirsten Dunst, and Kevin Costner.
“The Green Book and Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program”
Monday, March 27, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
– The Green Book was created by Victor H. Green, a postal service worker from Harlem, N.Y., who began publishing the guide in 1936 to help African Americans avoid, as he put it, “embarrassing moments” after motorists started exploring long-distance roadways including Route 66, the nation’s first transcontinental highway. Frank Norris is a historian with the National Park Service’s National Trails office, which oversees the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program.
“ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic,” Alan Schwarz
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
– ADHD Nation is the definitive account of the widespread misdiagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder—and how its unchecked growth over half a century has made ADHD one of the most controversial conditions in medicine, with serious effects on children, adults, and society. In ADHD Nation, Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Alan Schwarz examines the roots and the rise of this cultural and medical phenomenon: The father of ADHD, Dr. Keith Conners, spends fifty years advocating drugs like Ritalin before realizing his role in what he now calls “a national disaster of dangerous proportions”; a troubled young girl and a studious teenage boy get entangled in the growing ADHD machine and take medications that backfire horribly; and big Pharma egregiously over-promotes the disorder and earns billions from the mishandling of children and adults. While demonstrating that ADHD is real and can be medicated when appropriate, Schwarz sounds an alarm and urges America to address this growing national health crisis.
“Jar the Floor,” a panel discussion with the Arkansas Rep
Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
– Four generations of African-American women gather to celebrate their beloved, outrageous matriarch’s 90th birthday. The trouble is, recently widowed MaDear would rather watch her soap operas and read her Bible than blow out the candles on her cake. Tempers flare and ugly secrets are revealed in this furiously fractured family portrait. Yet, even in the midst of so much turmoil, humor bites its way through the cycles of guilt and blame passed on from mothers to daughters. We invite you to join the cast and crew for a panel discussion about this production and more.
“Changing the Story: Blueprint for Change”
Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
– The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas is proud to partner with the Clinton School of Public Service on the release of its latest publication, Changing the Story: Blueprint for Change. In March of 2016, the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas along with several partner organizations hosted a summit, or rather a call to action, for stakeholders around the state to address the status of women and girls in Arkansas and working in focus areas developed recommendations for improving the lives of females in our state. Following the Summit, over the course of a year, four working groups continued with the action plans to develop a blueprint for change in the areas of health, education, economics and workforce, and politics and leadership. The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas is proud to showcase the efforts of all the dedicated volunteers who are committed to changing the status of women and girls in the state.
*Reserve your seats by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (501) 683-5239.
*If you are unable to attend a public program in person, you can watch most programs live online here.
Students at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service present a benefit production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues with a performance by Clinton School students and Little Rock community members. The performance will be held Friday, February 24th, 2017 at 7:00 P.M. at the Clinton School’s main campus located at 1200 President Clinton Avenue, Little Rock, AR. Doors open at 6:30 P.M.
Tickets for the show are $5 and may be purchased at the door or prior to the show HERE. Chocolate lollipops will be on sale at the event and donations will be taken at the door. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Dorcas House.
Eve Ensler’s award-winning play, The Vagina Monologues, is based on her interviews with over 200 women and rejoices women’s sexuality and strength.
“Probably the most importance piece of political theater of the last decade…” – The New York Times
“Spellbinding, funny, and almost unbearably moving…it is both a work of art and an incisive piece of cultural history, a poem and a polemic, a performance and a balm and a benediction.” – Variety
This event is presented in conjunction with V-day, a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls. Further information about V-day can be found at:
The 9th Annual Delta Visual Arts Show will be held Saturday, February 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in downtown Newport, Arkansas. The festival features visual artists from the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta and those who feature the Delta in their works.
The project began when Newport native John Conner III suggested it as a Clinton School community engagement project. Working with the Newport Economic Development Commission and the Iron Mountain Regional Arts Council, Clinton School students helped develop the first festival which attracted 14 artists. The festival has successfully expanded over the years and over 180 artists, authors, and musicians will be participating this year.
For more details, including information about children’s and adult workshops, line-ups, or events, visit: http://newportarcity.org/tourism/annual-events-festivals/delta-visual-arts-show/
For additional information, contact: email@example.com
Hounds Lounge Pet Resort & Spa will present Barkus on Main: A Parade of Pet Proportions in the Main Street Creative Corridor on Sunday, February 26… this parade is for the dogs!
Barkus on Main will take place 1 p.m.-5 p.m. with a Barkus Pet Parade kicking off the fun at 2 p.m. from 6th and Main. After the parade, a Mardi Gras Block Party will be in progress in the 300 block hosted by the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, Soul Fish Café, Club Level, CJRW and Samantha’s Tap Room and Grill. Live music will be provided by the Big John Miller Band. Also available to attendees will be a Hurricane Station and Beer Garden, fresh Gumbo from Soul Fish Café and a Crawfish Boil from Club Level.
Registration for dogs is $25 before February 22, $40 after and day of the event. The first 100 dogs to register will receive Wag Bags; all dogs will be eligible for prizes. Prizes will be awarded for Best Pet/Owner Look Alike Costumes, Best Dressed Pet, Best Small Dog Costume, Best Large Dog Costume, Most Original Costume, Best Float and Judge’s Choice. Judges include Winnie Wright, THV11 Reporter, and Marine Glisovic, KATV Channel 7 Reporter and Victoria Price, Reporter/Anchor for KARK/Fox16 News. To register and for more details, go to barkusonmain.com.
Those pet owners who want his or her dog to lead the parade as the 2017 KING or QUEEN of Barkus on Main will be able to bid for the honor. The auction will open Wednesday, February 1 and end Wednesday, February 22. Bidding starts at $100. Bids will increase at 5% increments. Go to barkusonmain.com for link to bidding.
The winning King and Queen will receive star treatment for the day including a Wag Bag, bragging rights and a trophy; the highest bidder will also receive $50 gift cards from Soul Fish Café, Rebel Kettle Brewery and Samantha’s Tap Room and Wood Grill. In addition, the King and Queen will each receive a commemorative photo plaque of themselves to celebrate this honor.
“Barkus on Main is going to be a howl of a good time!” said Gabe Holmstrom, Executive Director for the Downtown Little Rock Partnership. “Grandparents, kids and, of course, the family dogs are all welcome. Come on downtown and see what happens when we turn the Main Street Creative Corridor over to the dogs!”
The event will cap off a weekend of Mardi Gras events in Downtown Little Rock including the annual Mardi Gras in SoMa (South Main) Parade on Saturday, February 25, noon to 3 p.m.
For more information about Barkus on Main, sponsorship, volunteering or bidding, check barkusonmain.com or call the Downtown Little Rock Partnership, 501-375-0121.
The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service Center on Community Philanthropy recently received the 2016 Community Partner Award from Higher Purpose Co. in Clarksdale, Mississippi. The Center supported Higher Purpose Co.’s community empowerment program—Higher Purpose Academy—in its 2016 inception.
The program, which aims to engage minority millennials on topics such as racial equity, financial literacy, building your personal brand, and entrepreneurship, touched 200 individuals over four academies. Local, regional, and national speakers and presenters provided 75 hours of technical assistance to academy-goers.
For more information about this strong partner of the Center on Community Philanthropy and to view their 2016 Impact Report, visit www.higherpurpose.co/
*Reserve your seats by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (501) 683-5239.
“Legacies & Lunch presents the Annual Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail Induction Ceremony”
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 12:00 Noon (CALS Ron Robinson Theater) *In partnership with the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies & UALR Joel E. Anderson Institute of Race and Ethnicity
– The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies & Clinton School of Public Service present a joint Legacies and Lunch and Arkansas Sounds event featuring the induction of the latest honorees into the UALR Anderson Institute on Race and Ethnicity’s award-winning Arkansas Civil Rights Heritage Trail. There will also be live musical performances from the Dunbar Magnet Middle School Singers, Tonya Leeks, and David Ashley. Legacies and Lunch is sponsored in part by the Arkansas Humanities Council. Reception to follow.
“All Politics is National: The Rise of Negative Partisanship and Nationalization of US House and Senate Elections in the 21st Century,” Professor Alan Abramowitz
Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall)
– Alan Abramowitz is the Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. He has authored or coauthored six books, dozens of contributions to edited volumes, and more than fifty articles in political science journals dealing with political parties, elections, and voting behavior in the United States. He is also one of the nation’s leading election forecasters—his Time for Change Model correctly predicted the popular vote winner in every presidential election between 1988 and 2012. Abramowitz’s next book, The Great Alignment: Race, Ideology and the Transformation of the American Party System, will be published by Yale University Press in 2017.
“Beyond the Blues,” a conversation with Adia Victoria
Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *In Partnership with Oxford American
– In December, the Oxford American magazine devoted its acclaimed annual Southern Music Issue & CD entirely to the genre of the blues. For the face of its “Visions of the Blues” issue, the magazine released multiple covers, celebrating three generations of blues masters: John Lee Hooker, Bonnie Raitt, and Adia Victoria. Victoria might not be a household name (yet), but give one listen to her 2016 debut album, Beyond the Bloodhounds, and you’ll understand why the Oxford American hails her as the future of the blues. A collection of scorching blues-inflected rock songs steeped in her personal experience as a Southern black woman, the album hinges on the vengeful single “Stuck in the South,” on which she sings: “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout Southern belles / But I can tell you something ’bout Southern hell.” Victoria was raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina, in a strict Seventh Day Adventist atmosphere. She later moved through New York, Atlanta, and Paris, before landing in Nashville. “I wrote this album as a memorial to my 20s,” she says of Bloodhounds. “Those are tender years for a lot of women. It hurts. You get busted up in love and life. You make a lot of mistakes. You meet a lot of people who do you dirty because you don’t understand your value yet.”
“Covering the South,” NPR’s Southern Bureau Chief Russell Lewis
Thursday, February 16, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. (Darragh Center, CALS) *In Partnership with Arkansas Public Media
– As NPR’s Southern Bureau Chief, Russell Lewis covers issues and people of the Southeast for NPR — from Florida to Virginia to Texas, including West Virginia, Kentucky and Oklahoma. His work brings context and dimension to issues ranging from immigration, transportation and oil and gas drilling for NPR listeners across the nation and around the world. Lewis is also a key member of NPR’s ‘Go Team’ — a small group of experienced NPR producers and reporters who respond to major disasters worldwide. He is often among the first on the scene for NPR — both reporting from these sites as well as managing the logistics of bringing additional NPR reporters into disaster areas that lack functioning transportation systems, basic utilities, food, water and security.
“The Iran Wars: Spy Games, Bank Battles, Secret Deals and What Comes Now”
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
– Jay Solomon is the Wall Street Journal reporter who’s been breaking news on the historic and potentially disastrous Iran nuclear deal. The Iran Wars: Spy Games, Bank Battles, Secret Deals and What Comes Now is the product of extensive in-depth reporting and interviews with all the key players in the conflict—from high-ranking Iranian officials to Secretary of State John Kerry and his negotiating team. With a reporter’s investigative eye and the narrative dexterity of a historian, Solomon shows how Iran’s nuclear development went unnoticed for years by the international community only to become its top security concern. He catalogs the blunders of both the Bush and Obama administrations as they grappled with how to engage Iran, producing a series of both carrots and sticks, and he takes us inside the hotel suites where the 2015 nuclear agreement was negotiated, offering a frank assessment of the uncertain future of the U.S.-Iran relationship.
“Exit Right: The People Who Left the Left and Reshaped the American Century”
Friday, February 24, 2017 at 12:00 Noon (Sturgis Hall) *Book signing to follow
– In Exit Right: The People Who Left the Left and Reshaped the American Century, Daniel Oppenheimer tells the stories of six major political figures whose journeys away from the left reshaped the contours of American politics in the twentieth century. By going deep into the minds of six apostates—Whittaker Chambers, James Burnham, Ronald Reagan, Norman Podhoretz, David Horowitz, and Christopher Hitchens—Oppenheimer offers an unusually intimate history of the American left, and the right’s reaction. At its core, Exit Right is a book that asks profound questions about why and how we come to believe politically at all—on the left or the right. Each of these six lives challenges us to ask where our own beliefs come from, and what it might take to change them. At a time of sky-high partisanship, Oppenheimer breaks down the boundaries that divide us and investigates the deeper origins of our politics.
As the nation’s first graduate school to offer a Master of Public Service degree, the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service encourages participation in the National Day of Service on Monday, January 16, to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Service is a core principle of the Clinton School, where students have completed more than 750 public service projects in Arkansas, the United States, and around the world. Our field service component places our students in challenging environments where they work with local leaders to build engaged and vibrant communities.
We hope you can join your fellow citizens in volunteer opportunities of your choice or the one listed below.
“A Day of Service – A Day On, Not Day Off,” hosted by the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission
Monday, January 16, 2017 at 12:00 Noon (Central High School, 1500 S. Park St., Little Rock, AR 72202)
The Arkansas MLK, Jr. Commission is pleased to announce the MEGA KINGFEST: “A Day of Service – A Day On, Not Day Off” community outreach project, which will take place at Noon on Monday, January 16, 2017 at Little Rock Central High School, 1500 S Park St, Little Rock, AR 72202. Immediately following, the Arkansas MLK, Jr. Commission will hold the “Service Component” of “A Day of Service – A Day On, Not Day Off” to feed the at-risk and other worthwhile service activities such as health screenings, job counseling, distribution of hygiene kits, and so much more. “A Day of Service – A Day On, Not Day Off” is free to attend and is open to the public. Doors open at 11:00 AM. The event will feature free food, free health screens, a vendor showcase and a kids’ zone. For more information, contact DuShun Scarbrough at 1-888-290-KING (5464).
This post was written by class one alum Joe Ballard, and was originally posted on Global Daily.
In 2015, the world’s leaders came together at the United Nations to set forth an ambitious agenda for ending poverty, protecting our planet, and promoting global prosperity for all through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Although we just held our final Annual Meeting in September, the Clinton Global Initiative’s mission has been to turn powerful ideas into action. Since its founding by President Clinton in 2005, the Clinton Global Initiative has been driven by a simple, unifying principle: the time to work together and take action on the world’s most pressing challenges is now. CGI members have made more than 3,600 Commitments to Action, or a specific plan for addressing a significant global challenge – such as climate change, opportunities for girls and women, global health, or displaced populations. Globally, the lives of more than 435 million people around the world have been improved as a result of these commitments. What does this mean? It means increased access to safe drinking water and sanitation for more than 33 million people, more than 13 million girls and women reached through empowerment initiatives, nearly 35 million people with access to information technologies, and the protection or restoration of more than 401 million acres of forest.
We know the great opportunities that come with sharing and analyzing our data to learn as much as we possibly can about what worked (as we did in September 2014), what didn’t (as we saw in June in 2016), and what trends can be identified to help guide practices for the broader social sector. For example, we know that our most successful commitments were the result of cross-sector partnerships, where members of the CGI community leveraged their unique expertise, resources, and capabilities to combine efforts and maximize impact.
As the Clinton Global Initiative convened its final Annual Meeting this year, and with the dawn of a new era in development, Corporate Social Responsibility, and philanthropy through the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, we asked ourselves: what have CGI commitments done in service of these goals through the years?
Our commitments data team poured through the data and categorized every commitment ever made through CGI to form our new report, “Analysis of Commitment Portfolio Alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.” Each commitment was designated a primary affiliation with one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
We gleaned a few insights that we believe can be helpful to the broader development community and social impact space.
You don’t need to recreate the wheel
There is a tremendous amount of work that can be built upon and advanced – and CGI commitments are a good place to start if you’re looking to make a difference. Over the years, CGI members have worked to achieve many of the same targets adopted by the SDGs with a particular focus on quality education (SDG 4), economic growth (SDG 8), and good health and well-being (SDG 3). As a result of CGI commitments, more than 52 million children have access to a better education; more than $1.6 billion has been invested or loaned to small- and medium-sized enterprises; more than 114 million people have increased access to maternal and child health and survival programs; and more than $318 million in research and development funds has been spent on new vaccines, medicines, and diagnostics. Commitments focused on these areas comprise over 50% of our portfolio – and are a good place to look to glean lessons from the field moving forward.
Create a clear focus that fits with the mission of your organization or central goal
When CGI defined a clear focus – such as Haiti, Ebola, refugees, youth unemployment, or oceans – the number of commitments in service of that focus increased. For example, after forming the CGI Oceans Action Network in 2013, the number of commitments aligned with SDG 14 on life below water increased substantially – generating 31 commitments specifically dedicated to this single issue area (with overlap across other various commitment areas). As a result, CGI commitments like “Blue Guardians” and the “Billion Oyster Project” are protecting our oceans, seas and rivers, increasing coastal resiliency to climate change, and improving marine and fisheries conservation efforts.
Partnerships are critical – and more are necessary
In 2014, the Commitment Portfolio Analysis discovered that completed commitments that were implemented by multiple organizations working in partnership exceeded their goals, while projects implemented by a single organization generally fell short of their targets. We recently released a new case study, “Engaging Smallholder Farmers in Value Chains: Emerging Lessons,” on how the power of partnerships have positively impacted smallholder farmers and supply chain management. And, we identified a set of promising practices for all organizations looking to form new or strengthen existing partnerships.
Understanding how CGI commitments have aligned with the broader agenda laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals helps us identify how more of the world’s leading companies, nonprofits, and governments can come together to create meaningful change. You can read more about our report on the topic here.
Photo Credit: Juliana Thomas / Clinton Global Initiative.
COMMAND AND CONTROL, a new documentary thriller about the real events that occurred at a Titan II missile complex in Arkansas in September 1980 will air on PBS Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 9/8c.
Directed by Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) and based on the critically acclaimed book by Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), COMMAND AND CONTROL is a minute-by-minute account of a chilling nightmare that plays out at a Titan II missile complex in Arkansas in September, 1980. A worker accidentally drops a socket, puncturing the fuel tank of an intercontinental ballistic missile carrying the most powerful nuclear warhead in our arsenal, an incident which ignites a series of feverish efforts to avoid a deadly disaster. Putting a camera where there was no camera that night, Kenner brings this nonfiction thriller to life with stunning original footage shot in a decommissioned Titan II missile silo. Eyewitness accounts — from the man who dropped the socket, to the man who designed the warhead, to the Secretary of Defense — chronicle nine hours of terror that prevented an explosion 600 times more powerful than Hiroshima.
COMMAND AND CONTROL premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last April.
“The events of 1980 in Damascus, Arkansas, strike close to home, especially because AETN headquarters is less than 30 miles away from the site of the disaster,” said AETN Executive Director Allen Weatherly. “I had the opportunity to read the book the film is based upon and found the history riveting. We expect the same reaction to this superb film. AETN is excited to have ‘Command and Control,’ and the American Experience team, in our state to include Arkansans in the conversation to understand the events that took place in this shocking story.”
On the evening of September 18, 1980, Airmen David F. Powell and Jeffrey L. Plumb were performing routine maintenance at the Titan II silo in Damascus, Arkansas. At the age of 21, Powell was considered a highly experienced missile technician; Plumb, who had just turned 19, was still in training. As the two stood on a platform near the top of the Titan II, a socket fell from Powell’s wrench, plummeted 70 feet and, shockingly, punctured the missile. A stream of highly explosive rocket fuel began pouring into the silo.
Nothing like this had ever happened to a Titan II before and the Air Force had no procedures in place to deal with the event. For the next eight hours, the leadership of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) frantically struggled to figure out how to prevent a massive explosion and retain control of the thermonuclear warhead — a weapon so powerful that it could destroy much of Arkansas and deposit lethal radioactive fallout across the East Coast.
Woven through the Damascus story is a riveting history of America’s nuclear weapons program, from World War II through the Cold War, much of it based on recently declassified documents. A cautionary tale, COMMAND AND CONTROL forces viewers to confront the great dilemma that the U.S. has faced since the dawn of the nuclear age: How do we manage weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them?
For additional information about the screenings, please visit www.commandandcontrolfilm.com/screenings.
About the Filmmakers
A Robert Kenner Films production for American Experience
|Directed by||Robert Kenner|
|Screenplay by||Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser|
|Story by||Brian Pearle and Kim Roberts|
|Based on the Book||Command and Control by Eric Schlosser|
|Produced by||Robert Kenner, Melissa Robledo, Mark Samels, and Eric Schlosser|
|Edited byDirectors of Photography
|Kim Roberts, A.C.E.Paul Goldsmith and Jay Redmond
American Experience is a production of WGBH Boston
|Senior Producer||Susan Bellows|
|Managing Director||James E. Dunford|
|Executive Producer||Mark Samels|
Robert Kenner (Producer/Director/Co-Writer) has won an array of awards and garnered rave reviews for his documentary work exposing some of today’s least addressed, yet critical social and environmental issues. His film Food, Inc. was nominated for an Academy Award and won two Emmys. His most recent documentary, Merchants of Doubt, inspired by the acclaimed book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, lifted the curtain on a secretive group of pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities — yet whose contrary aim is to spread maximum confusion about well-studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change. Kenner received Peabody, Emmy and Grierson Awards for his American Experience film Two Days in October, an examination of two key events during the Vietnam conflict and how they shaped Americans’ views of the war. Other films for American Experience include Influenza 1918, John Brown’s Holy War and War Letters. Kenner was also co-filmmaker with Richard Pearce on The Road to Memphis for Martin Scorsese’s series The Blues. He has directed a number of specials for HBO and National Geographic, including the award-winning Don’t Say Goodbye. Kenner has also directed a number of award-winning commercials and corporate videos for eBay, Hewlett Packard, Hallmark and others.
As an investigative journalist, Eric Schlosser (Producer/Co-Writer) tries to explore subjects ignored by the mainstream media and give voice to people at the margins of society. Schlosser’s first book, Fast Food Nation (2001), helped start a revolution in how Americans think about what they eat. It has been translated into more than 20 languages and remained on The New York Times best-seller list for two years. His second book, Reefer Madness (2003), looked at America’s thriving underground economy and was also a New York Times best-seller. Command and Control (2013) was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize (history), a New York Times Notable Book and best-seller, a Time Magazine Top 10 Nonfiction Book and won the Gold Medal Award (nonfiction) from the 2013 California Book Awards. An expanded version of Schlosser’s New Yorker article, “Break-In at Y-12,” was recently published as Gods of Metal (2015) in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. Gods of Metal explores the risk of nuclear terrorism by telling the story of three Catholic pacifists who broke into one of the most heavily guarded nuclear weapons facilities in the world. His next book is about the American prison system.
Two of Schlosser’s plays, Americans (2003) and We the People (2007), have been produced in London. He served as an executive producer of the films Fast Food Nation (2006), There Will Be Blood (2008), Food Chains (2014) and Hanna Ranch (2014), and as a co-producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary Food, Inc.
Mark Samels (Producer/Executive Producer of American Experience). As executive producer of PBS’ flagship history series, Mark Samels conceives, commissions and oversees all American Experience films. Samels has overseen more than 120 films, expanding both the breadth of subjects and the filmmaking style embraced by the series, allowing for more contemporary topics and more witness-driven storytelling. Beginning his career as an independent documentary filmmaker, he held production executive positions at public television stations in West Virginia and Pennsylvania before joining WGBH. Samels is a founding member of the International Documentary Association and has served as a governor of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Samels holds honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Emerson College and Elizabethtown College.
About American Experience
For more than 28 years, American Experience has been television’s most-watched history series. The series has been hailed as “peerless” (The Wall Street Journal), “the most consistently enriching program on television” (Chicago Tribune) and “a beacon of intelligence and purpose” (Houston Chronicle). On air and online, the series brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America’s past and present. Acclaimed by viewers and critics alike, American Experience documentaries have been honored with every major broadcast award, including 30 Emmy Awards, four duPont-Columbia Awards and 17 George Foster Peabody Awards; the series received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature in 2015 for Last Days in Vietnam. Visit pbs.org/americanexperience and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to learn more.
Exclusive corporate funding for American Experience provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Additional funding for “Command and Control” provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers. American Experience is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.
Additional funding for a national impact campaign for “Command and Control” provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York.