WKAR Community Cinema returned in January with an informative screening and conversation featuring A Path Appears.
The new Independent Lens documentary series exploring the roots of gender inequality, the devastating impact of poverty, and the ripple effects that follow -- including sex trafficking, teen pregnancy, gender-based violence, and child slavery.
"Productive, Eye-Opening, Emotional"
"[Tonight] was very informative and I thought the panelists were wonderful," said Lansing resident Allisha Miller. "[The film itself] was provocative, eye-opening, emotional and brings light to a very hard topic [but] also shows the positivity that can come out of a very difficulty situation."
In partnership with Project 60/50 at Michigan State University, the evening began with a screening of a short portion of the first episode in the series, "Sex Trafficking in the USA," and continued with conversation led by Jane White, director of the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force; Jennifer Fopma, Battle Creek S.A.F.E. Place; and Detective Amber Kenny-Hinojosa, Ingham County Sheriff's Office.
"It Had Me On The Edge Of The Seat"
Lansing resident Matthew Greyerbiehl shared that he thought the night's event was enlightening and that the film had him on the edge of his seat.
"[The film] was pretty powerful," said Greyerbiehl. "You don't think [human trafficking] is something that happens in your backyard; you always hear about it some other foreign country but it is actually a real phenomenon that happens in [Lansing].
"If It Doesn't Look Right, It's Probably Not Right"
Detective Kenny-Hinojosa also agreed that the evening's discussion was fantastic, "The audience was really involved, they had great questions and I think they want to help [but] don't know exactly how to do that."
"Normality is not far away from vulnerability and when does the line cross," said panelist speaker White.
Sitting in the nearly full audience was the new dean of Communications Arts and Sciences College, Prabu David, and who shared that, “WKAR Community Cinema is a great way to engage the community in a dialogue on key social issues. An important mission of the College and WKAR is to be an agent of social change and Community Cinema offers a forum to advance this objective.”
Also in attendance was Schuler Book store providing the audience members with the opportunity to buy the films book by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
A Path Appears premieres as a special presentation of Independent Lens on three consecutive Monday nights: January 26, February 2, and February 9, 2015 at 10 p.m. (check local listings) on WKAR and PBS.