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'Precious Knowledge' film, discussion March 22

March  05, 2012

Augustana College will host a showing of the film Precious Knowledge, a documentary examining Arizona’s battle over ethnic studies, at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 22. After the showing, a panel including the film’s director, a student in the film and a journalist will lead a public discussion about the film and related issues. The film and discussion will take place in the auditorium of the Franklin W. Olin Center for Educational Technology (733 35th St.).

Precious Knowledge interweaves the stories of students in the Mexican American Studies Program at Tucson High School. According to the film’s makers, 48 percent of Mexican American students currently drop out of high school. In contrast, the filmmakers show Tucson High’s Mexican American Studies Program became a national model of educational success, with an average of 93 percent of enrolled students graduating from high school and 85 percent going on to attend college. The documentary crew spent a year in the classroom filming.

The panelists will be:

• Eren Isabel McGinnis, film director and founder of the filmmaking company Café Sister Productions

• Crystal Terriquez, Tucson student profiled in the film

• Jeff Biggers, writer, educator and radio correspondent

In a Huffington Post blog dated June 13, 2011, Biggers said, “…Precious Knowledge provides a clear-eyed portrait of students, teachers and their community struggling to deal with the nation’s most unnerving campus witch hunt in recent memory. Tracing the political roots of the legislative ban — and the program’s own mandate and success to alleviate the long-time achievement gaps among Latino students — Precious Knowledge’s riveting pacing and compelling portraits will astonish, infuriate and inspire viewers.”

This event is provided thanks to the funding of the Institute of Leadership and Service at Augustana College, and additional funding provided by the Augustana Humanities Research Fund, the College of Education and Human Services at Western Illinois University and the Department of Spanish at Augustana.

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833