Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities

Tell Them We Are Rising explores the pivotal role historically black colleges and universities have played in America.

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Series
Independent Lens
Funding Initiative
Series and Special Projects
Nelson stanley filmmaker bio
Producer/Director

Stanley Nelson

Stanley Nelson is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, MacArthur “genius” Fellow, and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama in August 2014. Nelson has directed and produced numerous acclaimed films, including Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (Independent Lens), Freedom Summer, Freedom Riders, Jonestown: The Life and Death of People’s Temple Show more and The Murder of Emmett Till. He is also the co-founder and Executive Director of Firelight Films and co-founder of Firelight Media, which provides technical support to emerging documentarians. Show less

Producer

Loira Limbal

Loira Limbal is a filmmaker, DJ, and activist. Limbal has worked at various community-based organizations including The Point CDC, The Dominican Women’s Development Center, and Sista II Sista. Currently, she is the director of The Reel X Project, which is a social justice and creative filmmaking space for young women of color in the Southwest Bronx. Show more Limbal received a bachelor’s in history from Brown University and is a graduate of the Third World Newsreel’s Film and Video Production Training Program. She has received awards from the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Open Society Institute, Royce Fellows Society, and the Lisa Sullivan Fund for her work combining arts and activism. Show less

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Producer

Cyndee Readdean

Cyndee Readdean is a New York-based independent producer, director, and writer. Her work includes producing the Peabody Award-winning documentary Freedom Summer. The film premiered at Sundance and aired on PBS’s American Experience. Also for PBS, Cyndee produced and directed Native American Boomtown and Politics of the New South (America by the Numbers Show more series) and No Obama Drama (Postcards From the Great Divide series). Show less

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The Film

Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities is a documentary and interactive project that explores the pivotal role historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have played in American history, culture, and national identity. Today, over half of all African American professionals are graduates of HBCUs. More than 50% of the nation’s African American public school teachers and 70% of African American dentists earned degrees at HBCUs. The film brings to a broad national audience for the first time the story of HBCUs and the power of higher education to transform lives and advance civil rights and equality in the face of intolerance and injustice.

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