Historic Black Church Program's Oral History Film Highlights Desegregation of Miami Schools


 Provided to Miami Law)

CEPS Historic Black Church Oral History Film Project Fellows Christine Tudor, Amanda Darlington, and Jewell Reddick. (Photo: Provided to Miami Law)

A standing room only crowd was on hand for the premiere of the Historic Black Church Program's Oral History film, "Someday We'll All Be Free: The Desegregation of Miami," part of the University of Miami School of Law's Center for Ethics and Public Service.

The screening, along with dinner and an awards ceremony, was held at the Elizabeth Virrick Park in Coconut Grove last Saturday night. Cristina Favretto, Head of Special Collections, and Beatrice Colastin Skokan, Special Collections Librarian, were both honored with the 2013 Friend of the Center Award.

The evening was a celebration of the campus-community Oral History Film Project and its partnership with the Coconut Grove Ministerial Alliance (CGMA), Ransom Everglades School, the University of Miami Schools of Communication and Education, the University of Miami Otto G. Richter Library Special Collections, and FIU College of Law Clinics.

"The CGMA is grateful to God for blessing us with the UM School of Law," said Pastor Jeffrey Hamilton of the New Life Christian Worship Center. "This year the students took the preservation of our history to another level. The film documenting the struggles of integration was outstanding. The information shared by those involved is a valuable lesson to our youth. Our youth can relate to those that were involved in the film and see the importance of education. The CGMA applauds their efforts and is looking forward to next year. Our thanks go out to Professor Alfieri and Cynthia McKenzie for the time and efforts they have devoted to working in our community."

The Historic Black Church Program is part of the Center for Ethics and Public Service's ongoing long-standing effort to help Miami's distressed Coconut Grove Village West community. Another component is the Community Education and Community Research Projects providing multidisciplinary resources in education, law, and social services to underserved residents by establishing congregation-based church partnerships through the West Grove's sixteen-church Ministerial Alliance. The Program offers University of Miami students and faculty opportunities for civic engagement, service-learning, and community-based research.

"The Oral History Film Project works not only to document and preserve the important cultural and social history of the West Grove, but also to facilitate campus-community collaborations between the University of Miami and inner-city nonprofit groups in order to better serve our common communities and educate our graduate students in public service and professionalism," said Anthony V. Alfieri, Professor of Law and Dean's Distinguished Scholar, and Founder and Director of the Center for Ethics and Public Service, and the Founder of the Historic Black Church Program.