Don't Wait for the Movement; the Movement is Waiting for YOU

The more screening events I attend, the more aware I become of how large the problem is. Parents are concerned. Students are confused. Teachers are cringing. Administrators are conflicted. Policy makers are clueless. Thankfully, the screenings of Race to Nowhere and the discussions that follow have proven productive in starting the conversation and initiating action.

Last Thursday, I was privileged to attend Time Warner’s screening of the film. Everyone from pre-k teachers, to financial analysts, to parents of toddlers, and whole families attended the event. Afterwards, I accompanied the film's director, Ms. Abeles, as she was approached by panelists, parents, teachers, and media members eager to discuss the film. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive, but also incredibly inquisitve. I felt as if we were becoming life counselors. The universal feeling was one of uncertainty.

The younger parents were unsure of how much parenting was too much. The pre-k teachers didn’t know how to communicate the film’s message to their student’s parents. The panelists had a friendly debate on the appropriate way to address the epidemic. The media was eager to contribute, but didn't know where to start. It was exciting to see the film inspire such dialogue and, in all honesty, it was also quite overwhelming. So many people struggle to comprehend the issue at hand, but it all originates with the system’s inefficiencies - a societal problem.

I’ve begun to recognize how the film resonates within such a wide-range of factions and communities and everyone wants to know where to go next. They want to know what change to advocate for. They want to know what’s right. No one really has clear-cut answers. As a community, we must introspectively examine our values in determining what drastic action to take. Before we do so, families must take advantage of the opportunity to make a difference at home. There is no need to wait for the movement; the movement is waiting for you.

Zak Malamed

RTN Student Leadership Board Co-Leader