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Home / For Filmmakers / Testimonies from Educators and Experts

 

I have served as Journeys in Film’s national spokesperson since its inception, and I clearly believe in its effectiveness as an educational tool for teaching our youth to value, appreciate, and respect the cultural diversity in our world. The powerful use of films as a teaching tool cannot be underestimated, and Journeys in Film has succeeded in creating the first and only film-based curriculum integrated into core academic subjects. I encourage you to participate in the Journeys in Film program either as a student, educator, film studio, or financial supporter.”
Liam Neeson, Award-winning Actor, Journeys in Film National Spokesperson

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Journeys in Film offers a unique opportunity for our students to immerse themselves in another culture with a meaningful context supplied by the supporting curriculum. Currently implemented in a number of our schools, Journeys in Film teaches about both culture and the interpretation of culture. The students are guided to approach the films as an academic challenge. They take notes and tackle the symbolism, characterization and the narrative. At the same time, the students are introduced to film as a literary medium and begin to explore the role of the film producer and the choices he or she makes.”
Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Education

Journeys in Film has the potential for revolutionizing the way middle school children see the world. By introducing them to different cultures, religions and civilizations through easily accessible media, this project will make it natural for these students to be more accepting of differences throughout their lives. It promises to have a positive effect on students who are likely to confront an increasingly diverse America and an increasingly global world economy. Attitudes toward tolerance once formed at an early age tend to remain fixed. College, even for those who attend it, is often too late to influence deeply seeded attitudes. This program is not propagandistic. It has no specific political agenda in mind. Its goal is simply to open minds at an early age so that students can decide important life issues for themselves based on a fuller perspective and more global information. This is one of the most important educational initiatives I have ever encountered.”
Professor Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard University, and best-selling author

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In today’s ever-changing, ever-surprising global economy, everything flows so easily across borders — ideas, capital, products, people, and even problems. This brings international issues to Americans’ doorsteps and makes cultural understanding a necessity for young people, just to navigate their neighborhoods let alone compete for the jobs of the future. “Knowledge work” is growing in importance, and there are millions of increasingly well-educated English-speaking graduates from other countries — India, China, Europe — seeking the best jobs anywhere. Schools must rise to the challenge of improving basic skills while enlarging horizons, broadening perspectives, and teaching about the whole world. Journeys in Film provides the means to explore other cultures virtually, to gain the knowledge and skills for effective relationship-building, at home or abroad.”
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration Harvard Business School, and best-selling author

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After four years of surviving the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime, I was plucked out of that war zone and placed in Vermont to start my new life. I was ten years old, didn’t speak a word of English, and knew nothing about America. Although I was excited to learn as much as I could about my new country, this cultural exchange was rarely mutual among my new friends and neighbors. But I am grateful that there were people and groups out there who went out of their way to find me, reach out to me, and extend a helping hand. In doing so, they taught me to replace fear with friendship, hate with love, and ignorance with understanding. Journeys in Film is that helping hand for many young Americans today. Using international films, they bring the global world to local arenas and reach out to war-affected children living in our midst, letting them know they are not alone. With their thought provoking educational materials, Journeys in Film opens up hearts and minds of those who have been cloistered in their sheltered environments, and show them the importance to learning about our global world. But Journeys in Film is more than educational tool; it is a process that fosters compassion, kindness, and knowledge so that we all may live together in peace.”
Loung Ung, Spokesperson for The Cambodia Fund, best-selling author of First They Killed My Father, and Lucky Child.

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Many students felt that the movie-format provided a very engaging way to experience aspects of another culture that would otherwise be extremely distant from their world. Such global awareness and education is needed as our world becomes more interconnected and such quality educational projects are needed to deepen the exposure and experiences of our youth.”
Andrew Werth, 7th grade teacher Albuquerque Academy

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Everyone realizes that, as our country gets more diverse and our world gets smaller, the need for cross-cultural understanding has never been greater. Middle school teachers, facing the daunting task of providing educational experiences that will help prepare their students for this new world, will love Journeys in Film.”
Sheldon Hackney, Professor of History, Former Chair of the NEH

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From working with the Journeys in Film group last spring, I was impressed not only with their global idealism, but their approach to getting children to empathize, to begin to see culture in whole ways. I strongly support a program of this nature because we need better tools for getting into other people’s shoes.”
John Egbert, 7th grade History teacher, Albuquerque Academy

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In these troubled times that we live in, it is more imperative than ever to provide programs for our youth that will challenge them to think about such fundamental social values as tolerance, mutual respect, human rights, and understanding of all cultures.”
Regina Turner, Director, New Mexico Foundation for Human Rights Project

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Journeys in Film is a brilliantly conceived, systematic and engaging curriculum that cultivates that tolerant impulse and makes it more sophisticated through informed and imaginative engagement with other peoples’ way of life and “pictures of the world”.
Richard A. Shweder, Carnegie Scholar and William Claude Reavis Distinguished Service Professor

 
 
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