Washington, D.C. Premiere A documentary series produced in partnership with Mayor Fenty and National Geographic, “River of Hope,” spotlights the positive transformation of formerly committed youth participating in D.C.’s Civic Justice Corps. This youth-focused lens provides a unique perspective into the lives of young people involved in the criminal justice system who are seeking to reclaim their lives and the Anacostia River. In this episode, two Earth Conservation Corps/AmeriCorps graduates participate in the inauguration of President Barack Obama and, through film, ask the President to help make the Anacostia a “River of Hope.” Conservationist and artist Tendani Mpulubusi’s painting featuring a compelling open letter to the President was selected for the inaugural “Manifest Hope” gallery. Master eagle handler Robert West, 19, and the bald eagle, Mr. Lincoln, have the experience of a lifetime as they participate in the opening inaugural concert and the National Day of Service effort on the Anacostia River. Both young men and their youth media arts team seek to show the President the challenges they face in their city and to enlist him in their cause of saving the River and themselves. Produced by Robert Nixon and Stephanie Slewka.
Discussion with filmmakers Douglas F. Williamson (Not a Distant Beast) and Robert Nixon and Stephanie Slewka (“River of Hope”) follows screening.