Brock students host film screening on homelessness

Brock University press release – An experiential education initiative by a group of Brock University students will raise awareness about homelessness through a film screening.

Sociology students in the Department’s Issues in the Community course will host a presentation of the film Us and Them Friday, Feb. 9/2018 at 7 p.m. in Brock’s David S. Howes Theatre. The event is being run in collaboration with the St. Catharines and District United Way and is sponsored by the Ontario Public Interest Research Group at Brock.

Sociology professor Mary-Beth Raddon said the screening has become much more than an in-class activity with the film’s producer, Krista Loughton, planning to be in attendance.

“I was interested in showing the film in my SOCI 4P70 class,” Raddon said. “When I contacted the filmmaker about getting a screening license, she said she would be coming to Ontario in February, so we decided to host a public event.”

Along with Raddon, the screening has been organized by fourth-year honours students Julie Boctor, Sarah Morningstar, Kaitlyn Northcott, Carleigh Shadwell and Lillian Wood, and has served as an experiential education exercise in the course.

“Krista is really mentoring the students on the process of event planning,” Raddon said.

Us and Them was written and directed by Loughton and award-winning filmmaker Jennifer Abbott, who joined the project in 2013. Filmed over the course of a decade, Us and Them is about transformation through human connection. It all begins when Loughton is questioned by addiction expert Dr. Gabor Maté about her need to relieve pain in the world. This takes her back in time when she befriended four chronically homeless people in an effort to help them heal their lives.

Brock is the first university to present the film, joining national efforts to raise awareness about homelessness and addiction through a compassionate lens.

“At a time when Canada is in the midst of both a housing and opioid crisis, this documentary has never been more relevant,” said Raddon.

In addition to helping the students organize the event, Loughton will also be in attendance at the screening to participate in a question and answer session with the audience.

The presentation is open to the public and free to attend, though donations will be accepted at the door.



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