Resources for the movie Selma

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selma-movieOn Monday, Jan. 19, United Methodists packed a theater in Warrenville, Ill., to view a special screening of the Oscar nominated movie Selma which is about Martin Luther King Jr.’s history changing campaign to secure equal voting rights in Alabama in 1965. The event was part of the #Selmahandinhand initiative to encourage conversation and action.

Following the movie, Director of Connectional Ministries Rev. Chris Pierson led a discussion saying as we near the 50th anniversary of the march from Selma to Montgomery we are faced with many of the same challenges today. The movie had a stirring response from many of the movie goers including the retired Rev. Ron Graham who studied with Martin Luther King Jr., in Boston and joined the march in Montgomery as a pastor from Chicago’s south side. “Martin Luther King Jr., urged us not to return violence with violence and not to return hatred with hatred,” said Rev. Graham who felt the movie was insightful and portrayed Dr. King’s message well.

Retired NIC elder John Alan Boryk met Dr. King in Chicago and felt compelled to travel to Selma and join the march in 1965. After watching the movie he said he was deeply moved. “It was a powerful reminder of God’s ability to free people from all that prevents them from being what God has called us all to be. I was most thankful to be with my sisters and brothers and be reminded of that powerful and life-changing experience.”

Others stated, “Selma is not over. Ferguson is not over. How will we respond?” and “We have much work to do.” Celina Roberts who marched for civil rights as a young high school student in Mississippi said the movie was especially meaningful to her. “It meant to me that what my aunt and parents went through was not in vain,” she said.

Bishop Sally Dyck encouraged everyone to offer prayers in our churches and to continue the conversation beyond this one time event. “This is something that all of us are called to face and work side by side to make sure there is no longer institutionalized, systematic disadvantages given to any group of people,” she said.

To help guide continued dialogue see below several resources:

10 things you should know about Selma before seeing the movie

Read more about the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

United Methodist Women lists several resources regarding Racial Justice click here to read more.

If your church would like to organize a group outing and discussion of the movie, Click here to download the toolkit.

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