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Virtual Speaker Series - Establishing the Rosenwald Schools: The partnership of Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington


Thu 09 / 14 / 2023
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM


on Zoom

Who can attend

Open to all

Limited capacity: Registration Closed


Free, but donations appreciated to cover costs! Click on "Donate for this Event" below.
Donate for this Event

Establishing the Rosenwald Schools: The Partnership of Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington

Speaker: Aviva Kempner

Aviva Kempner's film, Rosenwald, tells the incredible story of how philanthropist and president of Sears, Roebuck Julius Rosenwald partnered with Booker T. Washington, educator, author and orator, in establishing over 5,000 schools for African Americans in the Jim Crow South. Between 1917 and 1932, the Rosenwald Schools exclusively served more than 700,000 black children over four decades, thereby shaping the educational and economic future of an entire generation of African American families. Aviva will share with us what it was like to bring this remarkable story to the screen and show some bonus material from the film.

Washington, DC based filmmaker Aviva Kempner has been making award-winning documentaries about underknown Jewish heroes for 44 years. Her latest film, A Pocketful of Miracles: A Tale of Two Siblings, chronicles the heroism of the two Ciesla Foundation namesakes, her mother Helen Ciesla Covensky and uncle David Chase—siblings who survived the Holocaust separately and managed to reunite after the war. Her previous film, Imagining the Indian: The Fight Against Native American Mascoting, which she co-directed, co-wrote and co-produced, documents the movement to remove Native American names, logos, and mascots from the world of sports. Other films include The Spy Behind Home Plate about baseball player and OSS spy Moe Berg, Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, about Gertrude Berg who created the first television sitcom, and Peabody-awarded The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, about the Hall Famer slugger who faced anti-Semitism during the ‘30s. Kempner also produced the award-winning film Partisans of Vilna, about Jews fighting the Nazis.

Kempner is presently making a film on screenwriter, journalist and activist Ben Hecht who exposed the horrors of the Holocaust to the American public and helped bring survivors to a permanent Jewish home in Palestine. She is also making Pissed Off, a documentary short exploring the struggles faced by female lawmakers in Congress who advocated for potty parity in the United States Capitol.

Her other work includes launching the SEW: Sports Equality for Women website which strives to amplify the stories and voices of women in sports. A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Kempner is a voting rights and statehood advocate for Washington, D.C. and serves on the board of DC Vote.

Northwest Neighbors Village is a local non-profit dedicated to building a supportive community where older adults are valued and age with dignity. We are delighted to offer these programs for free to our neighbors, and keep you engaged and learning. To learn more about us or to support our efforts to enable older adults to thrive in Northwest, DC, please visit our homepage.

Thank you for your interest in our program!

Our membership dues only account for 1/3 of our budget, and we rely on the support of generous donors to continue to create and share engaging programs with the community. If you enjoy this program, please consider making a donation to Northwest Neighbors Village.