Teachers used screenings of Granito de Arena as a mobilizing tool for British Columbia public schoolteachers participating in one of the most important teacher strikes in British Columbia's history.
Granito de Arena went on a mid-west tour that started in Minneapolis and ended in Columbia, MO, with stops in Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago. At Macalaster College, in St. Paul, students used the screening event to educate and mobiliize audience members about ongoing efforts to cut federal financial aid available to low-income students. At the University of Minnesota, the film screened in the Chicano Student Organization's space, and the students in attendance talked for over two hours about how to confront privatization at the University.
The screening in Madison, at the University of Wisconsin, had a huge turnout, with over 200 people in attendance. Thanks to the various departments and student organizations that helped to put the event together! Prior to the screening, Jill Freidberg went live on WORT 88.9 Community Radio and fielded calls from listeners about the privatization of public education in Mexico.
In Chicago, teachers and students packed a screening at the Art Institute of Chicago and had lots of questions and discussion relating to their own lives as public schoolteachers. At the Che Cafe, in Pilsen, audience members included activists from Mexico, Venezuela, and Ecuador, as well as teacher activists from Chicago. Filmmaker Jill Freidberg was invited to visit Little Village High School the next day, a brand-new public highschool serving mainly poor families of color...a highschool "born out of struggle" during which community members fought together with teachers and went out on hunger strike to demand that a quality highschool be built in their neighborhood. And they won!
The independent Ragtag cinema hosted a screening in Columbia, MO and the local teachers' union mobilized teachers from in and around Columbia to attend.