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Film “4 Little Girls” Enlightens ESU Students & Staff

A dozen Emporia State students and staff members met last Thursday night in the Kanza room of the Memorial Union for the second event in the Dream Series Act, to discuss the film “4 Little Girls.”

The film is a documentary sharing the story of Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Addie Mae, who were young girls that were killed in the 16th St. Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Ala. in 1963.

The film introduced viewers to the lives of the young girls and the story leading up to the bombing. It also discussed how the girls and their families were involved and associated with the civil rights marches that were taking place in Birmingham during that time.

Noel Smiley, senior health promotions major, said that the film was enlightening and she left with a heavy heart. She said that it’s important to have events like these to educate everybody and to continue to move forward. She said it’s important to show how to “bring people together and educate them about each culture and respecting them for who they are and what they are.”

Sheryl Lidzy, associate professor of communication and theatre, was the facilitator of the event. Lidzy said that it’s a good start to show films like these, but after the film encouraged the students who attended to be part of social and civil movements like the civil rights marches displayed in the film during the sixties.

Marla Darby, diversity director for the teachers college and member of the Diversity Education Committee at ESU also attended the event.

“It’s very important so that we can reflect on those events…we have to take history and determine some action that we can take so that it doesn’t happen again,” Darby said.

It was Darby’s first time seeing the film and she said that she was young when the events occurred, but it that was important for her to “get the facts about it, learn more about the families and how it impacted the families in the community and affected the civil rights movement.”

The third and last part of the Dream Act Series will take place at 7p.m. tonight in the Kanza room of the Memorial Union. It will be a Diversity Dialogue, an interactive activity where students of different backgrounds will be able to ask the questions they may have been too nervous to before in an open and safe setting. All students, staff and faculty may attend the free event.

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