Evolution of Hope

“There are people incarcerated who have hope in seemingly hopeless situations. How can we connect to encourage them and help connect them to opportunities?”

Taken from audience questionnaire

Carroll Skipwith of Baltimore takes the mic.  Darius on screen. photo credit:  Institute for Policy Studies

Carroll Skipwith of Baltimore takes the mic. Darius on screen. From L-R: Stuart Anderson, Lashonia Ethridge Bey, Charles Thornton. Photo credit: Institute for Policy Studies

Filmmaker Darius Clark Monroe joined the Q&A via Skype after the Community Cinema [DC] screening of EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL in November at Busboys and Poets.  Our panelists were all returning citizens who are involved in helping other returning citizens succede. Guests speakers are currently employed, completing college degrees, and running their own business.

Carroll Skipwith and Taharka Brothers ice cream founder Sean McCombs came from Baltimore for the screening. Taharka Brothers ice cream is served at Busboys and Poets. The company began as a non-profit social enterprise reaching out to Baltimore’s troubled youth and returning citizens with an entrepreneurial training opportunity. Carroll is a Taharka alumni who now runs his own real estate business. Charles Thornton, Director of the Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizens (ORCA), ORCA’s Lashonia Ethridge Bey, and Family & Friends of Incarcerated People founder Stuart Anderson shared personal stories, advice and encouragement for people who want to make a success when given a second chance. Darius and everyone on the panel are examples that along with the challenges success is possible.

EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL has its television premiere Monday, January 12, 2015 on the PBS series “Independent Lens.” Check local listings for dates and times.

Evolution of a Criminal (November)


Darius Clark Monroe

Darius Clark Monroe

The critically acclaimed documentary by Darius Clark Monroe is coming to ITVS Community Cinema in November. Monroe will join the Busboys and Poets post-screening discussion via Skype with additional guests including Charles Thornton, director for the District of Columbia’s Office on Returning Citizen Affairs (ORCA), Lashonia Etheridge-Bey, Community Service Program Specialist (ORCA), and Stuart Anderson, Founder and Director, Family & Friends of Incarcerated People (FFOIP).  Sunday, November 23 at Busboys and Poets (Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital will present a screening Friday, November 7).d

A native of Houston, Texas, Darius Clark Monroe had a happy childhood with his mother, stepfather, and close-knit extended family. However, as he grew older and saw his parents struggling to make ends meet, Monroe’s vision of the world changed: “I went from being a carefree and joyous child to becoming acutely aware of the fact that the world was not as I saw it. And the burden that my parents had was slowly trickling down to me.” Placing his own culpability at the heart of the story, Monroe pulls no punches, using dramatized scenes of the bank robbery to capture the tragically bad decisions he and his friends made, and to bring home the terror of those they held at gunpoint. More than just a tale of a good kid gone wrong, Evolution of a Criminal is filled with compassion for human frailty and the knowledge that a person is not forever defined by their mistakes.

Download the Discussion Guide

Astronaut Shannon Lucid and Women in STEM on OVEE October 29


What was it like to be one of the first women to travel through space? How are women involved in today’s space programs? And how can we pave the way for future explorers and more women and girls in STEM?

Find out by joining Women and Girls Lead for a live chat and special online screening of MAKERS: Women in Space on Wednesday, October 29th at 1pm PT / 4pm ET. Participate in the screening here: http://bit.ly/MAKERSspaceOVEE and meet the women who are trailblazers in STEM!

Chat live with:
· Shannon Lucid, NASA Astronaut and Biochemist (Retired)
· Karen Peterson, Principal Investigator, National Girls Collaborative Project
· Misty Davies, Research Computer Engineer, NASA Ames Research Center
· Thogori Karago, Associate Product Manager, LinkedIn

Learn how to create opportunities for young women and girls to participate in STEM, and be inspired by stories from women who broke through barriers in the fields of space and science, and who continue to take great strides in STEM today.

This event is hosted by Women and Girls Lead, in collaboration with MAKERS/AOL and WETA, and along with AAUW, National Girls Collaborative Project, and public media partners Basin PBS, WXXI Rochester, Eight Arizona, and Houston Public Media.

MAKERS: Women in Space, traces the history of women pioneers in the U.S. space program and features the next generation of women engineers, mathematicians and astronauts—the new group of pioneers who continue to make small but significant steps forward.