Come Watch the Documentary ’13th’ at the Altamont

On Monday, Dec. 4, at 6:30 p.m., CJJ/West and the ACLU of North Carolina’s Western NC Chapter will be co-sponsoring the screening of “13th,” a documentary by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, at the Altamont Theatre, 13 Church St. in Asheville.

The film explores the history of racial inequality in the US, focusing on the nations prisons that are disproportionately filled with African-Americans. A panel discussion will follow.

The list of panelists is still being developed, but includes:

  • J. Hackett, Executive Director of Green Opportunities, which trains hard-to-place employees (specifically including felons) to work in the culinary and construction fields and helps them find well-paying jobs with opportunities for advancement (Mr. Hackett is himself a former inmate);
  • Stephen Smith, former felon and current entrepreneur, owner of M.S. Lean Landscaping, LLC.  Smith has created REACH (Recognizing Expectations and Hope) working with men and women released from prisons to help them get employment and connect to services.
  • Dr. Rima Vesely-Flad, Director of Peace and Justice Studies at Warren Wilson College and the author of Racial Purity and Dangerous Bodies: Moral Pollution, Black Lives and the Struggle for Justice (2017).  Dr. Vesely-Flad has done extensive research in the area of race and disproportionate policing and imprisonment.

Catering will be provided by Comedy Catering, and Black Star Line Brewing from Hendersonville, a new African-American owned brewery, will be featuring its brews.  The suggested minimum donation is $5, checks can be made out to Carolina Jews for Justice; all net funds will go to Hood Huggers International. 

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About Shelby Harrell
Shelby Harrell is the editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment publication and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for seven years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.