OCL & OCC to screen anti-bias film

The Toms River branch of Ocean County Library and Ocean County College will both sponsor screenings of Chas Brack’s documentary “Dreams Deferred: the Sakia Gunn Project” on Tuesday, October 5.

The screenings will be followed with a discussion about the event and the film.

Both screenings are free and open to the public.  The college viewing begins at 2 p.m. in the College’s Student Center.  The viewing at the library begins at 6:30 p.m. in Mancini Hall.

Sakia Gunn, a 15-year-old black, lesbian teenager, was killed in Newark, NJ on May 11, 2003 after she rejected the sexual advances of a man.  It was estimated that more than 2,500 people attended her funeral.

Her death spurred the local community to protest bias against gays in Newark.  Brack’s film examines Gunn’s death and the issues confronting black LGBT people.

“No film has addressed Sakia’s story or youth like her,” Brack wrote in describing “The Sakia Gunn Project.”  “The film’s mission is to make black LGBT kids more visible and less vulnerable. The goal is to elevate them and signal to everyone that black LGBT youth are worth loving, protecting and planning for.”

Brack studied documentary arts at Antioch College.  In New York City he became involved in Men of All Colors Together, NY – an anti-racism organization.  He took a position at the New York City Commission on Human Rights in the Lesbian and Gay Discrimination Documentation Project/AIDS Discrimination Unit as Associate Video Producer. 

Brack co-founded and performed with Lavender Light Gospel Choir for over 15 years. As a result of that work he became a charter member and ordained deacon in Unity Fellowship Church, NY.

Brack’s professional career continued at The Gay Men’s Health Crisis as producer of their weekly AIDS information television magazine, “Living With AIDS.”  He works at Third World Newsreel as Fiscal Sponsorship Officer while producing the Sakia Gunn Film Project.

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