The Paw Print
The San Luis Valley is about to become the only host in all of Colorado for an incredible event. Social activist, national expert, and producer Diane Nilan will be bringing two of her most highly honored films to ASC for a free screening. This occasion is open to everyone in the community. These film festival winning documentaries tell the touching, personal stories of women, children, and families experiencing poverty, homelessness and domestic violence. The event is set to take place on Friday, April 8 beginning at 6:00 p.m. in Carson Auditorium in the Student Life Building on the campus of ASC.
The San Luis Valley and Colorado in general were extremely fortunate to attract Nilan to the area. Local social justice professionals noticed that Nilan would soon pass near Alamosa as she traveled through the Rocky Mountain region on her way to her next big event. The professionals immediately contacted her to request that our community be considered as a screening site. Nilan, whose films specialize in the issues of rural areas, was immediately interested and, with the help of such organizations as the SLV Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center, ASC Student Life, the SLV McKinney-Vento Grant, and La Puente, our valley became a host site for her talent. Alamosa is one of only a handful of stops on her exclusive national screening tour, which included a special showing for members of the United States Congress in Washington D.C. only a few weeks ago.
What makes Nilan and her films so special? A glance at her biography gives part of the answer. For over 25 years, Nilan gained personal experience in some of the most interesting social issues of our day while directing massive emergency shelters just outside of Chicago. It was during this period that Nilan played an instrumental advocacy role in creating state and federal legislation to protect the educational rights of students experiencing poverty and homelessness. After firmly establishing herself as a national player, Nilan decided she was ready for more and so she founded Hear US Inc, a national non-profit dedicated to give voice and visibility to homeless children and families. While acting as the president of her new non-profit, Nilan sold her house, bought an RV to serve as her new home and mobile office, and teamed up with a renowned director to create her documentaries. The process was simple: she drove across the country interviewing the voiceless, poor, and homeless women and children of our nation in an attempt to bring their unseen struggles to light. The result was the series of incredible films which she will share with us at no charge this Friday.
Diane will not only be screening her documentaries, but also imparting her knowledge and experience to those who attend. Diane will personally lead the discussions to follow her screenings. Even more, Diane will put on a professional workshop for educators, civil servants, and human service providers. This professional training will take place from 9 – noon on Friday morning. This free training will explain to professionals what they need to know about homelessness among local students. It will be hosted in the Alamosa Family Recreation Center, and those who attend will be eligible for continuing education credit. Anyone interested in attending the professional training should call Craig DenUyl at 719-587-3499 for questions or to RSVP.
While the morning training is intended for professionals, the documentary screenings should be interesting to anyone. This screening is free, refreshments are provided, and there is absolutely no registration required (though seating is limited to the first 250 people to arrive). This incredible event will happen one time only, so be sure to save the date. For more information on the screening please contact the event organizer, Craig DenUyl, at 719-587-3499.