Past Stowe Center programs - including the 2011 Call to Action with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman John B. Larson, Connecticut legislators, policy makers, community activists, students and individuals - have focused on education and closing the achievement gap. The 2012 film Won't Back Down, starring Viola Davis, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Holly Hunter, tells a story that addresses many of the struggles and challenges discussed in these programs. Inspired by actual events, the film centers around two mothers whose kids are failing in an urban Pittsburgh school. Frustrated by the reality that their children are not receiving a suitable education, they "join forces to take back the school...turn it into a place of learning...[and] change the school for the better." (Douglas Young)
The movie's tag line, "If you can't beat the system...change it," emphasizes the idea of taking action. With the same message as the Stowe Center's Salons and programs, the plot proves that we each have the power to create change: Jamie Fitzpatrick (Maggie Gyllenhaal) realized that if she wanted her daughter to have a better education, she had to stand up and work to make a difference. Would you have that same strength, drive and commitment?
Visit Won't Back Down on Facebook and watch the trailer below to learn more about the film. It will leave you with a sense of urgency and confidence that, in fact, one can make a difference.