United in Spirit, a collaboration between the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, the Portland Chapter of NAACP, the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Remember the Hope Christian Fellowship, and Project Dialogue, is thrilled to bring Rosenwald to Portland via a virtual film screening.
Rosenwald is the incredible story of Julius Rosenwald, an individual who never finished high school, yet became the president of Sears, Roebuck & Co. Influenced by the writings of the educator Booker T. Washington, Rosenwald went on to partner with Washington and African American communities in the segregationist Jim Crow South to build more than 5,000 schools during the early part of the 20th century.
Inspired by the Jewish doctrine of tikkun olam (repairing the world), Rosenwald used his wealth to challenge racial inequality in America. Because of his modesty, Rosenwald’s philanthropy and social activism are not well known today. During his lifetime, he gave away $62 million. Directed by Aviva Kempner.
The film will be available for screening all day from Sunday, December 6 through Monday, December 7 and the Zoom discussion with author Stephanie Deutsch will be on Tuesday, December 8 at 6:30 PM PST.
Stephanie Deutsch was born in Washington, D.C. and as the daughter of a Foreign Service officer grew up in New Zealand and in France as well as in Arlington, Virginia. She graduated from Brown University and has a Master’s Degree in Soviet Union Area Studies from Harvard. Despite much foreign experience, she discovered a great love of American history which resulted in her book, You Need a Schoolhouse, Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South, published in late 2011 by Northwestern University Press. Since then she has told the story of the collaboration between Washington and Rosenwald in many settings – restored Rosenwald schools, public, private and charter schools, community centers and churches. Learn more about Stephanie’s work, here.
Julius Alexander McGee (PhD)
Julius Alexander McGee (PhD) is an assistant professor at Portland State University in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning and the Black Studies Department. His scholarship focuses on the relationship between social inequality and climate change. He has also published on topics related to organic farming, renewable energy, global urban development, and transportation. His more recent work explores how mass incarceration contributes to climate change.