Bronx Community College Observes Women's History Month with a powerful film and the filmmaker

Screening of Yemanja: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil is Part of a Series of Exhibits, Lectures, Panels and Performances Throughout March

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March 8, 2016 — In commemoration of International Women's Day, Bronx Community College will present a screening of the documentary Yemanja: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil on Thursday, March 10. The film will be followed by a discussion with its co-writer, co-director and co-producer Donna C. Roberts. The event, one of many during BCC's observance of Women's History Month, will take place from noon to 2:00 p.m. in the Schwendler Auditorium of Meister Hall.

Narrated by internationally acclaimed author Alice Walker, Yemanja explores the Afro-Brazilian spiritual tradition known as Candomble, a nature-based religion thriving today in Bahia, Brazil. The story is told through the voices of elder women leaders, descendants of enslaved Africans forced to Brazil in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Ultimately, the work touches on broader issues of women's leadership, social justice, economic sustainability, racism, religious intolerance and the enduring power of faith and community.

Yemanja is presented by BCC's Men of Color Initiative and Professor Gloria M. Rodriguez of the Department of Social Sciences. "The film is important because it shows an ancient, yet progressive urban culture that never lost its integral connection to all of life, the natural world and the cosmos," says Professor Rodriguez, who organized both the screening and the discussion with the filmmaker that follows. "We see elder women of color as authentic, powerful and respected leaders of spiritual communities and of the wider society. It is a much-needed paradigm in today's fractured world."

This year’s Women’s History Month events at BCC, a rich offering of exhibits, lectures, panels and performances, are a cross-campus collaboration between various Offices and Departments united by a theme that's part of BCC’s very name: “Community.”