Ohio University

Fifth OHIO Challenging Dialogues lecture series to highlight “Emanuel” film 

Published: February 5, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Participants will engage in virtual discussion about a deadly act of terrorism that killed nine African Americans in 2015

Ohio University community members are invited to virtually attend the fifth Challenging Dialogues lecture series event, which will feature alumnus Dane Smith, BSC ’84, and a screening of his executive produced documentary film “Emanuel” on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.

“Emanuel” is a 2019 documentary about the 2015 shooting at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, that killed nine African American church members in an act of terrorism. 

The documentary honors the victims and features intimate interviews with survivors and family members. It is described as a story of justice and faith, love and hate, that examines the healing power of forgiveness. 

The film, also executive produced by Stephen Curry and Viola Davis, co-produced by Mariska Hargitay and directed by Brian Ivie, examines race relations history in Charleston, and the impact of the violent act that took place at Mother Emanuel Church. 

This Challenging Dialogues event will be livestreamed, and after the screening of the 75-minute documentary, Smith will lead a conversation with family members who lost loved ones, Rev. Anthony Thompson and Chris Singleton, and a survivor of the shooting, Polly Sheppard.

“This shooting was a senseless act of terror against the African American community that made national headlines. We are honored to have the opportunity to hear family members and survivors tell their stories,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said. “I am looking forward to have alumnus and executive producer Dane Smith bring this important conversation to the OHIO community.” 

Challenging Dialogues is a presidential strategic initiative that was created by President Nellis to provide an outlet for constructive conversation around topics that spark interest nationally or globally, to not solve problems but to seek a better understanding of the problem itself. 

For more information about Challenging Dialogues and to view previous presentations, visit www.ohio.edu/president/challenging-dialogues-series

To register for the Feb. 23 event, click here.