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The electrifying documentary, "PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools," co-written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Jacoba Atlas, has been named as an official selection in the 11th annual DTLA Film Festival, set to take place October 23-27, 2019 at Regal L.A. LIVE, located at 1000 W Olympic Blvd in downtown LA. Making its Los Angeles premiere, "PUSHOUT" is among THE LINEUP of 36 feature-length movies, which includes 17 narrative and 19 documentary films. The doc is based on two books by Dr. Monique W. Morris - that is, the groundbreaking book of the same name, "PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls In Schools" as well as "Sing a Rhythm, Dance a Blues: Education for the Liberation of Black and Brown Girls" (The New Press). The doc confronts the criminalization and miseducation of black girls that leads to their alarming high school dropout rates and increased representation in the juvenile justice system.

"For girls, education is a critical protective factor against involvement with the criminal legal system. This documentary explores how black girls are impacted by the policies, practices, conditions and prevailing consciousness that renders them vulnerable to criminalization," said Morris, co-writer and executive producer of "PUSHOUT."

"PUSHOUT: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools" | SCREENING TME

· Sunday, October 27, 2019 | 1:45 p.m.

Regal LA Live (Theater 13) | 1000 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

A discussion will follow the screening with Dr. Morris and Samaya Dillard, the youngest girl featured in doc, "PUSHOUT."

MOVIE SYNOPSIS | 77 minutes

"PUSHOUT" is a feature-length documentary that examines a new and alarming trend: African American girls are the fastest-growing population in the criminal justice system and the only group of girls disproportionately experiencing criminalization and harsh discipline at every educational level.

"PUSHOUT" exposes the educational and judicial disparities African-American girls face in the United States. The film includes heart-wrenching stories from young women, ages 7 to 19, across the country - that is, Miami, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; Oakland, Calif.; Sacramento, Calif.; and Columbus, Ohio -- as they narrate the challenges they encounter daily.

While the over-incarceration and criminalization that black boys face in this country has received national attention, interestingly girls of color - specifically, African Americans -- is absent from the conversation. PUSHOUT addresses that crisis.

"PUSHOUT" also features insights from experts across the country who have worked in social justice, gender equality and educational equity. These experts also provide context for the crisis, and a roadmap for those who interact with African American girls through the educational and justice systems, and how they can provide positive response to various behaviors. These behaviors are often misunderstood and misinterpreted by teachers, administrators, and the justice system - which incidentally, is the very institutions charged with helping them flourish.

"Black and brown girls continue to disproportionately experience harsh and exclusionary school discipline for incidents and behaviors that do not pose a critical threat to the safety of the learning environment. Many of these behaviors are fueled by experiences with trauma, much of which is under-reported for girls of color," explained Morris.

"PUSHOUT" is a film co-written by Atlas and Morris, and produced by Women in THE ROOM Productions with executive producer Denise Pines. Both Atlas and Morris serve as an executive producers. Funding is provided by NoVo Foundation, Meadow Fund, Ford Foundation, Ms. Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Stuart Foundation and Films for Purpose.

In September 2019, the doc made its world premiere at the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference in Washington, DC, hosted by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). In addition to the DTLA Film Festival, "PUSHOUT' is making its rounds on the film festival circuit with official selections in Diversity Film and Script Showcase, Detroit Women of Color International Film Festival, and the iGen Film Festival.

Watch the trailer here:

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