Today the global coronavirus pandemic has suddenly and sweepingly changed the way we live and work. We struggle with staying healthy, protecting our families, and making a living -- all the while witnessing the turmoil and suffering that swirls around us. In order to emerge from this crisis as a more just and sustainable society, we need to undertake radical social change -- and throughout history, pandemics have brought just that opportunity.
As the producers of MOVE WHEN THE SPIRIT SAYS MOVE, we found ourselves asking, “What would Dorothy do during this time of crisis?” And the inescapable answer was that she would get moving. Get moving to build on the power of collective action to create the changes we seek. We are at a moment in our country where the inequities of our society are laid bare and many of the traditional social supports have disappeared. The future of our communities will be shaped by the movements that rise up to fight for them.
Therefore, for the last six months we shifted our fundraising and production plans for MOVE WHEN THE SPIRIT SAYS MOVE from completing the feature-length documentary to producing an interim short that will bring Dorothy’s spirit and legacy specifically to bear on the opportunities immediately ahead for grassroots action and citizenship activation. We had the footage needed to make this short this year, without travel or new interviews. The resulting video will be woven into the final film after we are able to get back to active production.
Direct relationship building was one of Dorothy’s many strengths. She connected with people and she connected the opportunities and responsibilities of citizenship to daily life. We believe that the story of Dorothy’s work to educate people to be full citizens can inspire new citizen empowerment today. Empowerment not just to vote, but also to be fully engaged in a community and a nation that embodies equity and justice.
This new short is streaming online and offered to groups such as the Poor People’s Campaign, Black Voters Matter, and others working for citizenship education, voter registration and increased participation in our democracy. Even though the pandemic prevents large in-person events, the ability to network online has increased the potential number of people who see impactful and important media.