January 19, 2016

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

VSU to Host Fifth Annual Social Issues in Film Series

VALDOSTA – The Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at Valdosta State University will kick off its fifth annual Social Issues in Film Series on Monday, Jan. 25, with Dark Girls. The screening will begin at 6 p.m. in Nevins Hall Room 1061.

Dark Girls is a documentary that explores “the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color — particularly dark-skinned women — outside of and within the Black American culture.”

The Social Issues in Film Series will continue through April 18 with:

Feb. 8, The True Cost

Synopsis: The Trust Cost is “a documentary film exploring the impact of fashion on people and the planet.”

Feb. 22, Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

Synopsis: Happy People is “a documentary depicting the life and work of the trappers of Bakhita, a village in the heart of the Siberian Taiga where daily life has changed little in over a century.”

March 7, Citizenfour

Synopsis: Citizenfour is a story about a documentarian and a reporter who “travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden,” a former National Security Agency (NSA) subcontractor who made headlines in 2013 when he leaked top secret information about NSA surveillance activities.

March 21, Winter on Fire

Synopsis: Winter on Fire is “a documentary on the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014 as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich.”

April 4, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

Synopsis: Cowspiracy follows “the shocking, yet humorous, journey of an aspiring environmentalist as he daringly seeks to find the real solution to the most pressing environmental issues and true path to sustainability.”

April 18, The Central Park Five

Synopsis: The Central Park Five is “a documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between six and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.”

The Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice selected each film based on input received from VSU students. Film topics include race and ethnicity, women's issues, environmental issues, poverty, social activism, immigration, and the criminal justice system.

“Our objective with the series is to create a venue where students can learn about, discuss, and critically analyze social issues in a fun and relaxed atmosphere,” said Dr. Lorna Alvarez-Rivera, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice. “We strive to teach our students how to critically evaluate information they are presented and to formulate their own opinion on important topics. With each documentary, students have the chance to do this and to decide if they agree with the angle presented in the film.”

Each screening will begin at 6 p.m. in Nevins Hall Room 1061. A question-and-answer discussion session will be held after each film. Admission is free of charge and open to the public.

Contact Dr. Lorna Alvarez-Rivera at (229) 333-5943 or llalvarezrivera@valdosta.edu or Dr. Thomas Hochschild, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice, at (229) 333-5483 or trhochschild@valdosta.edu for more information.

On the Web:


Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities. 

Special programs like the Social Issues in Film Series help the university meet the following goals: 

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Visit http://www.valdosta.edu/administration/planning/strategic-plan.php to learn more.