‘East of the River’ film aims to show the real lives of Anacostia teens

– The rate of suspensions in the District’s school system has been a hot topic recently. A new short film, East of the River, intends to tell the story of the experiences of these students, especially black girls, who are pushed out of the school system prematurely. The film includes teen actors who are from the Anacostia community. (DCist, 9/8)

While most films made in D.C. stick to the historical landmarks and paint the city as little more than an iconic backdrop for political intrigue, [the filmmaker Hannah] Peterson’s decision to cast real D.C. teens and use the less visible locations where they actually hang out with will create a slice of fiction that brings Washington to life on the big screen. In addition to notes from the young actors who’ll be in front of the camera, the screenplay was penned in collaboration with a Youth Advisory board of six students whose stories and insight helped shape the final product on the page.

“When people think about Anacostia they think about shooting and drugs,” says India Pendleton, a Ballou High School student and the leader of the Youth Advisory. “They don’t really come to Anacostia to see that people like me work really hard so we can have a good education. We work day and night in school, we work jobs after school. We do a lot because we know that people view us a certain way, so we have to work harder to get that target off of us.”

– Teaching Sept. 11 To Students Who Were Born After The Attacks (NPR, 9/11)

GENDER EQUITY | Congratulations to WRAG member Washington Area Women’s Foundation for receiving the Women’s Funding Network’s 2017 Leadership in Equity and Diversity (LEAD) Award! (PND Blog, 9/9)

FOOD | The renewal of a District landmark, the “Shrimp Boat,” is mostly welcomed in the neighborhood. (WaPo, 9/10)

HEALTH | Over the weekend the University of Maryland, the Maryland State Dental Association and Catholic Charities partnered to provide free dental care to about 800 low-income Marylanders. (Baltimore Sun, 9/10)

INCOME | The District is offering an amnesty program to help parents who are behind in their court ordered child support due to various reasons including unemployment or underemployment. (WaPo, 9/7)

WORKFORCE | The J-1 visa program, which allows individuals to visit the US and learn about American society in exchange for work, may be in danger of ending. (WaPo, 9/10)

ENVIRONMENTVirginia Declares State Of Emergency Ahead Of Hurricane Irma (DCist, 9/8)

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