The L.I.F.T. Foundation Sponsors Just Mercy Novel and Movie Event

With a mission of providing educational opportunities to underserved communities, The Robert and Susan Kozlowski L.I.F.T. Foundation was proud to grant Venice High School teacher Ms. Ruth Greene a L.I.F.T. Teacher Grant to purchase 170 copies of the adapted for young adult bestseller Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.  The books are part of the curriculum for her sophomore and junior classes in the Media, Arts and Technology Academy at Venice High School.  The books were also read and curriculum adapted for Ms. Traci Thrasher’s English and Social Studies classes as they discussed social justice issues in Just Mercy and To Kill A Mockingbird.  Motivating students as critical thinkers and active participants in their own educational journey and life goals is a L.I.F.T. Foundation commitment!

We were honored to have guest speaker Mr. Terry Allen, a doctoral candidate in Education and a juris doctorate student at U.C.L.A., as well as a lead researcher on the Million Dollar Hood Project, a university based, community driven research project that maps the fiscal and human cost of mass incarceration in Los Angeles. After hearing about his incredible and inspirational life’s journey students were able to participate in a question and answer session.  A major shout out of thanks is sent to you Terry! 

160 Venice High School students, chaperones and teachers, along with L.I.F.T. Scholar graduates Mario Jones, Noe Torres, and matriculating scholars Claudia Jorge, Keary Mendoza and Yetnaleci Maya watched the movie, listened to our guest speak and enjoyed popcorn, drinks and a box lunch from Arctic Hotspot in Los Angele at Howard Hughes Cinemark 18 Theater.  Thank you to Jonathan Mora of Arctic Hotspot for a discount on the wonderful box lunches for the fifth movie event the L.I.F.T. Foundation has sponsored over the past 3 years!

Bringing the written word to life on the big screen allowed students to further embrace the books they are reading in class, extend discussion of what justice means to them and to the author, and motivated these students to think about what an education can lead to personally in the careers they may aspire to pursue, as well as providing them with a platform for discussion of how their own voice can make a difference.