November 15: Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Oct 11, 2017

Credit Firelight Media

A haven for Black intellectuals, artists and revolutionaries — and path of promise toward the American dream—Black colleges and universities have educated the architects of freedom movements and cultivated leaders in every field.   They have been unapologetically Black for more than 150 years.  For the first time ever, their story is told.  CLICK HERE TO RSVP to the screening Tell Them We Are Rising.  

Join Jazz 91.9 WCLK and Clark Atlanta University for the exclusive Atlanta Screening of Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities.  Directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson, The film examines the impact HBCUs have had on American history, culture, and national identity. Beginning with the earliest attempts at education to today’s campuses. 

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring CAU President Ronald A. Johnson, Filmmaker Stanely Nelson and a host of prominent students and alumni from HBCUs.

The tour is a major part of HBCU Rising, the year-long multiplatform engagement project designed to drive dialog among a variety of audiences.  Jazz 91. 9 is 0ne of 10 HBCU’s across the nation to receive a grant for the campus event.

“We felt it was very important to showcase the film to students on HBCU campuses because this is a vital part of our African-American and American history,” said director Stanley Nelson. “Many students and even alumni are not aware of the deep history of how and why HBCUs were created and the foundation for success they provided for African Americans. We appreciate the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s support and the partnership on the ground with local public television and radio stations to make this tour possible.”


Jazz 91.9 WCLK will present a screening of Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities on November 15, 2017, 7:00 PM at Clark Atlanta University in the Thomas W. Cole Research Center for Science & Technology, 223 James P. Brawley Dr., SW  Atlanta, GA 30314.

In addition to events on campuses, HBCU Rising features public and marquee VIP screenings in major cities across the country, StoryCorps audio stories, video shorts exploring HBCU life, and an all-generation, all-school HBCU Digital Yearbook.


The 90-minute film will air nationally on the acclaimed PBS series, Independent Lens on Monday, February 19, 2018, 9 PM – 10:30 PM ET (check local listings). The film will also be available for online viewing on beginning February 20, 2018.


Major funding for the film, HBCU Rising and associated campus tours was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), as part of the public media initiative, American Graduate. Additional funding for campus tours is provided by Bank of America.


Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities is directed, written and produced by Stanley Nelson, co-directed and co-produced by Marco Williams, written by Marcia Smith and produced by Cyndee Readdean and Stacey L. Holman, with executive producers Sally Jo Fifer, ITVS and Lois Vossen, Independent Lens. Funding for the film is provided by the CPB, ITVS, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, and the Ford Foundation.


CLICK HERE TO RSVP to the screening Tell Them We Are Rising. 


About Jazz 91.9 WCLK

Jazz 91.9 WCLK, a 501(c) 3 non profit radio station licensed to Clark Atlanta University, is committed to preserving the legacy of Jazz through dynamic Jazz musical selections, cultural programming and community-focused initiatives.  Founded in 1974, Jazz 91.9 WCLK broadcasts a mix of classic and contemporary Jazz and Gospel music.  WCLK is a nonprofit, member supported, National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate and Public Radio International (PRI) station that serves the interest of the citizens in metropolitan Atlanta.  For more station information, programming details, and to listen on the Web, please visit:

About Firelight Media/Firelight Films

Firelight was founded in 2000 by Emmy-winning, National Humanities medalist, and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow documentarian Stanley Nelson and award-winning writer and philanthropy executive Marcia Smith as an independent production company dedicated to harnessing the power of story-driven media as a platform for education and action. Best known for producing high-quality powerful productions for PBS and creating dynamic community engagement campaigns to ensure their reach and impact, Firelight is committed to making films about pivotal events, movements, and people in American history. Firelight has won numerous awards and enjoyed great critical acclaim, with nine films in the documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Past titles include Freedom Riders, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till, A Place of Our Own, and Freedom Summer.


Firelight’s Documentary Lab is the largest program in the United States aimed specifically at developing the documentary projects and professional skills of emerging diverse documentary filmmakers.  In 2015, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awarded Firelight with the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, for their demonstrated creativity and impact in supporting the talents and careers of a diverse new generation of filmmakers.


Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities is the second in a three-part series called America Revisited that includes The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, which broke Nielsen ratings and social media engagement records for PBS, and the forthcoming, The Slave Trade: Creating A New World.


About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of nearly 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn, and subscribe for email updates.



About Independent Lens

Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS Monday nights at 10:00pm. The acclaimed series, with Lois Vossen as executive producer, features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by ITVS, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more, visit Join the conversation: and on Twitter @independentLens.