Update: Film on anti-bias education in early childhood reaching broad audience and winning awards

By Emily Taylor

John Nimmo, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, co-produced a film launched in April. (Photo provided by John Nimmo)

John Nimmo, associate professor, early childhood education in the College of Education, has been especially busy this spring with the launch of the film he co-produced with Debbie LeeKeenan, Reflecting on Anti-bias Education in Action: The Early Years.

As anticipated when we first announced the film here, the current social justice movement is contributing to a strong interest in the film’s focus on anti-bias practice in education. Since it was made available April 1, the film has found a very receptive audience throughout the U.S. and around the world. Nimmo and his colleagues have been sharing the film through a popular series of screenings and discussion sessions with groups in 13 states and throughout Canada, including public school systems. Nimmo also spoke about the film in a keynote presentation in Zagreb, Croatia and a virtual screening is scheduled for audiences in Taiwan this summer.

The comments from Jaclyn Caballero, an educator in California who viewed the film, are characteristic of the feedback it is receiving: “These children seem like they are aware that their voice and their identity matters. You can also tell these educators and children care about living in a just world.”

To date the film has been recognized with five awards: Best Social Justice Film, New York International Film Awards; Best Educational Feature Film and Best Social Justice Feature Film, Istanbul Film Awards; Official Selection, Canadian Diversity Film Festival; and Best Short Documentary, Toronto International Women Film Festival.

Promotional poster for the film (Image provided)

“The fact that the film is reaching such a broad and attuned audience reflects early childhood educators’ commitment to equity, their belief in the capacity of young children to understand bias, and their need for practical tools and examples,” said Nimmo. “We are so grateful to have been able to collaborate with our filmmaker, Filiz Efe McKinney, and the wonderful teachers in the film to bring this to the world at this pivotal moment.”

In addition to continued screenings and workshops, Nimmo and LeeKeenan are also working with Exchange Press on the final details for a DVD/Guidebook package for those who aren’t able to stream the film or prefer DVD format. 

EmbraceRace, a national BIPOC-led organization, is hosting a free online screening of the film, followed by conversation with Nadia Jaboneta and Joyce Jackson, two of the teachers featured in the film, along with Nimmo and LeeKeenan, on May 25, 2021 at 5:00pm Pacific/8:00pm Eastern. Registration is available here.

To share stories about the College of Education, contact media relations specialist Emily Taylor at eta2@pdx.edu.

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