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May Community Cinema: The Revolutionary Optimists

Illinois Public Media’s May Community Cinema event looks at the work of Amlan Ganguly to empower India’s poorest children to become activists and educators.

Ganguly doesn’t simply rescue children living in Calcutta’s slums. He helps them transform their own neighborhoods and lives—cleaning up trash dumps, going to school, reducing malaria infection. The film The Revolutionary Optimists follows Ganguly and three of the children he works with as they fight for a better future.

A free screening of the film, as well as a discussion of the community issues it raises, will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, at the Champaign Public Library, Robeson Rooms A & B.

On the discussion panel are University of Illinois law professor Suja Thomas, whose interest in raising awareness of personal responsibility and charitable giving is reflected in her blog, The Give Blog; Ratisha Carter, youth engagement specialist for the Champaign County ACCESS Initiative’s YOUTHMOVE program; and Sally Carter, founder and executive director of Tap In Leadership Academy, an after-school and summer enrichment program in Champaign-Urbana. YOUTHMOVE  and Tap In are partnering with Illinois Public Media for the event.

Proposing a workable solution to intractable problems associated with poverty, Ganguly’s story suggests that education and child empowerment are crucial keys to lifting entire societies out of hopelessness.

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