Agents of Change


Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:30pm
Washington U./Brown

As the civil-rights, Black Power, and anti-Vietnam War movements made national headlines in the late 1960s, another, less-known struggle for inclusion was taking place on college campuses. Exemplified by protests at San Francisco State and Cornell University (with its iconic image of black students with guns emerging from the takeover of the student union), the struggle for a more relevant and meaningful education, including demands for programs in black and ethnic studies, became a clarion call across the country. Through the stories of the young men and women who were at the forefront of these efforts, “Agents of Change” examines the racial conditions on college campuses (and in the country generally) that led to the protests. Today, more than 45 years later, many of the same demands recur in campus protests across the country, revealing just how much work remains to be done. In recounting the student actions of the late 1960s, “Agents of Change” sheds new light on the ongoing story of race in America and shows the influential relationship of those past events to the Black Lives Matter movement and campus protests of the present. Mother Jones writes: “The film is a gripping case study of the meticulous organizing, community engagement, and careful planning that went into two of the most effective student strikes in American history.”

66 min.

Directed by

Frank Dawson & Abby Ginzberg

Film Category

Human Rights Spotlight Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight Race in America: The Black Experience Women in Film Spotlight
With co-directors Dawson and Ginzberg.

Co-presented with Washington University Libraries' Film & Media Archive as part of the Henry Hampton Film Series

Sponsored by

African & African-American Studies Program at Washington University

Film Website

Official Website