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Screengrab from 16 Bars
Scene from 16 Bars. Image: Courtesy Resonant Pictures.
5/9/24, 6pm - 8pm
Häfele New York City Showroom
1.5 LU / 1.5 HSW

How can architects be better advocates for a better world? The Reimagining Justice Film Festival will create the opportunity to encounter revolutionary ideas through investigating the history and lived experiences of people as we watch documentaries relating to Justice Reform, Environmental Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. For the 2024 festival, film screenings occur every Thursday in May. 

The second event on May 9 will feature the documentary 16 Bars by Sam Bathrick and Adam Barton, followed by a discussion with Dr. Sarah Scarbrough. With the United States locking up more of its citizens per capita than any other nation on the planet, one unique rehabilitation program in Richmond, Virginia aims to reduce recidivism rates via the creative process. 16 Bars follows four men who collaborate on an album with Grammy-winning artist Todd "Speech" Thomas to untangle painful memories of the past in order to begin a new chapter in their lives. Set at the Richmond City Justice Center, De'vonte, Anthony, Garland, and Teddy are all awaiting either trial or release. Though the four men come from different walks of life, they are alike in their current situation as they sign up for various programs, one of them being access to the center's makeshift recording studio where they can write and record their own original music. With the help of Speech Thomas from the acclaimed musical group Arrested Development, the men are able to express themselves through music. The unique music of the film serves as rare testimony to the raw and messy truth behind the criminal justice system's revolving door. Reaching into their difficult pasts, the inmates transform their various experiences, hopes, and fears into powerful songs. 

View the Series Flyer

Dr. Sarah Scarbrough, Founder and Director, REAL LIFE

Shaun Leonardo, Artist, Recess Art

About the Speakers:
Dr. Sarah Scarbrough is the founder and director of the REAL LIFE, a non-profit birthed from her program in the Richmond City Justice Center (jail) after continually seeing the obstacles and hurdles those exiting incarceration continued to faced. Her vision was to more comprehensively serve those in adverse situations and through REAL LIFE and the corresponding Community Center and recovery house, she and her staff are able to do just that. Serving hundreds of clients a year, REAL LIFE has continued to grow and expand. Prior to REAL LIFE, she worked in the Richmond jail for 10 years. For the latter five, she was the Program Director in the Richmond City Justice Center (jail) for 5 years, where programming under her umbrella received international and national attention due to the innovative approaches and proven effectiveness. Prior to this, she conducted 5 years of research on programming in the jail. Dr. Scarbrough has received several awards and recognitions for the impact her work has had on the community. Most recently, she was named a “Hometown Hero” by Allen, Allen, Allen, & Allen. In 2018. Dr. Scarborugh was one of the People of the Year honorees from the Richmond Times Dispatch. She was awarded the Edward Peoples Award for Social Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University, and was named one of the Top 40 under 40 in Richmond, VA. Dr. Scarbrough received her PhD and Master’s from Virginia Commonwealth University and bachelor’s degree from UVA Wise. When not working, she stays busy with her three young children and husband!

Shaun Leonardo is a Brooklyn-based artist from Queens. His multidisciplinary work negotiates societal expectations of manhood—namely surrounding black and brown masculinities and related notions of achievement, collective identity, and experience of failure. He joined Recess in 2021 as Co-Director, helping guide the organization’s continuous evolution as an engine of social change. His performance practice, anchored by his work in Assembly—the organization’s diversion program for court-involved youth—is participatory and invested in a process of embodiment. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, is a recipient of support from Creative Capital, Guggenheim Social Practice, Art for Justice, and A Blade of Grass, and was recently profiled in The New York Times and CNN. His work has been featured at institutions including the Guggenheim Museum, the High Line, and the New Museum.

More in the Reimagining Justice Film Festival:
Reimagining Justice Film Festival (1 of 5): Mothers of Bedford
Reimagining Justice Film Festival (3 of 5): Crip Camp, Gyo Obata, and More
Reimagining Justice Film Festival (4 of 5): TED Talk by JR, Unguarded, and More
Reimagining Justice Film Festival (5 of 5): Rights and Reactions

Organized by:
AIANY Architecture for Justice Committee

Supported by:
AIANY Women in Architecture Committee; AIANY Diversity and Inclusion Committee; AIANY Social Science and Architecture Committee; AIANY Committee on the Environment

Screengrab from 16 Bars
Scene from 16 Bars. Image: Courtesy Resonant Pictures.
5/9/24, 6pm - 8pm
Häfele New York City Showroom
Group 6 Created with Sketch.


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