Award-Winning Documentary on Soulforce's Equality Ride, Equality U, Released to DVD Format June 1

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Cinevolve Studios announced that Equality U, the award-winning documentary on the first-ever Soulforce Equality Ride in 2006, will become available in DVD format June 1. According to Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, Executive Director of Soulforce, the film provides an opportunity to educate people on LGBTQ equality issues. She sees Equality U as a “sleeper” with the potential to rudely awaken administrators of religious based colleges and universities and their affiliated denominations.

Any of us who are working or worshiping within mainstream religious institutions need to watch this film and pay attention to its message. - Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, Executive Director, Soulforce

Cinevolve Studios announced that Equality U, the award-winning documentary on the first-ever Soulforce Equality Ride in 2006, will become available in DVD format today.

The film, from director Dave O’Brien, is a feature-length documentary that follows a group of 33 young activists from Soulforce, a national non-profit organization dedicated to nonviolently confronting and ending anti-LGBTQ discrimination, on its first-ever Equality Rider. The initial Equality Ride is a two-month tour across the United States to 19 conservative religious and military colleges, to confront policies that ban or discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and faculty.

According to Rev. Dr. Cindi Love, Executive Director of Soulforce, Equality U is a “sleeper” with the potential to rudely awaken administrators of religious based colleges and universities and their affiliated denominations. First tagged as a movie about gay young adults tackling "the establishment," this film is now understood as a critical lens into American culture where young adults are now half as likely to attend church weekly or more (15% of 20-year-olds and 20% of 30-year-olds attend church weekly or more, compared to about 40% of older adults). Lower rates of attendance may signal a long-term trajectory of reduced religious participation, effectively “shrinking” mainstream religious institutions and their affiliated colleges and universities.

Love notes when young adults do elect to participate in organized religion, they are characterized, by some sociologists, as the catalyst for new, consciously postmodern, nonhierarchical and radically inclusive churches. These young people are much more inclined to support a multicultural and pluralistic community-type congregation that is very fluid in its racial/ethnic and sexual/gender composition.

“While it is too soon to know what kind of emerging adult spirituality or religious practice will dominate the United States throughout the next century,” Love notes, “there is sufficient evidence to indicate that exclusionary and discriminatory policies toward women, people of color, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people will not get high marks.”

Love says, “Any of us who are working or worshiping within mainstream religious institutions need to watch this film and pay attention to its message. Young adults are edgy and have little patience with traditional paternalistic or patriarchal attitudes or expressions of authority. When it comes to matters of the spirit, they want to live their lives out in the same way they communicate on Facebook, where barriers are few and far between, and in this, they are quintessentially American.”

The movie has already gained attention since its debut at a number of top gay and lesbian film festivals in 2008. The movie has won numerous awards, including Outstanding Emerging Talent at Outfest 2008 and several Best Documentary and Best Feature awards. It also has aired on cable channel Logo a number of times since debuting there in January 2009.

The movie is available for purchase or rental through Amazon.com, Netflix, or hundreds of online and physical retailers nationwide.

For more information on Soulforce and the Equality Ride, visit Soulforce's website at http://www.soulforce.org.

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