Christopher Spence and CMS Productions Announce the Release of the Documentary ‘Jail or Yale: Young, Black and Out of Options?’

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Focused on the problem of structural racism in the education system, the documentary ‘Jail or Yale: Young, Black and Out of Options?’ looks at the ramifications on Black males as they progress through life.

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Director and Producer, Christopher Spence, with the support of CMS Productions, takes a deep dive into the issue of structural racism in the American education system with the documentary ‘Jail or Yale: Young, Black and Out of Options?’ and examines the long-term ramifications on the lives of Black men as they age.

Significant data reveals that Black students are being pushed into prison through school systems, known as the school-to-prison pipeline. The numbers don’t lie: 40% of students expelled from U.S. schools each year are Black, 70% of students involved with “in-school” arrests or referred to law enforcement are Black or Latino, Black students are 3.5x more likely to be suspended than Whites, Black and Latino students are 2x more likely to not graduate high school as Whites, and 68% of all males in state and federal prison do not have a high school diploma.

Avraham Azrieli says, “In summary, with an absorbing, dramatic and haunting combination of words and images ‘Jail or Yale: Young, Black and Out of Options?’ delivers a captivating picture of systemic failure, yet draws a brilliant blueprint for a comprehensive turnaround of our educational system, aiming to shatter forever the racist and amoral School-to-Prison Pipeline. Highly recommended!”

The documentary made its debut at The (In) Justice for All International Film Festival on Wednesday, October 9th, with future screenings scheduled, including:

  • Wednesday, October 9 - Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, Black Law Student Association presents ‘Jail or Yale: Young, Black and Out of Options?’ at the Northwestern University Law School Student Lounge, 375 E Chicago Ave, Chicago
  • Friday, October 11, 7:30 pm - 9 pm - Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church presents ‘Healing Trauma: Beyond Gangs and Prisons’ by Director Robert Greenwald and ‘Jail or Yale: Young, Black and Out of Options?’ by Director Christopher Spence, at the Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church, 405 S Euclid Ave, Oak Park
  • Saturday October 12, 1 pm - 2:30 pm - The Color Matters Short Film Series by the High School for Recording Arts, St. Paul, MN presents ‘Jail or Yale: Young, Black and Out of Options?’ at Trinity UCC Atrium, 400 W. 95th Street, Chicago

Columbia Book and Film Review says “Prolific author, director, producer Christopher M Spence, whose film ‘Silence the Violence’ and books ‘SnowBall’ and ‘Ice Cold’ have been reviewed by us with high praise, and whose other works include ‘Making Waves’, ‘Teammates’, ‘SkinGames’, ‘No J’, and ‘Football’s Pioneering Duo’, has created another superb documentary ‘Jail or Yale: Young, Black and Out of Options?’ This time, Spence explores the most crucial — and devastating — social crisis of present-day America: the structural racism in the U.S. educational system and its ruinous impact on countless black males for the rest of their lives.”

More About CMS Productions:
In 1992 CMS Productions was formed with the intention of developing educational resources that reflected the needs and utilized the talents of visible minorities. CMS projects have received funding from the Ministry of Health, Department of Multiculturalism and Heritage, Employment and Immigration Canada, the National Crime Prevention Centre, The National Film Board, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and Boards of Education

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