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Teen arrested in NC Voting Rights Demonstration Speaks Out

  Molly McDonough turned 18 a few days after the 2012 election. She was arrested during a demonstration at the North Carolina state capitol to ensure that her right to vote is protected. Among a slew of new laws intended to restrict voting rights in North Carolina is an astonishingly cynical law aimed to limit the vote of college students. The parents of students who vote in North Carolina will be penalized on their tax returns, unless the students return home to cast their ballots.   Continue reading

North Carolina to Pursue New Restrictions on Voting

News from North Carolina is that a new Voter ID bill will be introduced this week. Many conservatives we have talked to in North Carolina are concerned that demographic shift will make it more difficult for Republicans to win elections, especially at the statewide level. Others have told us that the motivation for Voter ID laws has to do with concerns about voter impersonation. They point to the fact that, often, voters who move out of state or have passed away are not removed from voter roles in a timely fashion, which leaves the door open to fraud.   Continue reading

The Economic Elite Divides Us

My general worry is that the economic elite has irreconcilably split the rest of the country into a red and blue fight over mostly settled issues while they simultaneously siphon off most the growth in wealth of this country.   Continue reading

Story of Ju Hong, a Dreamer

My name is Ju Hong and I am an undocumented immigrant. I was born in South Korea on October 23rd, 1989. In South Korea, my parents had a Japanese restaurant in downtown Seoul. Due to the economic recession, my parents hardly made any income from our business. Continue reading

Roger Ebert and Me: In Loving Memory

I learned that Roger had passed in an email from my mother, read to me by Annabel while on one of our frequent road trips. It took a long while to sink in. It happens from time to time that there are erroneous reports. But when I read the blog post by his lovely wife, Chaz, I knew it was true: Continue reading

Connecting Selma and Newtown

Selma, Alabama is, triumphantly, associated with voting rights. Newtown, Connecticut is, tragically, associated with gun violence. Tonight we connect the issues thanks to our special guests, Chellette and Darren, on The Middle Ground.     Continue reading

V O T I N G R I G H T S in 2013 — Gov. McDonnell Caves In to Partisans

I recently wrote that "Rebranding the Republican party" and voter suppression are incompatible. Last year, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) seemed to agree. But this week he changed his mind about that to the surprise of many, including me.   Continue reading

Writing from Selma, Alabama

Eric and I have been filming in Selma, Alabama documenting the Bridge Crossing Jubilee held every year to commemorate the 1965 march for voting rights across Edmund Pettus Bridge and the violent treatment of the marchers by the police, referred to as Bloody Sunday.   Continue reading

NEW VIDEO: Tea Party Values, the Civil War and Race in Raleigh, NC

  Annabel Park recently spoke to Diane Rufino, leader of the Eastern North Carolina Tea Party, at the "Honor the Oath" rally at the State Capitol in Raleigh.   Continue reading

Rev. Dr. William Barber on protecting voting rights in America

Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP, was interviewed on MSNBC at a protest yesterday in front of the US Supreme Court as it considered striking down section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.  Barber later released this statement:   Continue reading

Filmmakers' Diary: Why are we making this film?

In six years of collaboration, this is the first time I've uploaded a video of Annabel Park and me discussing our work. The night before, we had watched a classic documentary by Ross McElwee called Sherman's March, and, as Annabel was dropping me off at the airport, we began a conceptual exchange about our new film, Story of America. Annabel came up with a new idea that I thought worth recording.    Continue reading

Virtual Townhalls with Coffee Party USA

Eric and I are really enjoying and learning from the dialogue we are having on the Virtual Townhall series on Coffee Party Radio. The next Virtual Townhall is on Sunday (3/3) on the 3-year anniversary of the Coffee Party. This is the updated schedule for the Virtual Towhnall series in collaboration with the Story of America. Schedule of Upcoming Townhalls Continue reading

Are we zombies to each other?

The deep divisions that exist in America along political, economic and cultural lines have led many Americans to take a highly cynical view of government and its power to serve the people. As we count down the final hours and minutes in which our leaders are unable to avert our economic plunge off the fiscal cliff, that cynicism and fatalism is reinforced.   Continue reading

Is another country better for pursuing my dreams?

I'm not really sure what the "American Dream" is. For some people, maybe it's to get "rich." But I don't care about being rich. One of my dreams is to do as much good, in my way, for as many people as I can before my time on this planet is up. Another one of my dreams is to live a happy, healthy life, and have a happy, healthy family. Continue reading

We Live in a Time of Confusion

Growing up, I was allowed to be open about religious issues although I was raised in a Jewish household with Jewish culture. My town didn’t have many Jews but had a number of churches. I was most certainly outnumbered growing up as I was usually the only Jew I knew in school besides my sister. It had a great deal of impact on me to be the different one. Continue reading

Response to "TEA Party Values" video

For me the key takeaway is that, again, an otherwise decent person promotes an overtly and covertly racist and classist agenda with utter ignorance, while truly feeling victimized and baffled by allegations of same. I used to think that ignorance was willful.  Continue reading

Darren's Journey: From Fear to Courage in Sandy Hook

The journey of Darren Wagner will help you touch the surface of an ocean of despair that has washed over Newtown and Sandy Hook, Connecticut. We had to stop filming after Darren told this story to Annabel. She was overcome with tears and could not muster a follow-up question. Behind the camera, I was crying too.   Continue reading

Our Supporters

A big thanks to all our funders! These are donors who agreed to have their names acknowledged on our website. Alan BailyAlex RigopulosAlfred F. HowingtonAmanda MessengerAndres UsecheAnne M. WenzelBen RobertsBernadette EvangelistBettina WinterBill HeneghanBob SettleBright LimmBruce RosenCameron KrugerCharles KimCheryl RametteChris KiblerChristopher RockwoodCorey PaulsonCyndie WebsterDan PageDaniel MayedaDavid MatarassoDeborah PollackDebra LillyDeede SnowhiteDianna RichardsonEdwin ValasquezElisa BatistaElizabeth SavinoEric BylerEsther ChaeEzekiel ChangFlorence HammelevFranci TartaglinoFrank PlucinskiFranke HonoreGaye KopasGeorge SlawsonGregory ManganHarriet JeffriesHarry YoonInga CarmackJames GlaserJanice McAlisterJeanene LoudenJennifer DevlinJenny CaseyJesse MayesJessie GrahamJim GallagherJinny JungJohn FefferJohn GlassmyerJohn ParkJohn SidorovichJon ParkerJordonJudith AlefJudith HowellKathy DeasyKris LokenLaurie AtwaterLenny MendoncaLynda ParkMark DursoMartha MurphyMichael LevinMichael ReichMiranda Morton YapNancy LindseyPat HallPeter CardilloQuincy YuenRandy ClarkRebecca MordiniRich HarringtonRichard EvansRichard SpearRobert BergesonRogers GlendaRon BurrSarah JohnScott BelfordScott SchuckShaun DakinStephanie DrenkaStephanie LeeSteve ParkSteve WaltonSusie KimSusie ZamoraTeddy GoodsonTerry SullivanTerry WilliamsTess Pope To support our work, you can make a tax deductible donation HERE.

A big thanks to our supporters!

A big thanks to the 103 people who donated to our first crowdfunding campaign! We raised a total of $17,854 in six weeks. In addition to these funds, donations were made directly to Story of America making the total raised for our seed money nearly $33,000.   Continue reading

Newtown Families Lead March on Gun Control

The Wagner Family lives in Sandy Hook, the Newtown, CT enclave where the Dec. 14 gun massacre took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Darren Wagner is a former Deputy Sheriff. His wife, Georgia Monaghan Wagner is a writer and editor of The Newtowner, a local literary magazine.   Continue reading