Congressman John Lewis’ Legacy Celebrated With ‘Good Trouble’ Campaign To Inspire Social Change

Congressman John Lewis’ Legacy Celebrated With ‘Good Trouble’ Campaign To Inspire Social Change

To coincide with a new documentary on the legendary Civil Rights leader, a new social justice campaign is emerging

Published June 19th

Written by BET Staff

LOS ANGELES (June 19, 2020)- Participant, the leading media company dedicated to entertainment that inspires audiences to engage in positive social change, today announced the “Good Trouble” impact campaign to coincide with the release of the new documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble and in commemoration of Juneteenth, the annual celebration of the emancipation from slavery. John Lewis: Good Trouble, which Magnolia Pictures and Participant will release in select theaters and on demand on July 3, tells the story of Congressman John Lewis, an American hero and inspirational symbol of civil rights. By refusing to give up the fight for racial justice, equality, and voting rights, Congressman Lewis is the embodiment of what it means to do the right thing - no matter what. As he puts it, making “good trouble.”

“We’re proud to celebrate the iconic legacy of Congressman John Lewis in partnership with some of the leading voices in the fight for all our democratic principles,” said David Linde, CEO of Participant. “Together, we’re excited to make some good trouble, support disenfranchised communities in fully participating in their democratic rights and raise awareness about the power of every vote.”

In partnership with Congressman John Lewis, the filmmakers, Participant, Magnolia Pictures, Color Farm Media, When We All Vote, Fair Fight, BET, NAACP, Color of Change, Black Voters Matter, VoteRiders, the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, Rock the Vote, HBCU Heroes, and locally led community groups, the campaign will provide opportunities to support voting rights, participate in civic engagement actions and support local efforts that empower disenfranchised communities to fully participate in our democracy.

The campaign will also partner with:

●  National and local organizations dedicated to voting rights and civic engagement to particularly focus efforts in Georgia and North Carolina, where the 2013 decision by the Supreme Court to gut the Voting Rights Act led to a wave of new voter suppression laws.

●  HBCU Heroes to make the film available at all Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). The program will offer the film as an educational backdrop to increase voter registration and participation amongst young African Americans, and raise awareness about Congressman Lewis’ civil rights legacy including his tireless work on voting rights.

●  Houses of Worship, which play a critical role in mobilizing local communities for civic engagement, to support new and existing get out the vote (GOTV) efforts.

The campaign can be found at makegoodtrouble.com, a digital hub that will provide resources to learn about voting rights and voter suppression across the country, including how to check your voter registration status, register to vote, know your polling place and support nonpartisan partners’ efforts to register voters. The hub also includes the Good Trouble Handbook, which will provide resources on voting rights and help audiences develop a plan to vote and get into “Good Trouble,” including ensuring you have the right kind of ID to vote and applying for your mail-in or absentee ballot.

"Congressman Lewis is a living example of courage and faith in action,” said Erika Alexander and Ben Arnon of Color Farm Media. “Color Farm is excited about the amazing partners who have joined us to make sure this film has meaningful impact on the ground during this historic transformation in America."

“The persistence of voter suppression has stolen the voices of voters for generations and continues to undercut millions of Americans’ right to fully participate in our democracy,” said Stacey Abrams, Founder of Fair Fight. “The time for change is now—which is why we are thrilled to lift up Congressman Lewis’ legacy and make some good trouble to ensure everyone can make their voices heard at the ballot box this November.”

"A moral fusion coalition is coming together in America's streets, demanding change. Now is the time for a Third Reconstruction to revive the heart of democracy,” said Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, President of Repairers of the Breach and Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: National Call for A Moral Revival. “A transformative agenda is possible, but we will not see the change that a rising majority in this nation longs for if we do not fight for the voting rights of every American. Congressman Lewis has given himself to this fight for over half a century. It's time for a new generation to pledge to get into "good trouble" and fight back against voter suppression."

“From protests, to polls, to policies, Congressman John Lewis has always been at the forefront of fighting for and protecting our constitutional rights while speaking truth to power” said Derrick Johnson, President & CEO, NAACP. “We are honored that this documentary will celebrate a life dedicated to public service. In an age where our voting rights remain under attack, John Lewis: Good Trouble serves as a reminder that there is much to be won if we are willing to stand in the gap and mobilize our communities. The greatest honor we could pay this American hero is to let our voices resound at the polls in November.”

“From Selma to Congress, the life and legacy of John Lewis serves as an inspiration to us all about what’s possible when we combine our protests and activism with mobilizing and voting. At When We All Vote, we are committed to continuing that legacy by ensuring every voice, including voices historically left out of our political voice, is heard,” said Crystal Carson, Director of Communications and Media Partnership at When We All Vote. “We hope viewers leave this documentary with an understanding that it's our duty to continue the example set by those before us, using our voices as powerfully at the ballot box as we do in the streets.”

“VoteRiders’ mission is inspired by John Lewis’ lifelong commitment to our democracy and our fundamental right to vote," said Shannon Anderson, COO of VoteRiders. "With obstacles to voting mounting at a breathtaking rate — and voter ID laws a formidable deterrent for voters of color in particular — Good Trouble provides a roadmap to a stronger democracy in which everyone is guaranteed a voice. Indeed, NOW is the time our country especially needs to hear the voice of Representative Lewis, and VoteRiders is profoundly honored to be a part of his living legacy.”

“John Lewis serves as a reminder of the importance of grassroots efforts and active engagement to advance civil rights, voter protections and so many of the causes at the forefront of our national dialogue right now,” said Allison Riggs, Chief Voting Rights Counsel and Interim Executive Director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. “I hope this documentary, and John’s story, will both educate and inspire this generation of activists as they continue to advance the causes to which he has dedicated his life.”

“HBCU students experienced the largest drop in voter turnout for the 2016 election,” said George Lynch, NBA veteran and Co-Founder of HBCU Heroes. “We’re honored to celebrate John Lewis and engage this critical audience to underscore how important it is for them to go to the polls.”

John Lewis: Good Trouble is a Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative Selection.

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About Participant

Founded by Chairman Jeff Skoll and under the leadership of CEO David Linde, Participant (www.participant.com) combines the power of a good story well told with real world impact and awareness around today’s most vital issues. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing the well over 2 billion consumers compelled to make meaningful content a priority focus.

As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 30 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake. Participant’s more than 100 films have collectively earned 74 Academy Award® nominations and 19 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Green Book and Best Foreign Language Film for ROMA and A Fantastic Woman. Participant’s digital division, SoulPancake(www.soulpancake.com), is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting content that reaches an audience of over 9 million fans. Follow Participant on Twitter (@Participant) and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow SoulPancake on Twitter (@soulpancake) and on Facebook and Instagram.

About MAGNOLIA PICTURES

The leading independent film distributor for nearly 20 years, Magnolia Pictures is the theatrical and home entertainment distribution arm of the Wagner/Cuban Companies. Recent releases include SLAY THE DRAGON, an urgent and eye-opening documentary about gerrymandering; Romanian crime thriller THE WHISTLERS, which world-premiered in competition at Cannes; Martin Scorsese, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard executive-produced documentary ONCE WERE BROTHERS: ROBBIE ROBERTSON AND THE BAND; CUNNINGHAM, director Alla Kovgan’s immersive documentary on visionary American choreographer Merce Cunningham; MISTER AMERICA, starring Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington; TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM, celebrating the life and career of the trailblazing literary icon; 2018 Cannes Palme d'Or winner and Oscar-nominated SHOPLIFTERS, from renowned Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Eda; SUPPORT THE GIRLS, Andrew Bujalski’s critically lauded film starring New York Film Critics Circle Best Actress award winner Regina Hall; Box office sensation and Oscar-nominated RBG, award-winning filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen’s documentary about the consequential life and legal legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Ruben Östlund’s 2017 Cannes Palme d'Or winner and Oscar-nominated THE SQUARE; and Raoul Peck and James Baldwin’s Oscar-nominated I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO. Upcoming releases include JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE, Dawn Porter’s timely chronicle of the life and career of the legendary civil rights activist and Democratic Representative from Georgia; THE FIGHT, a new documentary following a team of scrappy lawyers inside the ACLU as they battle President Trump’s historic assault on civil liberties; TWO OF US, the feature directorial debut of France-based Italian filmmaker Filippo Meneghetti; ABOUT ENDLESSNESS, Roy Andersson’s visually stunning Venice Best Director winner; and COLLECTIVE, a jaw-dropping expose of corruption at the highest levels of government.

About Color Farm Media

Color Farm Media is a 21st century entertainment, innovation, and social impact company. Color Farm works through entertainment and mass media to transform narratives, values, beliefs, and behaviors of people. Color Farm’s mission is to build an ecosystem that fosters greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in media, and that empowers and elevates voices who are underrepresented, overlooked, and undervalued. Color Farm is focused on producing scripted and unscripted content for multiple platforms (film, TV, streaming, podcast) that features multicultural characters and storylines for global, multicultural audiences.

Color Farm's next film release is John Lewis: Good Trouble, on which they're partnered with Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media, and CNN Films.  Color Farm’s co-founders are actress/writer/producer, Erika Alexander, and former Google executive and media entrepreneur, Ben Arnon.

Photo Credit: Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images for U.S. Postal Service

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