Last night, the Honors Program sponsored a screening of the new, award-winning documentary, A2-B-C (huge thanks to Dean Middleton for handling the technological side of this event). The film focuses on the growing numbers of thyroid tumors appearing in children exposed to radiation after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. The event drew members from the campus and Eugene communities.
Honors student, Lonnie Clark (right), talks with honors instructor, Eileen Thompson (left), before the screening. Lonnie has already been very involved with raising awareness about the situation in Fukushima.
After the screening, event organizer and honors instructor Sarah Lushia, and art faculty Satoko Motouji, set up a Skype question/answer session with the film’s director, Ian Thomas Ash. For half an hour students and community members asked Ash about the current situation in Fukushima and his experience making the documentary.
Satoko (left) and Sarah (right) during the Skype session.
After the Skype session, attendees also had a chance to film messages of support to the families in the film. Ash is collecting these messages from screenings of the film all over the world. He will edit them and give them to the families he follows in the documentary. We were also able to write notes to Ash on index cards that Sarah will send to him.
Sarah talking with Sandy Brown Jensen before Sandy filmed our messages to the families.
The evening’s event reinforced for me that an honors program has a responsibility not only to provide educational opportunities outside of the classroom, but to make these opportunities available to the larger campus and city communities. These events become loci for engaged discourse among students, faculty, staff, and community members, and they are one of many ways that honors programs give back to their communities.