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Two free movie screenings deal with social justice issues

"Girl Rising," a film about barriers to education for girls and women around the world, and "Gideon's Army," about legal representation for indigent clients, will be shown on UNG's Gaineville Campus.

This month, the University of North Georgia (UNG) will host screenings of two documentaries dealing with social justice issues – education for women around the world in "Girl Rising," and legal representation for indigent clients in "Gideon's Army." Both screenings are free and open to the public, and an attorney featured in "Gideon's Army" will be speaking at that screening.

The screening of "Girl Rising" is set for 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 10 at the Martha T. Nesbitt Building, room 3110, on UNG's Gainesville Campus. The screening, held in conjunction with the Oct. 11 International Day of the Girl, aims to increase the awareness of the barriers to education faced by young girls and women around the world. "Girl Rising," directed by Samantha Wright, is an Academy Award-winning film featuring nine unforgettable girls born into unforgiving circumstances.

"We believe in the power of education to change not only a girl, but the world," said Dr. Robert Michael, dean of UNG's College of Education. "By hosting an International Day of the Girl event at UNG, we are demonstrating our commitment to breaking down the barriers that prevent girls around the world from going to school. We are proud to be part of this growing movement, raising visibility on our campus alongside thousands of other events worldwide."

The screening is sponsored by the College of Education, the Center for Language Education and the College of Health Sciences & Professions at UNG as well as the Center for the Advancement and Study of International Education.

On Oct. 15, Travis Williams, an attorney from Gainesville, Ga.,  who played a leading role in the award-winning HBO Films documentary "Gideon's Army," will hold a question-and-answer session after a showing of the film on the university's Gainesville Campus.

"Gideon's Army" tells the story of three Southern public defenders, including Williams, who strive to provide strong representation for their clients in a criminal justice system strained with assumptive processes and attorneys battling caseloads over the maximum limit.

More than 12 million people are arrested in the United States each year. Fifty years after the landmark Gideon v. Wainwright case, which paved the way for the creation and expansion of public defenders' offices, most of those 12 million defendants will be represented by one of the nation's 15,000 public defenders.

"This incredible documentary shows the impact on a community when people don't get proper legal representation," said Robert Robinson, UNG's director of multicultural student affairs. "Many of our students will be working in the community, making this a great opportunity for firsthand, practical experience. The Human Services and Delivery Administration program will be bringing many of their students, as will several other departments. We are also glad to be able to provide this opportunity to community members, and hope to see many of them in attendance as well."

"Gideon's Army" was an official selection in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film was awarded the editing prize at the festival, and premiered on Jan. 21 at the event during a week-long screening.

Presented by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and the Human Services and Delivery Administration program at UNG, the film showing is free and open to the public, and will be held from 1-3 p.m. in room 3110 of the Martha T. Nesbitt Building on the Gainesville Campus.

Refreshments will be served following the viewing.

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