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Thursday, September 19, 2013 - Acclaimed documentary screening examines drug war
By Katie Land, news editor

On some level, America’s longtime War on Drugs has touched nearly everyone in the nation in a personal, family, professional or academic way. This September, the issue will draw Oakland University students, faculty and staff and the surrounding community into a conversation and film screening event.

Hosted by Oakland’s Criminal Justice program, there will be a free screening of the award-winning drug war documentary film, “The House I Live In,” followed by a conversation with director Eugene Jarecki. The event is set for 5-9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, in Varner Recital Hall.

“While the War on Drugs is a criminal justice issue, it also touches so many other disciplines – social work, sociology, political science, history, counseling, psychology, and public health, for example – that this film should have broad appeal across both the university and local communities,” said Amanda Burgess-Proctor, assistant professor of criminal justice.

“That's a significant reason why we selected this film – so many individuals, families, and communities have been affected by the drug war that students need not be interested in criminal justice specifically to get something out of attending this event.”

Winner of the 2012 Sundance Grand Jury Award, “The House I Live in” was bankrolled by prominent filmmakers including Brad Pitt, Danny Glover, and John Legend, and is regarded by many as the most powerful cinematic treatment of the drug war ever produced.

The screening event also has important connections for OU's new Addiction Studies concentration, which is popular among criminal justice, social work, and other students, Dr. Burgess-Proctor explained. She hopes to generate a complex discussion between Jarecki, students and community members.

“I hope that attending this event challenges students to examine contemporary crime and drug policy more analytically,” Dr. Burgess-Proctor continued. “I hope that attending this event encourages them to examine the evidence about what works – and what doesn't – and at what cost. I also am thrilled that local criminal justice and social service agencies will be sending representatives to make this event a great opportunity for students to network.”

The event will kick off with an opening reception featuring free refreshments and information tables representing local criminal justice, mental health, and other social service agencies that serve communities affected by the drug war.

The documentary will run from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a conversation with Jarecki, who will discuss his work and take questions from the audience.

This event is free and open to the public. Details and additional information can be found at Reserve a place at Eventbrite or Facebook.

For more information about programs, courses, and events through OU’s Criminal Justice Program, view the website

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