Home Entertainment Emmy-Award Winning Director Stanley Nelson Announces New Film on the History of HBCUs with Launch of HBCURising.com
Emmy-Award Winning Director Stanley Nelson Announces New Film on the History of HBCUs with Launch of HBCURising.com

Emmy-Award Winning Director Stanley Nelson Announces New Film on the History of HBCUs with Launch of HBCURising.com


New York, NY – Emmy-Award winning director Stanley Nelson, today announced his new film Tell Them We Are Rising:The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with the launch of HBCURising.com. This marks the first comprehensive film on the history of HBCUs and the director’s first multimedia, crowdsourced project accompanying the production and release of an upcoming documentary.

Tell Them We Are Rising will span across 170 years of American history, exploring the pivotal role HBCUs have played in the ascent of African Americans and their families – from slavery to the present day. HBCU students, alumni, families and faculty are invited to contribute to the project by sharing personal photos, videos, and stories capturing their HBCU experience at HBCURising.com and by using #HBCURising.

All contributed content will be curated and shared in the HBCU Rising Digital Yearbook, and during HBCU campus and community events leading up to the film’s premiere on PBS in October 2017.

“I hope everyone who has been touched by the HBCU experience gets involved in sharing what it means to carry the pride of the HBCU community and be a part of the rich HBCU legacy,” Nelson said about his latest project. “My hope is that through this film and project, our nation will have a greater understanding of the history, impact and unique contributions HBCUs, their students and alumni have made to American society.”

Nelson and his team are currently participating in six HBCU Homecomings, interviewing students, alumni and faculty who will be featured in the film.

“We’re honored to produce the first film on the history of HBCUs, but we are equally excited to use technology to collaborate with audiences because the story of HBCUs far surpasses what can be told in one documentary,” Nelson said. “It’s the personal stories of innumerable lives transformed by these institutions over hundreds of years at the forefront of this narrative, and this is our effort to leave no story behind.”

Partners in Tell Them We Are Rising and HBCURising.com include The Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the United Negro College Fund. Additional partners will be announced over the coming months.

For more information and to recieve updates on Tell Them We Are Rising, visit HBCURising.com.

For media interviews and requests, contact Sonya Childress at Sonya@firelightmedia.org.


About Stanley Nelson

Stanley Nelson is one of the foremost chroniclers of the African American experience working in nonfiction film today. His films, many of which have aired on PBS, combine compelling narratives with rich and deeply researched historical detail, shining new light on both familiar and under-explored aspects of the American past.

Over the course of his career, Nelson, a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, has received numerous honors including five Primetime Emmy Awards, an individual Peabody Award and the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. In 2013, Nelson received the National Medal in the Humanities from President Barack Obama.
About Firelight Media

Stanley Nelson and Marcia A. Smith, founded Firelight Media, a nonprofit production company dedicated to using historical film to advance contemporary social justice causes, and to mentoring, inspiring and training a new generation of diverse young filmmakers committed to advancing underrepresented stories.

In addition to a focus on excellence in filmmaking, Firelight has a long history and is one of only a handful of media organizations with a permanent engagement division — reaching and engaging diverse audiences and using historical film to support contemporary social justice organizing. By collaborating with local and national organizations that are committed to a range of social justice issues, Firelight has successfully impacted, inspired and engaged audiences across the country and around the world with its work.