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An Unlikely Friendship video and curriculum guide

Posted Monday, January 5, 2004

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Video, curriculum guide is published for students, teachers

Audience response has been extremely positive.

CHAPEL HILL, NC -- Researchers at the FPG Child Development Institute (FPG) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill) have joined three Triangle institutions to create a training curriculum for a "powerful" and "optimistic" video documentary on race relations.

An Unlikely Friendship is the true story of how C.P. Ellis, an embittered Klansman, and Ann Atwater, an outspoken black woman activist, overcame their hatred for one another and formed a life-long friendship. The video was produced by Diane Bloom and funded by the Carolina Center for Public Service in 2001.

WUNC-TV is expected to air a new 26-minute version of the film at 10:30 p.m., Jan. 19.

"The film was first shown several years ago and audience response has been extremely positive, especially in regard to its capacity for generating discussion and its potential for educating the general public and students about civil rights and race issues," said Pam Winton, a senior scientist at FPG.

Bloom said, "An Unlikely Friendship is not only about black/white issues in the United States. It is about all forms of group hatred that are so prevalent in our world today. It is a hopeful and optimistic film, because if two people as different as Ann and C.P. could transcend stereotypes and form such a strong and loving bond, so can the rest of us."

A curriculum and video guide aimed at middle school, secondary school and college students was recently completed to accompany the video. In addition to FPG, partners in this project were the Kenan Institute for Ethics and the Office for Institutional Equity at Duke University, with a grant from the Carolina Center for Public Service.

The 20-page curriculum and video guide includes objectives, activities, role-plays, discussion questions for various age levels, and much more. The curriculum is free online at
http://www.fpg.unc.edu/~walkingthewalk/pdfs/unlikely_friendship.pdf

Chairs of the history departments at three Triangle high schools helped with focus groups to develop the curriculum guide. Also, early childhood teacher preparation graduate and undergraduate programs at UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, Meredith College, and Shaw University participated in the focus groups.

The instruction kit, which includes the video and printed curriculum, is $69.95 and can be ordered by calling 919-967-2110.

The N.C. Museum of History, Raleigh, plans to use the curriculum in a variety of programs in 2004.

 
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