Common Ground Film Lineup Announced

Tickets for Common Ground with T. Morgan Dixon and James Q. Martin, Nov 2. at 7:00 PM, are available here

Join Morgan Dixon, CEO of GirlTrek, the largest health organization for Black women in America, and award-winning filmmaker James Q Martin—two friends who hate diversity panels but love fighting for the planet together—as they learn from a Black mountaineer, a Muslim immigrant, a Native American spiritual advisor and a White cowboy-in-training that it’s going to take all of us working our hardest to protect our public lands.  

Since becoming friends at last year’s SHIFT, the two powerful leaders in the outdoor industry have spent a year in conversation about their differences, blind spots and the urgency of collaboration to do Big Work to protect the sacred lands of both their grandparents, who were sharecroppers and fisherman respectively. Their goal is to present beautiful films of people with different backgrounds who decided to take action as they engage the audience and stars of the films in a conversation about differences, inspiration and what’s next.

The evening will begin with a presentation of The 2017 SHIFT Award winners, followed by a lineup of films introduced by their producers, directors and protagonists, who will then discuss, on stage, what we need to do as Americans to protect the places in which we play.


Janet Valenzuela: “Why Do You Do This Work?”

Producer/Director: WZRD Media | Run time: 1:32 minutes

2016 Emerging Leader Janet Valenzuela, a Field Ranger for the Angeles National Forest and student in Chicano/a Studies at California State University-Northridge, made waves during Terry Tempest Williams’ opening night presentation with her keynote address on the environmental challenges facing her community in Huntington Park, CA. Here, she outlines the disconnect between the world she dreams of and the world she and her community call home.

An American Ascent

Producers/Directors: George Potter & Andy Adkins | Run time: 6:30 minutes

AN AMERICAN ASCENT is a documentary film about the first African-American expedition to tackle North America’s highest peak, Denali.

In only a few decades the United States will become a majority-minority nation, as people of color will outnumber today’s white majority for the first time ever. Yet, a staggering number of people in this soon-to-be majority do not consider the outdoors as a place for them. By taking on the grueling, 20,310 foot peak of the continent’s biggest mountain, nine African-American climbers set out to shrink this Adventure Gap by building a legacy of inclusion in the outdoor/adventure community.

The film addresses often overlooked issues of race and the outdoors as it follows the team up the mountain, chronicling the many challenges of climbing one of the worlds most iconic peaks.

Project Diversify Outdoors

Producers/Directors: Byrds Eye Studio, Raleigh North Carolina / Danielle Williams, (@melaninbasecamp) | Run time: 2:00 minutes

In person: Danielle Williams

Project Diversify is a video collaboration between Danielle Williams from Melanin Base Camp and Bethany Lebewitz from Brown Girls Climb. Their goal is to increase the visibility of Women of Color in Adventure Sports. The genesis was their concern about the invisibility of adventure athletes of color—especially women.

Project Diversify is their story. They are strong, empowered and resilient. They care about our communities and about conserving public lands. They’re passing on their love of the outdoors to the next generation and realize that representation matters.

lacustrine . I and Bears Ears . II

Producer/Director: Alisha Anderson | Run time:0:47 minutes and 2:25 minutes

2017 Utah Diné Bikéyah Bears Ears Artist-in-Residence Alisha Anderson looks at America’s newest national monument through an extraordinary lens, the clarity of which will make you think of Bears Ears in startling new terms.

Flint Water Crisis // Home

Director: Sarah Rinaldi, Editor: Anthony Cortese, Shot by Jason Thompson| Narration: J.K. Simmons | Run time: 6:00 minutes

A short documentary narrated by J.K. Simmons about the Flint Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan. Produced in 2016 for CBS.

Chip Thomas: The Incredible Navajo Reservation Art of Jetsonorama

Producer: Rebecca Simpson Steele | Run time: 3:11 minutes

Using blown-up photographs and homemade wheat paste, Dr. Chip Thomas shares his way of healing off the clock in Arizona’s Navajo reservation.

When Black Women Walk, Things Change

Producer: TED | Run time: 5:00 minutes

In person: T. Morgan Dixon

T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison, founders of the health nonprofit GirlTrek, are on a mission to reduce the leading causes of preventable death among Black women — and build communities in the process. How? By getting one million women and girls to prioritize their self-care, lacing up their shoes and walking in the direction of their healthiest, most fulfilled lives.

Soul Fire Farm: Feeding the Soul, Growing Community

Producer: The Laura Flanders Show | Run time: 8:29

A farm in upstate New York is dedicated to addressing the painful history of farmwork to Black people in the US, while also growing fresh vegetables and community surrounding it.

Kavita Shukla: Inspired 

Producer: Moroccanoil Director: Bryce Dallas Howard | Run time: 3:43

The most inspiring ideas have relevance to everyone. Kavita Shukla was just a middle schooler when she realized that extending the life of food could change the lives of millions. Now, at 29, her invention, FreshPaper is revolutionizing food storage and freshness in 35 countries and recently launched in grocery stores in the United States. In this film, we see Kavita realizing the huge potential of FreshPaper—from a farmer’s market where fresh groceries are kept at their very best, to a food bank where thousands in under-served communities will benefit from her inspired thinking.

The Cowboy and the The Climber

Producer/Director: James ‘Q’ Martin Run time: 3 min 

Sneak Peek. In person: James Q Martin

Director and Co-Star James ‘Q’ Martin provides a sneak preview of his upcoming film, The Cowboy and the Climber, which follows him and rancher Matt Redd as they participate in the gritty realities of each other’s world with first-hand experiences. The film and multimedia created from the project will be used to entertain and educate a wide range of audiences on the realities of conservation, climbing, and ranching in one of the most iconic climbing areas in the world: Indian Creek. 

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