Gabby Giffords life was almost ended by an assassin's bullet, but she refused to surrender. Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down is a critically acclaimed documentary and a testament to her courage in fighting back--physically, mentally, and emotionally--and committing to ending gun violence to prevent others from suffering as she did.
In this 2023 Share My Lesson Virtual Conference session uses Gabby's story, and the powerful documentary about her experience, to inspire educators and offer tangible resources and tools for tackling challenging topics in the classroom, such as gun violence, and to demonstrate the versatility and power of this resource to teach a wide array of important topics. From civics and community service learning to important discussions on mental health and media responsibility, to compelling resources on career pathways, this resource is incredibly adaptable and our webinar will be as well as we explore each of these learning areas and ways to use the power of film and biographical stories to increase student learning and engagement.
Participants will walk away with facilitation guidelines that help prepare a classroom for discussions and learning around rich and complex topics as well as free resources that can be used immediately in the classroom.
Jen Fischer is a writer, film producer, and teaching artist whose work focuses on highlighting shared human experiences to cultivate empathy and understanding. Her films have screened across the United States and abroad and have been featured by NBCLatino, ABC, Univision, Fusion, NBCBLK, Vice News, etc. with her film “THE wHOLE” premiering at Amnesty International’s 50th Anniversary Human Rights Conference. Her educational and/or film writing has been featured by Edutopia, Video Librarian, Ms. Magazine, Parents Magazine and others. She is also the Executive Director. She has developed curriculum for LA’s BEST, the Metta Center for Nonviolence and in conjunction with the Outreach Center for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, where she received her M.A. She holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and enjoys playing the piano and creating unique educational experiences for her two children.
Danika Sudik is a lecturer in the Department of Theatre & Dance at UC Davis where she teaches courses in Acting, Acting for Screen, Directing, and Theatre and Dance History. She is an Ovation nominated director/actor, arts educator, and theatre maker whose practices center social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Her education programs and curricula have been used by Center Theatre Group’s Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatre, The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, Bonnie Franklin’s Classic & Contemporary American Plays, and Journeys in Film, amongst others. Ms. Sudik is a Survivor Fellow and Survivors Connect Lead with Everytown Survivor Network, a Climate Reality Leader, and belongs to the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
James Willard is the deputy engagement director at Giffords, joining the team in 2018 as a founding member of the Engagement team. James develops and implements campaigns to build the organization’s coalition of gun violence prevention advocates across the country. He leads Giffords’ relationships with survivors and prioritizes the voices of people most impacted by gun violence.
Prior to joining Giffords, James was a project manager at Peak XV Global Events, a Visitors Office intern in President Obama’s White House, and a special projects manager at Organizing for Action. James holds a BS in political science from Central Michigan University.