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Up North Green Party

A Local of the Green Party of Michigan

The Up North Green Party invites the public and interested Green voters for a viewing and discussion of the documentary film The Hunting Ground on Thursday, February 22 at 6:30 pm, at the Red Sky Stage, 445 East Mitchell Street, Petoskey.

The Hunting Ground, which premiered in 2015, documents the survivors of rape and sexual assault on the nation's college campuses through first-person testimonies and expert insights. The film follows two college activists who network with other survivors at colleges and universities around the country and use a Title IX legal strategy to fight the educational institutions that have for so long tried to silence them.

"What happened at MSU isn't the first time a college protected sexual assault perpetrators and tried to silence survivors. One in five women in college are sexually assaulted, and few perpetrators are held responsible," said LuAnne Kozma, Up North Green Party co-chair.

The public is becoming more aware of the widespread institutional coverups of sexual harassment and assault, thanks to the courageous whistleblowing acts and legal actions by women nationally and by women and girls in the sports programs at Michigan State University who are survivors of sexual assault. But before MSU and Harvey Weinstein, several years ago survivors of sexual assault across the nation's college campuses began organizing against these educational institutions. The Hunting Ground is their story.

"The Hunting Ground helps us follow the lead of survivors in dismantling and changing the systems that has for too long perpetuated rape culture, protected perpetrators and harmed yet more students," said Kozma. "It's time to act for that change."

A discussion break in the middle of the film will include what the Green Party can do to stand with survivors and effect change on college campuses.

The Up North Green Party is a local chapter of the Green Party of Michigan that organized in 2000 and became active in peace and environmental issues. New members are welcome.

The Green Party of the United States is organized by state parties, with locals on college and high school campuses, and by county. Members can also join various national identity caucuses including Youth, Latinx, Lavender (LGTBQ), Women, and Black.

More about the film:

The statistics are staggering. One in five women in college are sexually assaulted, yet only a fraction of these crimes are reported, and even fewer result in punishment for the perpetrators. From the intrepid team behind The Invisible War comes The Hunting Ground, a piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on campuses, poised to light a fire under a national debate.

In a tour de force of verité footage, expert insights, and first-person testimonies, the film follows undergraduate rape survivors pursuing both their education and justice, despite ongoing harassment and the devastating toll on them and their families.

Scrutinizing the gamut of elite Ivies, state universities, and small colleges, filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering reveal an endemic system of institutional cover-ups, rationalizations, victim-blaming, and denial that creates perfect storm conditions for predators to prey with impunity.

Meanwhile, the film captures mavericks Andrea Pino and Annie Clark, survivors who are taking matters into their own hands—ingeniously employing Title IX legal strategy to fight back and sharing their knowledge among a growing, unstoppable network of young women who will no longer be silent.

Since the film’s premiere at Sundance, it had been screened at the White House and hundreds of college campuses across the country. The documentary has inspired new laws in New York and California and changes in campus policies.

This local chapter of the Green Party of Michigan organized in 2000 and became active in peace and environmental issues.

Local members have been actively involved. Three members ran for elected office in 2016, Celeste Bondie for Emmet County commissioner, who won 21.6 % of the vote, Derek Grigsby for State Board of Education, and Ellis Boal for Congress.

Statewide, Greens elected 5 candidates in Michigan in 2016, including Tom Mair for county commissioner in nearby Grand Traverse County. LuAnne Kozma, of Charlevoix, was the Michigan coordinator for the Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka presidential campaign. Grigsby and Kozma serve on the Green Party of the United States national committee.

In 2000, Greens elected Charlevoix resident JoAnne Beemon as county drain commissioner.

About 600 people in the three county area voted for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

People can join the Green Party of Michigan online.

Photo: Stephen Brede

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