Help | BuckeyeLink | Map | Find People | Webmail
At the Alford Centrum on the campus of Methodist Theological School in Ohio, 3081 Columbus Pike, Delaware, OH 43015
At 4410 E Johnstown Rd, Gahanna, OH 43230
126 S. State St., Westerville, OH 43081: Meeting Room A. Event will feature a screening of the film and a discussion with the Director.
The King Arts Complex hosted the Grand Premiere of the film to more than 300 people. It was a highly successful launch.
The Kirwan Institute welcomes you to host your own screening of “A Reading of the Letter From Birmingham Jail.”
The rules for Private/Public Screenings are very simple.
The Private/Public Screenings will run until we see fit. Private screenings are for particular audiences or for organizations. Public screenings open to anyone. We welcome both.
The director and the producer of the film; and the executive director of the Kirwan Institute are available to speak and attend your screening for either a Q&A or a facilitated discussion. Please note: if it requires us to travel more than 300 miles travel and lodging arrangements may need to be discussed.
The idea of Private/Public Screenings is an attempt at creating a free and inspiring distribution method for film.
This is where you sign up to host a Private/Public Screening, but first we recommend you to read the rules and introduction on the above.
Once you submit your details we will verify them as fast as possible and we will notify you by email or phone call. Please notice that we need 11 days minimum to approve you screening and get you the files.
As a host you will receive a personal link to a download package. This download package will provide you with the film in high resolution as a .mp4 file type. The download package has a size of 2.4GB.
You can play the film from your computer and connect it to a projector or one a modern TV, or simply screen it on your computer´s screen (if you have a big one).
If you would like to use a DVD player to screen the film then you can burn a playable DVD using a DVD burner application and the film file in the download package.
“A Reading of the Letter from Birmingham Jail” is a theatrical non-fiction documentary. We encourage you to make sure that you can screen the film properly and with good and clear video and sound.
It is NOT authorized to share this film during the screening period without written consent from the Kirwan Institute. Please respect our copyright license.
To get a copy is free of charge. However, we humbly ask that you support our work to continue to produce films like this and others by graciously giving to the Kirwan Institute. It is because of community members like you that we are able to share this film free of charge.
Fill out this form and we will contact you with options on how to get a copy of this historic film.
The following lesson encourages students to reflect on nonviolence as an instrument to change unjust laws by studying the Birmingham Campaign of 1963. Within this six-part lesson students will participate in a role play about the intricate planning strategies of Project C, observe the courageous activism of young people and examine the eloquent words of Dr. King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. The lesson provides students the opportunity to analyze primary source documents, interact with KPP’s online resources and discuss the concept of social justice and social transformation in the past and in the present.
Print version (PDF)
The essential question and sub questions are designed to guide the teacher and students through each segment of the lesson. These questions may be used as assessment at the end of the unit or as discussion prompts along the way. Teachers are encouraged to teach the entire unit or to choose the parts which fit their curricular needs. All activities are offered as an online experience or in print format.
Did the nonviolent direct action, which King describes in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” successfully transform Birmingham, Alabama from a segregated to a just society in 1963?
Introduction to Birmingham
Project C Strategy Committee Role Play
Letter from a Birmingham Jail
The Children Shall Lead
The Big Three: Should They Take the Offer?
Transformation? Reconciliation? Does nonviolence work?
This is a non-fiction film commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” The film stars community leaders of Columbus, Ohio and educators and leaders of The Ohio State University. The Letter from Birmingham Jail is an open letter written on April 16, 1963, by Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter defends the strategy of nonviolent resistance to racial discrimination, arguing that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws. After an early setback, it enjoyed widespread publication and became a key text for the American civil rights movement of the early 1960s.
The film is approximately 56 minutes.
History of the film
In March of this year, Jim Baggett, the head archivist of the Birmingham Public Library, contacted Sharon Davies, Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute, about the idea to have an international day of remembrance of MLK’s famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, 50 years after its drafting.
Its April 16 anniversary was approaching fast. The idea was to have the Letter from Birmingham Jail read by community leaders in cities around the globe on the anniversary. She agreed to organize an effort here in Columbus straight away.
The idea continued to evolve in unexpected ways. The main idea being to create more than a “video” but to create a non-fiction film that brings The Letter to life.
We felt it was important to film our community leaders. Our goal was to create a timeless educational piece that united Columbus and The Ohio State University’s leaders around this important and world famous literary piece.
The plan was to then gift the taped reading of MLK’s Letter by Columbus leaders to the Birmingham Public Library and the City of Birmingham. That plan continued to grow when Kirwan’s invitations to various leaders (including U.S. Senators, Congress and State Senate Members, federal judges, university presidents, athletic leaders, business leaders, philanthropic leaders, Heisman trophy winners, and more) were eagerly accepted, and the recording of their segments got underway. As you might imagine, with their busy schedules to contend with, that took some time to complete.
While initially Kirwan had hoped to finish the filming and editing by April 16th to meet Jim Baggett’s delightful challenge and to air the film on the 50th anniversary of the actual day that Dr. King wrote his letter. Ultimately the interest of the project grew, and with that growth came efforts to produce a more impactful film. Charles Noble, Moritz College of Law Graduate and Kirwan Researcher was the prime producer of this film handling many of the logistical details and ensuring quality.
The film is directed by Jamaal Bell, Kirwan’s Director of Communications; with the assistance of Rick Harrison and Joe Camoriano of University Communications. Bell also produced the visual effects and edited the film.
The picture was filmed on DLSR and edited using Adobe AfterEffects, Apple Final Cut Pro, and mastered in Premiere Pro.
Alan Michaels Dean, Michael E. Moritz College of Law
Alex Shumate Managing Partner- North America, Squire Sanders/ Trustee, OSU
Algenon Marbley US Federal Judge, Southern District of Ohio/ Trustee, OSU
Archie Griffin President/CEO, The Ohio State University Alumni Association, Inc.
Anthony Trotman Director, Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services
Carl Smallwood Partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
Charles Booth Lead Pastor, Mt. Olivet Baptist Church
Charleta Tavares State Senator, Ohio – 15th District
Clark Kellogg Vice President of Player Affairs, Indiana Pacers, Trustee, OSU
Curt Moody President/CEO, Moody•Nolan Architecture Firm
David Barker Member of 1960 OSU tournament championship team/ Owner, David Barker Art Gallery
Douglas Kridler President/CEO, The Columbus Foundation
Elizabeth Trotman Director, Champion of Children at United Way of Central Ohio
Gene Smith Athletic Director, OSU
Gordon Gee President Emeritus, OSU
Guy Cole US Federal Judge, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals
H. Ike Okafor-Newsum Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of African American and African Studies
James Moore Director, Todd Bell Resource Center/ Associate Provost, Office of Diversity & Inclusion
Janet Jackson President/CEO, United Way of Central Ohio
Javuane Adams-Gaston Vice President for Student Life
Joseph Alutto Interim President, OSU
Joyce Beatty US Representative, Ohio – 3rd District
Kathy Northern Associate Dean for Admissions/Associate Professor of Law, Moritz College of Law
Larry Williamson Director, Hale Black Cultural Center
Les Wexner Chairman/CEO, Limited Brands Corp.
Michael Coleman Mayor, City of Columbus
Michael Payton Executive Director, Ohio Civil Rights Commission
Mike Vrabel Defensive Line Coach, OSU
Nancy Rogers Professor Emeritus of Law, Michael E. Moritz College of Law
Ray Miller Editor, Columbus African American News Journal/ Trustee, Central State University
Rob Portman US Senator, Ohio
Rob Solomon Assistant Dean for Admissions and Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Moritz College of Law
Sharon Davies Executive Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
Sherrod Brown US Senator, Ohio
Shirley Duncan Widow of the late Judge Robert M. Duncan
Stephanie Hightower President/CEO, Columbus Urban League
TK Daniel Professor, College of Education and Human Ecology/Moritz College of Law
Urban Meyer Head Football Coach, OSU
Valerie Lee Vice Provost for Diversity & Inclusion
Yvette McGee Brown Partner, Jones Day
Jamaal Bell Director, Editor
Sharon Davies & Charles Noble Producers
Joe Camoriano & Rick Harrison Co-directors
The Kirwan Institute and the Columbus community is Commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” It is read by more than 30 community leaders from Columbus, Ohio in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail.
“A Reading of the Letter from Birmingham Jail” premiered November 3rd to a packed house in Columbus’ own Martin Luther King, Jr. Arts Complex in the 444-seat Pythian Theater.
PUBLIC STATEMENT BY EIGHT ALABAMA CLERGYMEN
April 12, 1963 – We the undersigned clergymen are among those who, in January, issued “An Appeal for Law and Order and Common Sense,” in dealing with racial problems in Alabama. We expressed understanding that honest convictions in racial matters could properly be pursued in the courts, but urged that decisions of those courts should in the meantime be peacefully obeyed. Since that time there had been some evidence of increased forbearance and a willingness to face facts. Responsible citizens have undertaken to work on various problems which cause racial friction and unrest. In Birmingham, recent public events have given indication that we all have opportunity for a new constructive and realistic approach to racial problems. However, we are now confronted by a series of demonstrations by some of our Negro citizens, directed and led in part by outsiders. We recognize the natural impatience of people who feel that their hopes are slow in being realized. But we are convinced that these demonstrations are unwise and untimely.
We agree rather with certain local Negro leadership which has called for honest and open negotiation of racial issues in our area. And we believe this kind of facing of issues can best be accomplished by citizens of our own metropolitan area, white and Negro, meeting with their knowledge and experience of the local situation. All of us need to face that responsibility and find proper channels for its accomplishment. Just as we formerly pointed out that “hatred and violence have no sanction in our religious and political traditions,” we also point out that such actions as incite to hatred and violence, however technically peaceful those actions may be, have not contributed to the resolution of our local problems. We do not believe that these days of new hope are days when extreme measures are justified in Birmingham.
We commend the community as a whole, and the local news media and law enforcement in particular, on the calm manner in which these demonstrations have been handled. We urge the public to continue to show restraint should the demonstrations continue, and the law enforcement official to remain calm and continue to protect our city from violence. We further strongly urge our own Negro community to withdraw support from these demonstrations, and to unite locally in working peacefully for a better Birmingham. When rights are consistently denied, a cause should be pressed in the courts and in negotiations among local leaders, and not in the streets. We appeal to both our white and Negro citizenry to observe the principles of law and order and common sense.
C. C. J. Carpenter, D.D., LL.D. Bishop of Alabama
Joseph A. Durick, D.D. Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of Mobile, Birmingham
Rabbi Hilton L. Grafman Temple Emanu-El, Birmingham, Alabama
Bishop Paul Hardin Bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference
Bishop Nolan B. Harmon Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the Methodist Church
George M. Murray, D.D., LL.D. Bishop Coadjutor, Episcopal Diocese of Alabama
Edward V. Ramage Moderator, Synod of the Alabama Presbyterian Church in the United States
Earl Stallings Pastor, First Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama