Free To Ride Premiering Feb 17th

The Fight for a Route Across the Hidden Boundaries of Privilege

Friday, February 17, 2017 5:20pm
Naval Heritage Center
701 Pennsylvania Ave NW | Washington, DC 20004

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The Kirwan Institute’s upcoming feature-length documentary film, Free To Ride, will make its world premiere at Washington D.C.’s oldest independent film festival, the D.C. Independent Film FestivalTickets on sale now for $12. The film follows the story of a relentless grassroots coalition from across Dayton, Ohio that overcame a suburban contingent opposed to public transit, and the system of checks and balances that allowed justice and reason to prevail. Amid growing economic inequality, Free To Ride shows that peaceful change is possible and underscores the power of a multi-racial collective to protect the civil rights of all. (60 min.)

Visit the Film Website

Free To Ride will premiere on Friday, February 17 at 5:20 p.m. EDT at the Naval Heritage Center, 701 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington DC. Immediately following the premiere, there will be a panel discussion exploring the issues the film addresses.  Senior Director of PolicyLink Anita Cozart, Co-Chair of Prince George’s Advocates for Community-Based Transit Lessie Henderson, Director of Civil Legal Aid Initiative for the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association Radhika Singh Miller, and Chief Executive Officer of Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority Mark Donaghy will participate on the panel. After the panel will be a reception with the Free To Ride Director Jamaal Bell, Scriptwriter and Producer Matt Martin, and Co-producer and Editor Max Chamberlain.

Free to Ride, the compelling story of hard-working residents of Dayton, Ohio, fighting for safe, reliable transportation to employment opportunities in the nearby suburb of Beavercreek, “demonstrates why transportation equity is a critical civil and human rights issue for our nation,” said president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Wade Henderson. “For decades, metropolitan areas have been expanding outward and jobs have been moving farther away from low-income people and people of color who remain disproportionately in urban cores. For many of these people, inadequate or unaffordable transportation is a significant barrier to employment. This inspiring narrative will undoubtedly have viewers on their feet, chanting ‘Let the People Ride.’”

Amid growing racial tension in the United States and around the globe, Free To Ride shows that peaceful change is possible and provides communities with a film they can use to build meaningful equity movements in their part of the world.

A trailer for the film, educational materials, featurettes, and more information are available at The sponsor for the premiere reception is Poverty and Race Research Action Council. W.K. Kellogg Foundation supported the development of the film.


The DC Independent Film Festival

The DC Independent Film Festival (DCIFF) was launched in 1999 to nurture independent film. As a competitive festival, all films are Washington, D.C. premieres and many are U.S. and world premieres.

As the oldest independent film festival in Washington, DCIFF has a storied history of presenting extraordinary films. We have showcased cutting edge features, shorts and documentaries on every subject from every country with every budget and subject imaginable.

By exhibiting world premiere screenings, hosting timely seminars and workshops, and even sponsoring discussions with the United States Congress, DCIFF gives independent filmmakers opportunities for their voices to be heard in a way that no other festival can provide.

The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity was established in 2003 as a center for interdisciplinary research at The Ohio State University. The Kirwan Institute works to create a just and inclusive society where all people and communities have opportunity to succeed.