Roderick “Rudy” Bankston facilitates a series of viewings and discussions of 13th, reflecting on the legacy of slavery, the politics of mass incarceration, our racialized identities and how it all fits within our current context. As an educator and restorative justice practitioner, Rudy also shares aspects of his personal story, work in education, and the criminal justice system.
Here's what people are saying about this series...
"I am so glad that I decided to participate in this series. I had seen 13th a couple of times before, but somehow, splitting it up across three weeks really made me sit with it more. I found that themes and even quotations from the film were bubbling up for me in all kinds of other contexts and other conversations, and so in that way I think I was able to process it more than when I've just sat and watched it in one sitting. Rudy, your grace and strength in sharing your story with such vulnerability really floored me, and I appreciated your genuine interest in what participants thought and had to say. You model the value in restorative justice that there are "no throwaway people."
- Carla Oppenheimer, Educator
"A privilege to have Rudy as a facilitator. You will continue to reach people who, like me, need to have their world view and racial view expanded. Something that hit me at the very end of our discussion was what genius and will is required to overcome the dehumanization of prison, and perhaps of everyday life, for People of Color. To be able to forgive, and to not allow your oppressors to hold power over you is liberation. I have intense admiration for you, Rudy. "
- Mary Devitt, small business owner
Groups that have worked with Rudy:
Building Anti-Racist Student Activists
Shaarei Shamayim Congregation, Madison, WI
Aspiring Antiracists of Cross Plains and Rosemary Garfoot Public Library, Cross Plains, WI
Community Conversation hosted by Deforest School District, Deforest, WI
Madison-Area Episcopal Churches, Madison, WI
Stoughton School District
Colorado Friends of Rudy Justice Group
Innovative Schools Network Conference
"The structure - organization - and thought-provoking nature of the personal stories and connections to mass incarceration that Rudy brought to the sessions were amazing and transformative."
- Andrew Hartman, Middleton High School Social Studies Teacher
“I don't think this experience will ever leave me. It has left a great impression on me and I am grateful to have learned from Rudy directly and through the film with his guidance.”
- Carol Schaffer, Black Earth Library Director
“It was extremely worthwhile and something everyone should be a part of. Rudy's personal story, his humble and giving nature, and his expert facilitation, made the series an incredible learning and community-building opportunity.”
- Dana Monogue, Superintendent of Middleton-Cross PlainsArea Schools
“The impact that the presenter had on me can’t be explained in words. I am overwhelmed, exhausted, angry, motivated, appreciative, grateful, and most of all, ready to spread the love.”
~Journey Mental Health Staffer