Gadget Girls & ’63 Boycott w/ Risé Sanders-Weir & Gordon Quinn



The Art Theater Mon, Jul 16, 2018 7:30 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Illinois Filmmaker Spotlight
Release Year:2016
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Risé Sanders-Weir; Rachel Dickson, Tracye A. Matthews, & Gordon Quinn



Women and girls have been historically underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Former Harvard President Larry Summers suggested in 2005 that this underrepresentation was due to innate differences between men and women; that women are genetically less proficient in math and science. The reality is that girls are statistically on par with boys early on. It is during the teen years that girls fall behind.

What propels that decline? Peer pressure. It subtly turns girls away from the hard sciences in middle school and high school, just as they have the chance to get good at it. GADgET Camp introduces middle school girls – some of whom have never even wielded a screwdriver – to what you can do with math and science skills. The film follows the campers as they complete their own designed and executed “gadget”. The girls also reveal the social pressures they encounter when they express an interest in the hard sciences. GADgET Camp is on a mission to build self-confidence one drill bit at a time.



On October 22, 1963, more than 250,000 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools to protest racial segregation. Many marched through the city calling for the resignation of School Superintendent Benjamin Willis, who placed trailers, dubbed ‘Willis Wagons,’ on playgrounds and parking lots of overcrowded black schools rather than let them enroll in nearby white schools. Blending unseen 16mm footage of the march shot by Kartemquin founder Gordon Quinn with the participants’ reflections today,’63 Boycott connects the forgotten story of one of the largest northern civil rights demonstrations to contemporary issues around race, education, school closings, and youth activism. (2016, a film by Rachel Dickson, Tracye A. Matthews, & Gordon Quinn, 31 mins, NR, DCP)


“While the 1963 boycott did not achieve its specific demands, it is clear from the recollections of multiple participants that it sparked something, including a desire to achieve personal educational goals, a long-term interest in community activism and school improvement, and an awareness of injustices that weren’t just happening in another part of the country.” Mark Walsh, Education Week


“‘63 BOYCOTT is a timely look backward as the U.S. public education system stands vulnerably in the crosshairs of public officials who seem determined to destroy it.” –Marilyn Ferdinand,


The Stories from the City, Stories from the State series 

is presented with support from



Exclusive Series Partner