Building a New Reality (BANR) is a global learning community. We support and promote projects that demonstrate participatory learning and decision-making in the six facets of society – governance, learning, justice, enterprise, care, and spirit.
We embarked in 2019 on a bold experiment to document the groundbreaking, restorative practices work that is transforming Detroit from the Motor City to becoming America’s first Restorative City.
The result is the award-winning film festival features Detroit Rising: How the Motor City Becomes a Restorative City and Finding Hope: In the Face of Hope. Here’s how you can bring participatory learning and decision-making to your family, workplace, and community today.
Detroit Rising: How the Motor City Becomes A Restorative City is a five-part docuseries that follows writer Kerra Bolton, as she witnesses the power and potency of restorative practices in Detroit’s classrooms, courts, and executive boardrooms at a time of racial reckoning in the United States.
The award-winning series gives parents, educators, and activists who are working toward building a new reality, on small and large scales, an adaptable blueprint for an approach that works.
Since its release, Detroit Rising has inspired hopeful conversations in communities as diverse as Denton, Texas and New Hope, Pennsylvania as citizens gather to grapple with the lasting effects of a global pandemic, increased social and racial divisions, and an uncertain future.
Detroit Rising is part of a BANR initiative “Restorative Communities” and based on a series of blog posts Kerra wrote highlighting models of participatory learning and decision-making in Detroit and Kortrijk, Belgium.
The docuseries was called “illuminating” by The Mercury News and won Best Web Series at Cyrus International Film Festival. It received Special Mention in the Best Documentary category at Venice Shorts Film Festival and the “Audience Choice” award at the New Hope Film Festival.
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Finding Hope follows freelance journalist Kerra Bolton as she witnesses a community of care enveloping around a teenage girl struggling with low self-esteem during a drug relapse at CSF/Buxmont, a youth treatment center in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Kerra seeks to unravel the tightly woven threads of family trauma, crippling societal expectations for girls, and self-hatred. She encounters Deanna, a teenage girl who heartbreakingly searches for identity and acceptance while struggling with addiction; Jennifer, a mother fighting for treatment and services for her daughter; and Shannon, a dedicated social worker serving as the bridge between Deanna and Jennifer.
Social workers, youth engagement workers, and nonprofit leaders searching for community-based models and frameworks that help youth and families struggling with substance abuse and behavioral health issues can find instructive support in Finding Hope.
Finding Hope enjoyed its world premiere in January 2021 at The Film Collective’s showcase of independent filmmakers.
The film received an honorable mention at the Nassau Film Festival in Princeton, NJ. While not an official festival selection, Finding Hope was “deemed to have been meritorious in quality and appreciated by the judges.”
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