Agents of Change
Agents of Change is a powerful documentary about the black student-led protest movement on college campuses in the late 1960s, and its connection to the Black Lives Matter movement and campus protests of today.
From the well-publicized events at San Francisco State in 1968 to the image of black students with guns emerging from the takeover of the student union at Cornell University in April 1969, the struggle for a more relevant and meaningful education, including demands for black and ethnic studies programs, became a rousing call across the country in the late 1960s. Through the stories of these courageous young men and women, including actor Danny Glover, then a student leader at San Francisco State, Agents of Change examines the untold story of the racial conditions on college campuses that led to protests in 49 states and at more than 1,000 schools.
The film’s young activists were caught at the crossroads of the civil rights, black power, and anti-Vietnam war movements at a pivotal time in America’s history. Today, the struggle continues with the Black Lives Matter protests and concurrent nationwide student-led campus movements. Agents of Change links the past to the present and the present to the past, illuminating the erosion of countless hard-fought victories.
“Agents of Change makes an important contribution to our fading historical memory of what it took to overcome the challenges students of color faced in the United States. But it also helps put into context the unfinished business of racial equality in America facing us all today. A must see.” says journalist Charlayne Hunter–Gault.
Agents of Change is presented by Films with A Purpose. The film is co-produced and co-directed by Frank Dawson and Abby Ginzberg with a musical score by celebrated award-wining composer Patrice Rushen. Dawson is a former network television executive and current Associate Dean at Santa Monica College. Ginzberg is a Peabody Award winning director, who has been making films about race and social justice issues for over three decades. They are both graduates of Cornell University and were present when the events depicted in the film took place.