“The role of the artist is exactly the same as the role of the lover. If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don’t see.” James Baldwin
Gilda Sheppard is currently a member of the faculty in Sociology, Cultural and Media Studies at Evergreen State College in Tacoma, Washington. From 1995-96 Sheppard was a visiting lecturer at University of Cape Coast in the Sociology, Anthropology and Demography Department, and in 2018 she was a visiting lecturer at Ashesi University in Ghana, West Africa.
Sheppard is an award-winning filmmaker who has screened her documentaries throughout the United States, and internationally in Ghana, West Africa, at the Festival Afrique 360 in Cannes, France, and in Berlin Germany at the International Black Film Festival. Sheppard is a 2017 Hedgebrook Fellow for documentary film and a 2019 recipient of an Artist Trust Fellowship.
Her documentaries include stories of resilience of Liberian women and children refugees in Ghana; three generations of Black families in an urban neighborhood in Buffalo, New York; and a film ethnography of stories from folklore started by Zora Neale Hurston in Alabama’s AfricaTown.
She currently completed her documentary Since I Been Down on education, organizing and healing developed and led by incarcerated women and men in Washington State’s prisons. Since I Been Down has been accepted at over10 film festivals in USA and Canada and won the Gold Prize at the Social Justice Film Festival and recognized among “Best of the Fest” at DOC NYC the largest documentary film festival in USA. Since I Been Down has been praised by Distinguished Professor Emerita, University of CA, Santa Cruz Angela Davis, at a DOCNYC 2020 Facebook Live Event with Director Gilda Sheppard, King County (WA) Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, and Executive Director of Abolitionist Law Center Robert Saleem Holbrook. Seattle Met named Since I Been Down as “What to Watch” in 2020.
For over a decade Sheppard has taught sociology classes in Washington State prisons, Sheppard is a sponsor for the Black Prisoner’s Caucus in Washington State, and is a co-founder and faculty for FEPPS- Freedom Education for Puget Sound an organization offering college credited courses at Washington Correctional Center for Women.
Sheppard is the author of several publications including Culturally Relevant Arts Education for Social Justice: A Way Out of No Way (2013)
SINCE I BEEN DOWN streaming 2/5-2/10
You are invited one and all to a rare opportunity to watch our Evergreen-Tacoma colleague Dr. Gilda Sheppard’s long-awaited new documentary film SINCE I BEEN DOWN
This timely work of art has been accumulating an avalanche of accolades: DOCNYC 2020 Audience Favorite. Winner of the 2020 Social Justice Film Feature Documentary Gold Prize. One of Seattle Met’s top movies not to miss. Seattle Times feature by Evergreen alumn Naomi Ishisaka. Please see below for a poster with a lovely quote from Gilda.
Starting this Friday 2/5 at noon and ending Wednesday 2/10 at 5pm, the film will be exclusively available to the Evergreen community for asynchronous streaming in the “virtual screening room” that we have created for “Reimagining Community Safety.” (Please note: no recording of any type will be allowed.)