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Part of Ideas Prime

Thursday, November 13, 2014, 6:30–9 pm

Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium  

In June 2000, 14-year-old Kenneth Young was convinced by a 24-year-old neighborhood crack dealer— Kenneth's mother's supplier—to join him on a month-long spree of four armed robberies. The older man planned the Tampa, Florida heists and brandished the pistol—and, on one occasion, he was talked out of raping one of the victims by his young partner. Fortunately, no one was physically injured during the crimes, although the trauma that resulted was immeasurable.

When they were caught, Kenneth didn't deny his part. It was his first serious scrape with the law. But at 15, he was tried under Florida law as an adult. Astoundingly, he received four consecutive life sentences — guaranteeing that he would die in prison. 15 to Life: Kenneth's Story follows the young African-American man’s battle for release, after more than 10 years of incarceration, much of it spent in solitary confinement. The film is also a disturbing portrait of an extraordinary fact: The United States is the only country in the world that condemns juveniles to life without parole.


Fall at the Burchfield Penney sees the start of Ideas Prime, a series of screenings, lectures and conversations which create a forum for an exchange of ideas designed to understand how the local and global issues are interrelated. Through a series of screenings, conversations, and programs, the Burchfield Penney hosts diverse ideas focused on a variety of views. Programs are free with galley admission.


SUNY Buffalo State’s Office of Equity and Campus Diversity, Communication Department, the Office of Student Life and Burchfield Penney Art Center are partnering to create Beyond Boundaries: Dare to be Diverse, a dynamic, year-long program designed to initiate and promote continuing dialogue about issues of diversity on campus. The series is curated by Professors Meg Knowles and Ruth Goldman from the Communication Department and Jason Parker from the Office of Equity and Campus Diversity.  The program, held at Buffalo State over the course of the 2014/2015 school year, will center around a screening series of six films, including panels of  respondents from the community at four screenings, and two special guest speakers, who will also hold workshops outside the screenings. 

The series will feature 3 films each semester: one each month in September, October, November, February, March and April.  Each screening will focus on a different category of diversity, including  race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and abilities, and will be scheduled to match months with a national focus on these groups. 

Each evening will feature and opening talk, the screening of the film, and an audience and speaker Q&A after the film.  Community respondents will include representatives of particular communities addressed in the films, local officials or directors of organizations working with the targeted community. The panelists will also open their discussions to include the audience after the film. 

This program of films will be open to students, faculty and staff at Buffalo State, as well as those interested in the Buffalo community.