The Bending the Arc Project explores the long struggle against racism in Alabama, featuring the stories of both African Americans and a small group of little-known white allies who fought for racial justice during the Civil Rights Movement.
The project was created and is managed by producer/director Pam Powell and producer/videographer David Brower, in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham.
The centerpiece of the project is a multi-part documentary miniseries.

Project Producers

Pam Powell

Director & Producer

After a 32-year career as a feature writer, university magazine editor, and director of publications and periodicals at UAB, Pam Powell began telling stories via video, audio, and photography in 2009; she has produced several multi-chapter biographical films (life stories captured through video interviews and archival media) and has produced numerous short video features. Since 2014, she has conducted more than 100 full life-story interviews and edited this footage into several short films, as well as into video features about the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham. Bending the Arc is her first documentary miniseries; she serves as director, co-producer, writer, photographer/videographer, and one of the two primary editors of the film.

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portfolio website
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Essay "Worlds Apart"

David Brower

Producer

David Brower has spent four decades filming, directing and producing commercials, documentaries, narrative shorts and feature films, accumulating many awards. Growing up in Chicago, then living and working in Phoenix, he moved to Birmingham 28 years ago, then moved to Placitas, New Mexico in 2021. He was involved with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham for many years (for his children and for social justice issues), without ever joining the congregation, giving him both a familiarity and an objective perspective on the church. He hopes these films will inspire people to continue to fight for equal justice for everyone. He serves as co-producer, videographer, photographer, and one of the two primary editors of the films.

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portfolio website
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Essay "No Sir, No Ma’am”

David Brower

Producer

David Brower has spent four decades filming, directing and producing commercials, documentaries, narrative shorts and feature films, accumulating many awards. Growing up in Chicago, then living and working in Phoenix, he moved to Birmingham 28 years ago, then moved to Placitas, New Mexico in 2021. He was involved with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham for many years (for his children and for social justice issues), without ever joining the congregation, giving him both a familiarity and an objective perspective on the church. He hopes these films will inspire people to continue to fight for equal justice for everyone. He serves as co-producer, videographer, photographer, and one of the two primary editors of the films.

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Portfolio Website
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Essay "No Sir, No Ma’am”

Shannon Leutzinger

Graphic & Web Designer

Shannon Leutzinger is a graphic designer and art director who has ten years of experience working in marketing agencies as well as with in-house marketing departments. When approached by the Bending the Arc team to design the project’s branding, motion graphics, and marketing deliverables, she was honored. This project not only utilized her love of all things design and development, but it also tapped into her passion for history, community impact, and positive change. She is a South Alabama native who has called the Magic City home for years now. She is a graduate of Auburn University and obtained her master’s from Savannah College of Art and Design.

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Gail Short

Producer

Gail Allyn Short is an award-winning writer and freelance journalist based in Birmingham, Alabama. She specializes in writing about business, government, social issues, education and faith for local, regional and national publications. Her work has appeared in American Profile, American City & County Magazine, Outreach, Business Alabama Magazine and Birmingham Watch, to name a few. She has covered everything from the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee and the minimum wage to the intersection between race and public education. When she isn’t working, she is volunteering in her church’s outreach programs. The work has included ministering to women at a work-release center in Birmingham. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

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Essay "Silent Witnesses"

Gail Short

Producer

Gail Allyn Short is an award-winning writer and freelance journalist based in Birmingham, Alabama. She specializes in writing about business, government, social issues, education and faith for local, regional and national publications. Her work has appeared in American Profile, American City & County Magazine, Outreach, Business Alabama Magazine and Birmingham Watch, to name a few. She has covered everything from the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee and the minimum wage to the intersection between race and public education. When she isn’t working, she is volunteering in her church’s outreach programs. The work has included ministering to women at a work-release center in Birmingham. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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Essay "Silent Witnesses"

Tonya Groomes

Producer

Tonya Groomes is an Atlanta chemical engineer whose relative was caught up in the brutal convict lease system in Birmingham back in the early 1900s. She and her family were featured in a Publitzer-Prize-winning book, Slavery by Another Name, and also in a documentary with the same title. She is a central narrator who helps weave the Bending the Arc films together.

Advisory Board

Dr Marilyn Kurata 

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Dr Lynda Wilson

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Dr Diane Tucker

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Tanya Turner Bell

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Antoine Bell

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Virginia Volker

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Dr Jeanne Weaver

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Holly Hilton

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Rev Julie Conrady

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Unitarian Universalists were involved in the Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, the movement continues.

Unitarian Universalists were involved in the Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, the movement continues.

Financial Team

Robert Bradley
Jennie Moffitt

Consultants

Dr. Robert Corley
Michele Forman
Pamela Sterne King

Production Assistants

Nathan Fallin
Lance Ledbetter

Publicity Team

John Powell
Pam Powell
Rev. Julie Conrady
Dr. Marilyn Kurata
Antoine Bell
Tanya Turner Bell
Shannon Leutzinger
Samantha Lalak
David Brower
Holly Hilton

Legal Services

The Law Firm of Stacey A. Davis

Funding Information

The Bending the Arc Project (Bending the Arc, LLC) is a non-profit enterprise directed by Pam Powell and David Brower and managed in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham. The project is supported entirely by donations, grants, and gifts, with no profit flowing to the directors or producers. The sole goal of the project is to promote racial justice and human rights through storytelling—capturing the voices and memories of people who lived through segregation in Alabama in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as people who have studied that time and its relevance to the challenges we face today.

major
donors

 

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Washington University in St. Louis Libraries

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The Alabama Humanities Foundation

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The Alabama State Council on the Arts

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Dr. Cameron Vowell

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Ms. Tracy Martin

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Ms. Gerda Carmichael

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Dr. Charles Turnbough

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Ms. Alice Thigpen

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Dr. Diane Tucker

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Dr. Juanzetta Flowers

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Dr. Robert Koehler and Ms. Barbara Koehler

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Dr. David Corliss and Ms. Linda Corliss

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Rev. Gail Stratton

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Dr. Susan Bellis

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The Unitarian Universalist Association

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The Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham

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The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Blacksburg, Virginia

major
donors

 

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Washington University in St. Louis Libraries

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The Alabama Humanities Foundation

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The Alabama State Council on the Arts

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Dr. Cameron Vowell

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Ms. Tracy Martin

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Ms. Gerda Carmichael

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Dr. Charles Turnbough

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Ms. Alice Thigpen

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Dr. Diane Tucker

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Dr. Juanzetta Flowers

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Dr. Robert Koehler and Ms. Barbara Koehler

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Dr. David Corliss and Ms. Linda Corliss

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Rev. Gail Stratton

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Dr. Susan Bellis

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The Unitarian Universalist Association

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The Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham

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The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Blacksburg, Virginia

Additional
Donors

 

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Colin Albea

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Lisa and Jim Albea

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Laura Anderson

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Amy Badham

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Tara and John Bawden

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Rev. Ed Brock

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Henna Budhwani

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Rev. John Buehrens

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Debra and Mike Burrell

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Lin Carleen

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Michael and Glynda Cosky

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Franciska Dyck

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Dr. Andrew Duxbury

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Dr. Marion Fintel

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Dr. Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith

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Judy Gibson

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Nancy Grove

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Melissa and Anthony Hamley

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Fred Hammond

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Ryan Harrison

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Holly Hilton

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Seanan Holland

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Linda James

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Dr. George Klersey and Ms. Mary Ann Plant

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Joe Knott

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Dr. Marilyn Kurata and Bob Bradley

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Ms. Becky Laurent and Dr. John Laurent

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Ms. Marcella Little and Dr. Dale Little

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Alice Lizee

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Karen LoBracco

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Paul and Marcia Mancill

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Margie McDermott

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Jackie Mazzara

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Ellen Meadows

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Julia Mortenson

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Edna Nagy

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Agnes Pollock

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Kim Spidell

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Lyn Stafford

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Patti and Jim Steelman

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Pam Tilly

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Rev. Ruth Vann Lillian

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Virginia Volker

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Dr. Jeanne Weaver

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Dr. John Whitman

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Janice Williams

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Dr. Mary Williams

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Dr. Lynda Wilson and Dr. Craig Wilson

Additional
Donors

 

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Colin Albea

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Lisa and Jim Albea

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Laura Anderson

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Amy Badham

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Tara and John Bawden

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Rev. Ed Brock

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Henna Budhwani

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Rev. John Buehrens

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Debra and Mike Burrell

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Lin Carleen

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Michael and Glynda Cosky

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Franciska Dyck

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Dr. Andrew Duxbury

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Dr. Marion Fintel

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Dr. Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith

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Judy Gibson

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Nancy Grove

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Melissa and Anthony Hamley

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Fred Hammond

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Ryan Harrison

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Holly Hilton

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Seanan Holland

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Linda James

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Dr. George Klersey and Ms. Mary Ann Plant

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Joe Knott

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Dr. Marilyn Kurata and Bob Bradley

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Ms. Becky Laurent and Dr. John Laurent

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Ms. Marcella Little and Dr. Dale Little

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Alice Lizee

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Karen LoBracco

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Paul and Marcia Mancill

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Margie McDermott

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Jackie Mazzara

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Ellen Meadows

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Julia Mortenson

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Edna Nagy

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Agnes Pollock

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Kim Spidell

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Lyn Stafford

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Patti and Jim Steelman

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Pam Tilly

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Rev. Ruth Vann Lillian

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Virginia Volker

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Dr. Jeanne Weaver

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Dr. John Whitman

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Janice Williams

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Dr. Mary Williams

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Dr. Lynda Wilson and Dr. Craig Wilson

Behind the scenes

200

hours of film

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watch now

80

voices interviewed

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learn & listen

4

mini-series films

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watch now

promoting racial equality and continuing to challenge racism in all of its forms

Copyright © 2022 Bending The Arc Project