From Harlem to Harvard

From Harlem to Harvard was originally an undergraduate film project that began in 1980. The film won awards, was partially funded by an NEA grant, screened at Sundance and was part of the Cable Ace award-winning PBS series, Ordinary People. It has been in continuous distribution since 1982.

The film followed a group of freshmen roommates through their first year. One of those students was Jamie Raskin, who was 16 when he arrived at Harvard. Now a Congressman, Raskin is known as the lead impeachment manager for the Senate trial of President Trump after the insurrection at the Capital on January 6th, 2021.

The 1981 film is a time capsule. Now we will update it and — like Michael Apted’s 7-Up series — examine how these four lives turned out. We will explore the impact race and class had on lives that seemed destined for the kind of success a Harvard education supposedly guarantees. We would see whether or not entering the hallowed halls of Harvard truly changes lives or whether the circumstances of one’s birth pre-destine whether a person will succeed or fail.

Westside Future Fund

Spelman College – 2009

The fundraising film for the $150 million Campaign For Spelman College, launched in 2009. Spelman is an HBCU – Historically Black College & University – for women of African descent. Subjects include students and faculty members, as well as Spelman President, Beverly Daniel Tatum, Professor Andrew Williams and alumna Veronica Biggins.

Covenant House Georgia

Grady Health Foundation

Purpose Built Communities

A film for Purpose Built Communities; the non-profit started by Warren Buffett, Julian Robertson and Tom Cousins. The goal of the project is to transform areas of urban and human blight into thriving communities by focusing on education, mixed-income housing and community services.

Comedy For Peace

A film about the non-profit Middle East peace initiative, Comedy for Peace. Featuring Whoopi Goldberg, Omid Djalili, David Brenner, Harold Ramis, Hanan Ashrawi, Ray Hanania, Aaron Freeman, David Lewis, the head of Fatah in Jenin, a nameless leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and others. Filmed in locations in the US, Israel and Palestine including Ramallah, Tel Aviv, Jenin, Jerusalem, Chicago and Detroit. The film follows the struggles of a palestinian and a jew on a mission to use standup comedy and documentary film to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Not surprisingly, they fail.

Integrity Transformations CDC

The Girl Scouts – I Am What I Am

A short film for the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta to use in their 100th celebration event; the Green Gala. Featuring some of Atlanta’s most distinguished women, all of whom were Girl Scouts and/or Brownies. Produced and directed by David Lewis in conjunction with his Leadership Atlanta 2012 project group.