The Common Good

Sojourners to Screen '12 Years a Slave' with National Faith Leaders

Date: October 7, 2013


October 7, 2013

Contact: Brian P. Duss,, 202-328-8842

WASHINGTON, DC-- After a summer that exposed the racial tension that exists in America and the church, Sojourners will host a special screening and discussion of the upcoming film 12 Years a Slave on Wednesday, October 9, at 6pm at the Regal Cinemas Gallery Place theater.

Sojourners Director of Mobilizing, Lisa Sharon Harper, will moderate a panel discussion that will feature Sojourners President Rev. Jim Wallis, Rev. Michael McBride, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, other esteemed faith leaders, and supporting actress Alfre Woodard. In addition to the faith leaders and actors, five known descendants of Solomon Northup will be in attendance.

After the panel discussion, there will be a special screening of 12 Years a Slave, the true story of Solomon Northup, who was born free in 1800s New York, but spent 12 years in slavery after being kidnapped. 12 Years a Slave was directed by Steve McQueen, produced by Brad Pitt, and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, and newcomer Lupita Nyong'o. This pre-screening of the film will be the only one in the country that is explicitly for faith leaders.

This past summer our nation experienced one of its most racially charged periods in decades. The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act and the “not guilty” verdict in the George Zimmerman trial revealed a deep divide in the experience of race and racism in our nation—and within the church.

In light of these events, 12 Years a Slave’s unflinching account of one man’s struggle to survive is a gift to the church. It offers a unique opportunity to begin a conversation we have never truly engaged—a conversation about slavery and its legacies.

What: 12 Years a Slave Faith Leaders’ Special Screening and Panel Discussion

Who: Alfre Woodard (actress, playing the role of Mistress Harriet Shaw), five members of Solomon Northup’s known descendants, Rev. Jim Wallis (President, Sojourners), Rev. Michael McBride (Director of Urban Strategies, Lifelines to Healing, PICO National Network), Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III (Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ), Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner (Co-Chair, National African American Clergy Network), and other esteemed faith leaders and guests associated with the film. Moderated by Lisa Sharon Harper (Director of Mobilizing, Sojourners).

Where: Regal Cinemas Gallery Place | 701 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

When: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 | 6-10pm


Seating for this event is limited. Please RSVP to to guarantee seating.