Friday, February 12, 2016

Daily Herald film critic Dann Gire and I host special screening of SPOTLIGHT February 22

My colleague Dann Gire is on the Chicago Headline Club board of directors.
I'm on the Chicago Headline Club Foundation board of directors.

Dann founded the Chicago Film Critics Association and leads it.
I founded a non-profit and have led a bunch of organizations and initiatives.

He cares about the health and welfare of journalism and journalists.
So do I.

He writes and critiques for the Daily Herald.
I worked at newspapers. Now I write and shoot pictures for clients. I critique occasionally.

He remembers us meeting in person a long time ago.
I don't, but take his word for it.

We like Egg Harbor.

Now we are friends and seeing what we can make happen for the sake of journalism.

To discuss distributing scholarships and fundraising, we met for lunch in late January and things picked up speed.

Quickly we planned the special February 22 screening and discussion of the Oscar-nominated film SPOTLIGHT to raise funds for scholarships and further the conversation with the public about journalism's role in our society.

You are invited, friends and neighbors.

We'll be meeting at the storied Lake Street Screening Room, known as Siskel and Ebert's screening room. It's intimate with only 55 seats.

After watching the acclaimed movie about the Boston Globe investigative team's work that shined a light on the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests in the Archdiocese of Boston, Dann will lead a discussion which will include Fr. Jim Swarthout* and Sarah Karp.

Wise, funny and an expert on addiction and mental health, Jim is a former Catholic priest and currently an Episcopal priest.

Key in uncovering the fact that Chicago Public School's chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett accepted kickbacks in exchange for hiring a principal training firm, Sarah is an investigative reporter focused on education, children and families in Chicago.

We'll talk about how to wrap our heads around news of the violation of children by clergy, plus journalism's responsibility to pursue to truth and transparency, and anything else participants deem worthy.

I hope you can come. This is a great chance for "civilians" and journalists to meet and discuss what we can possibly make happen for the greater good.

Refreshments will be served.


*Jimmy is my cousin. Our grandfathers grew up in Evanston. He and I are both Rotarians.