Strong Island

A Social Cinema Screening

Segregation draws a line around not just your neighborhood, but your life.
 – Yance Ford

In April 1992, in a chop shop on Long Island, William Ford Jr., a black 24-year old teacher in training to join the police, was shot and killed by Mark Reilly, a white 19-year old auto mechanic. Although Ford was unarmed, the grand jury declined to indict, setting in motion a dark tale of injustice that would have devastating consequences for Ford's family.

In Strong Island, winner of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Storytelling, Yance Ford chronicles the arc of his family across history, geography, and tragedy, living under the enduring shadow of race in America — from the segregation of the Jim Crow South to the promise of freedom and safety in the middle-class suburbs of New York. Part memoir, part meditation, Strong Island explores the intimate aftermath of the violent death that tore apart a hard-working, optimistic family unable to accept the stark failure of justice.

Join New America NYC for a screening of Strong Island and a conversation with director Yance Ford and documentarian June Cross on the persistent relationship between violence and race in America and the ongoing fight for equal justice.


Yance Ford @yford
Director and Producer, Strong Island

Joslyn Barnes
Producer, Strong Island

Landon D. Reid, PhD
Lawyer and social psychologist

June Cross @junecross
Director, Documentary Program, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Follow the conversation online using #StrongIslandDoc and following @NewAmericaNYC

This event is presented in partnership with Tumblr.