Step

A Social Cinema Screening

Step taught me that when you come together with a group of powerful women, the impact will be immense.  – Blessin Giraldo

Baltimore is a city fighting to save its youth. In the wake of the death of Freddie Gray, the inaugural class of the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women began their senior year. Established in 2009, the charter school had a simple mandate: send every girl to college, regardless of any barriers their home lives and communities might present.

Step, the 2017 Sundance Special Jury Award winner for Inspirational Filmmaking by director Amanda Lipitz, chronicles this pressure-filled year and the girls' dedication to a source of empowerment: the school step team. We follow the trials and triumphs – on and off the stage – of three tenacious seniors and the women who champion and challenge them, as their commitment to step becomes more than just a hobby, but a new approach to life. 

On August 1, New America NYC presented a screening of Step followed by a talkback with the featured students, mentors, filmmakers, and policy experts to discuss what resilience in the face of stacked-odds can look like. 

PARTICIPANTS 

Amanda Lipitz @stepthemovie
Director, Step

Abigail Swisher @Abigail_Swisher
Program Associate, Education Policy Program, New America

Paula Dofat @pauladofat
Director of College Counseling, Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women

Unique Brathwaite @LIFTcommunities
Executive Director, LIFT – New York

Blessin Giraldo @BlessinGiraldo1
Alumna, Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women

Cori Grainger @JustCoriG
Alumna, Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women

Tayla Solomon @notmyfor_tay
Alumna, Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women