February President’s Speaker Series a Success

Mar. 2, 2017 – On Tuesday, February 28, Casey Hayward, associate professor at Bentley University and documentary filmmaker, and Lynsey Heffernan, from Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) Massachusetts, joined the Newbury Community for a President’s Speaker Series event: Recognizing and Reducing Racial Inequality in the MA Juvenile Justice System.

The event included a showing of Hayward’s and the JDAI’s documentary Seeing RED: Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Massachusetts Juvenile Justice System and a following discussion.

While introducing Seeing RED, Hayward explained that it is a hybrid film—it is “informative, but also has a mission to educate and to, hopefully, address changes.” Running for approximately 40 minutes, this film discusses the racial and ethnic disparities present within the system and asks the question: “What can you do?”

Heffernan explained after the viewing, “A lot of this is a call to action to actually do something and not just talk about it.” Besides changes to the system, legislation, etc., Hayward, Heffernan and other professionals focus on changing mindsets. According to Heffernan, “The film is a way to open up people’s perspectives and ideas.” People across the board, from the courts to police departments to schools to other programs and services to the general community, need to collaborate and cooperate with a united mission.

The film discusses having a willingness to learn, being aware of implicit bias, becoming culturally competent and moving beyond comfort zones. The topics in Seeing RED can be difficult to address, but Heffernan says, “If you’re not uncomfortable, we’re not making any progress.”

The President’s Speaker Series concluded with a Q&A, which evoked enough discussion between the speakers and the audience that the event ran 15 minutes longer than scheduled. One student-asked question even received applause from the audience: “Are you reaching out to people who don’t know it’s an issue? Those people who are ‘color blind’ and getting them to be ‘color brave?’”

“We use the film to start with those folks,” Heffernan responded. “We absolutely have to get to these people. We need to gather people wherever they are and nudge them in the same direction.”

You can view the documentary here and stay up to date with President Chillo via his blog or Twitter account.


About Newbury: Newbury College is a private, independent college located just minutes from Boston in the Fisher Hill neighborhood of Brookline, Massachusetts. Founded in 1962, Newbury College offers bachelor and associate degree programs in over 20 career-focused majors. Committed to personalized and experience-based teaching, Newbury inspires students to become independent thinkers, valuable collaborators, and global-minded citizens.

Contact: Sarah Johansson, Communications Coordinator

Casey Hayward, professor and filmmaker, and Lynsey Heffernan, from JDAI Mass, joined the Newbury Community for a documentary viewing and discussion