Making Local Connections through National Films

By SA2020 | Mar 14 2017

Last week, as part of a new collaborative partnership with KLRN, we participated in an Indie Lens Pop-Up at Historic Pearl. KLRN enriches lives through the power of communication, and SA2020 believes that once you have information, you should move on it – volunteer, advocate, give, vote, do – so it’s really a perfect match.

On April 3rd, Newtown debuts on KLRN. Last week, though, we got a preview. Newtown uses deeply personal testimonies to tell the story of the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, the deadliest mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history. Through poignant interviews with parents, siblings, teachers, doctors, and first responders, Newtown documents a traumatized community still reeling from the senseless killing, fractured by grief but driven toward a sense of purpose.

In a panel discussion that followed, we spoke to three people:

  • Leslie Wood, LCSW, the Director of Grief Education and Community Response, Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas (an SA2020 Partner)
  • Joshua Essery, PsyD, ABPP, a Staff Psychologist at Clarity Child Guidance Center (an SA2020 Partner) and a Clinical Professor in the Psychiatry Department at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • Kim Anderson, a local survivor and speaker for Moms Demand Action San Antonio chapter. Kim’s brother was senselessly murdered by gun violence joining the 91 who died that day in the U.S.

You can see the entire discussion on KLRN’s Facebook Page.

We discussed trauma and grief, mental health and empathy, and how we can do more to work collectively. Newtown showed us the devastating effects that a tragedy like Sandy Hook can have at the individual level, but also for the community at large. So, we asked our panel: what can we do? And here’s what they said:

Contact Your Representatives

Kim spoke passionately about the need to get engaged. Learn who your representatives are and contact them about things that are happening at the local and national levels. You can find who represents you here.

Listen and Understand

Leslie wanted everyone to embody empathy. She reminded us that death touches everyone at some point, and she asked us to be mindful that we need to reach out to those who grieve. For resources, click here.

Love Someone Who Is Different

Dr. Essery asked us to reach out to someone who may be different and love him or her. Talk to your neighbors. Grab lunch with the quiet coworker.

KLRN’s next Indie Lens Pop-Up will take place Thursday, April 13th (7:00 p.m.) at the Pearl Studio. KLRN will host a screening of “National Bird,” followed by a panel featuring community members and leaders. To learn more about the film and to RSVP, visit


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