About the Symposium:

The DeVoe L. Moore Center at Florida State University is hosting our annual symposium on Filmmaking and Public Policy in February with a focus on education reform. We will be screening and analyzing the 2019 film Miss Virginia, directed by R.J. Daniel Hanna and executive produced by Nick Reid. Our symposium will include the following sections and each panel will be followed by a Q&A:

A discussion with Executive Producer Nick Reid and film Director Daniel Hanna about the creative process and how public policy influences filmmaking from a creative perspective. They will discuss how film and other creative projects are important vehicles for policy reform and nonpartisan discussions.

A live screening of Miss Virginia, offered in-person at the FSU student theater (ASLC) and online via Zoom for virtual participants.

A collaborative conversation about education policy in Florida and the nation including leading policy experts.

Engaging Our Audience:

The symposium is founded on Florida State University’s core values of Inspired Excellence and Dynamic Inclusiveness. Achieving these goals requires the passionate participation of our audience at FSU and beyond. To foster a mutually beneficial relationship, we hope our affiliate organizations and individuals will consider avenues such as professional education credits or extra credit for academic coursework.

Why Miss Virginia?

Miss Virginia follows the real story of an inner-city single mother who is financially barred from providing a better education for her 15-year-old son. The movie features her legal fight for School Choice and school vouchers in Washington, D.C.: a fight that opens the door to conversations about policy, reform, rhetoric, and civil advocacy. The film expertly illustrates the multidisciplinary nature of a complex issue that warrants analysis from multiple perspectives.

How To Get Involved:

Participation in our symposium will look different for every affiliate. You and your organization may become involved in the following ways:

  • Attending the event either in-person or online.
  • Sharing the event with organizations and individuals that may have an interest.
  • Providing people with benefits beyond attendance, including extra credit for students.
  • Engaging with our social media platforms to receive and share updates about the event.

Panel Descriptions and Panelists:

Filmmaking and Storytelling Panel | 2:30 — 3:30PM | Click Here to Register

We’ll spend an hour with Miss Virginia’s executive producer Nick Reid and director Dan Hanna to discuss the creative decisions and business considerations behind the production of this feature film. What made Virginia Walden’s story so compelling? What did they hope audiences would take away from the movie? What challenges did they face in getting the story to the silver screen? This interactive session will include Q&A from the audience and social media in real time.

Screening of Miss Virginia | 4:00 — 6:00PM | Click Here to Register

Based on a true story, Miss Virginia stars Emmy® winner Uzo Aduba as a struggling single mother who is losing her fifteen-year-old son to the rough streets of Washington, DC. Unwilling to see him drop out and deal drugs, she places him in a private school. But when she can’t afford tuition, she launches a movement to change the system that is destroying him and thousands like him. Attacked and threatened by those who don’t want change—from corrupt politicians to the local drug lord—Virginia must discover depths of strength she never knew she had. 

Public Policy Panel | 6:30 — 8:00PM | Click Here to Register

We’ll spend time with a panel of education policy experts to discuss the future of school choice in Florida and the nation. Florida was one of the first states to adapt broad-based school choice reform in the 1990s. Has school choice improved outcomes? Or simply become an albatross around the necks of real reformers? Moderated by Bill Mattox, director of the J. Stanley Marshall Center for Education Options at the James Madison Institute, panelists will grapple with hard questions and the newest evidence of accountability and student success in charter schools, conventional public schools, private school vouchers, and other reforms. The panel will be live streamed and include Q&A from a live audience in person as well as online.

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