Free Movie Screening: Councilwoman

Join us Saturday, Feb. 22, for a free screening of an award-winning documentary about the power of perseverance.

Each year, as part of our commitment to giving back to the community, The Santa Barbara & Ventura Colleges of Law sponsors public-facing programming to expand our mission of education beyond the classroom.

Past events include last fall’s Asylum Advocacy Conference, a Santa Barbara mayoral forum, panels and lectures on environmental topics, as well as our ongoing California Proposition debate series. Today, I am proud to announce our first program for 2020—a public screening of the documentary Councilwoman.

Directed by Margo Guernsey, the film tells the story of Carmen Castillo, a Dominican hotel housekeeper who won a seat on the city council in Providence, Rhode Island, while maintaining her job cleaning hotel rooms. Along the way, she faces skeptics who say she doesn’t have the education to govern, the power of corporate interests who take a stand against her fight for a $15-an-hour wage, and a tough reelection against two contenders. It’s a journey behind the scenes of politics after the victory.

The Colleges of Law is the lead sponsor for the event in partnership with the Ventura Film Society.

Carmen’s story evokes one of my favorite distinctions about leadership: There are those who sit in the stands and comment on what is happening on the field, and there are those who are actually on the field—or, as Teddy Roosevelt would say, “in the arena.” Critiquing our current state of affairs, whether locally or beyond, is easy. It takes guts—true bravery—to take a stand and do something. Carmen is one of those people. I’m inspired by her story. She reminds me of the growing number of our graduates who have committed themselves to public service, whether seeking elected office or serving our local institutions. I look forward to joining others in the community to welcome the film’s subject, Councilwoman Carmen Castillo, to Ventura and hear her story firsthand. I have no doubt that she will inspire others to follow her lead.

Following the screening, Castillo will participate in a panel discussion along with Oxnard Councilwoman Carmen Ramirez. Free babysitting and light refreshments will be available to those who attend.

Event: Councilwoman movie screening and panel discussion

Date: Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020                                                              

Time: 6-9 p.m.

Location: Bell Arts Factory, 432 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura, CA 93001