You are currently viewing Maestra News | December 2018

Maestra News | December 2018

Happy New Year to our Literacy Project Family and Friends!

As the year winds to a close, we reflect back and look forward. 2018 brought more than its share of challenges in the news, but we are more committed than ever to working toward a world of inclusion that functions for all. We are commitment to sharing stories of hope and concrete victories, lifting up stories of education justice and community literacy as key social justice and human rights issues, essential for a healthy society and a fully-functioning democracy.

We’re excited to share some of our highlights from a full and busy year, including a new and updated website, that unites our trilogy of films. We hope as you make your final contributions for 2018, you will consider supporting our work.

2018 Highlights


  • We conducted 11 interviews with Freedom School participants.
  • Editor Malkia Lydia created a six-minute work-in-progress for us.
  • We screened a work-in-progress clip at:
  • Worked with the UNC Southern History Collection to digitize footage of Septima Clark and Bernice Robinson from Lucy Phenix’s 1983 documentary “You Got To Move”
  • Began working with Lucy Phenix to edit a clip with her footage.
  • Screened newly digitized Septima Clark footage at the Highlander Folk School Annual Homecoming Celebration.


Hired an archival researcher in Mexico City to look for the only surviving copy of 1982 Literacy film “La Segunda Batalla”

Tracked down vice-director of the 1980 Literacy Crusade in Managua, who worked directly under Fernando Cardenal.

Planned our final interview shoot in Managua and Bluefields, but then had to postponed due to ongoing conflict.


MAESTRA enjoyed dozens of screenings in the US and abroad – including Jamaica, Kenya, and South Africa.

Began to subtitle MAESTRA into Haitian Kreyol & Brazilian Portuguese in response to requests from educators in Haiti and Brazil.

Completed 2-minute trailers in Haitian Kreyol and Portuguese.

Griselda Aguilera, the youngest literacy teacher, came on a four week screening tour of the Northeast US

Norma Guillard came for screenings in Washington DC, Maryland and the University of Tennessee

The MAESTRA digital archive went live (donated to the UNC last year).

We gave a full copy of the archive to the Literacy Museum in Havana, and it will now form part of their permanent collection.

On International Literacy Day, we released a 3-minute video of Eduardo Galeano reading stories that he based on our testimonies.

Met with community educators who are starting an after-school tutoring program inspired by MAESTRA to help kids who are struggling to get through high school and into college.

Moving Forward Goals for 2019

We are raising funds to continue our work documenting social justice literacy across the Americas. Follow us on social media, share with friends, and please consider making a donation to support our work.

Our goals for 2019 include:

  • Share TEACH work-in-progress at Chicago conference in April
  • Conduct all remaining interviews for TEACH before end of 2019
  • Finish editing the first chapter of TEACH by the year’s end
  • Build plan / strategy for release and distribution


  • Begin editing CRUZADA.
  • Get permissions for all remaining archival footage for CRUZADA.


  • Finish Haitian Kreyol subtitle version of MAESTRA
  • Plan Summer 2019 launch with community educators in Haiti.
  • Finish on Portuguese version for use in Brazil.
  • Consider pending requests for other languages (Greek & Japanese)
  • Attend continued screenings wherever possible
  • Support after-school tutoring programs for high school students.

We’re grateful for all that 2018 has brought and are looking forward to 2019!
Join us for another year of storytelling.

Please support the distribution of this film by making a donation via PayPal.


Donations over $250 are tax deductible if paid to our fiscal sponsor Women Make Movies,