New Doc Charts Rise And Fall Of Organizing Group ACORN

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Hollywood Reporter

By Ashley Lee

Bertha Lewis, CEO of ACORN, interviewed on Fox News today.

Bertha Lewis, CEO of ACORN, interviewed on Fox News today.

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ACORN and the Firestorm charts the rise and fall of the controversial community organizing group – and oddly foreshadows our political present, says the film’s director.

The documentary, set to premiere Sunday at the Tribeca Film Festival, explores how the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a group of over 400,000 left-leaning members, became a major player in the 2008 presidential election that resulted in Barack Obama’s victory, and was subsequently taken down by the strategic efforts of conservatives, including exposé videos from a then-budding media entity spearheaded by Andrew Breitbart.

“One thing I could never have guessed is that the ACORN story would very specifically foreshadow so much of our political present,” says Reuben Atlas, who co-directed the film with Sam Pollard. “For one, when Andrew Breitbart died, Steve Bannon took over Breitbart News and was very helpful to Donald Trump’s campaign and – at least for now – is his colleague in the White House.”

Atlas had been tracking ACORN’s complicated trajectory since 2004, when his father began writing the book Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN, America’s Most Controversial Antipoverty Community Organizing Group. “It was a way to look back on his career as a legal aid lawyer and determine whether his generation of progressive activists had made a difference in the world and American society, and ACORN was his lens because he felt they were doing interesting, effective work,” Atlas tells The Hollywood Reporter.

But the idea for a doc didn’t sprout until that momentous 2008 presidential debate, when Republican candidate John McCain called out ACORN for “destroying the fabric of democracy.” In THR’s exclusive clip, former ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis recalls the moment: “I have to tell you, I was ecstatic. For me, it was a thrill just to hear our name mentioned in a presidential debate. I thought it was great. Well, little did I know…”

Atlas says he never aimed to make a polemic film. “I hope it doesn’t demonize anyone on both sides, and people are able to look past their political ideals and see the story for what it is, and ACORN’s work for what it was and the way it went down,” he explains.

And though he isn’t too interested in the opinions of Trump or McCain, he’d love to get feedback of one specific: Glenn Beck. “The way I see it is he was very entrenched politically for a very long time, and seems to be coming into a nuanced perspective about the world and his own participation in it. I’d love to show him the film and hear his reaction.”

3RD PICTURE

JUSTICE FOR BERTHA LEWIS, ONE OF AMERICA’S MOST INFLUENCIAL WOMAN LEADERS, THROUGH THE “ACORN AND THE FIRESTORM” DOCUMENTARY

Should The Accusers and Those Who Abandoned The Group Apologize For the FAKE NEWS and Miscarriage of Justice?

Stay Tuned For Part 2

 

 

Bertha Lewis is the founder and president of the Black Institute, an ‘action tank’ whose mission is ‘to shape intellectual discourse and dialogue and impact public policy uniquely from a Black perspective (a perspective which includes all people of color in the United States and throughout the Diaspora).’  She was the CEO and Chief Organizer of the nonprofit social justice organization ACORN and was appointed in May 2008 to oversee the operations of its 400,000 strong membership, which was active in over 110 cities across the country.  The group played a major role towards helping to elect the first black President of the United States, Barack Obama.

For their historic grassroots work for social, political and economic justice, ACORN was smeared with a FAKE NEWS campaign, which forced the group to disband in 2010.  Over time an investigation vindicated the group proving they did nothing wrong accept strike fear in those that were afraid of ACORN, Justice and the leadership of Bertha Lewis.  The groundbreaking Documentary “Acorn and the Firestorm” tells the long awaited story of the movement, and we hope will be the start of restoring the Good Name of ACORN and Bertha Lewis, one of America’s most influential women leaders who continues to work for the cause, never putting “Profit before People.”

In 2014 Bertha was named in City & State’s annual list of the top 100 most influential and powerful political leaders in NYC and #43 in The New York Observer’s “Political Power 80” list.  She was featured in Essence Magazine’s 2011 list of 28 Most Influential Black Women and named by Crain’s New York magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Women of New York.  She has appeared on the Colbert show, Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network show, NY1, MSNBC and a host of other shows.  It’s time for us to give more attention and support to our Women Leaders because through their “Rise to Power” America will become a greater nation.

If you think ACORN was LITT, just wait until you see what Bertha does with the Black Institute.  America you need to get ready for Part 2 and you can be sure this time around no one will stop Bertha’s new initiative for social justice and economic equality.  Don’t wait or debate because there’s too much at stake, join the team and don’t hate because the movement isn’t FAKE.

Gala Invite

UNITED STATES - APRIL 27:  Bertha Lewis, CEO of ACORN, is interviewed by Roll Call, April 27, 2009.  (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)

UNITED STATES – APRIL 27: Bertha Lewis, CEO of ACORN, is interviewed by Roll Call, April 27, 2009. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)

Written by Charles Fisher and Randy Fisher.

For info on the Documentary and/or Fundraiser contact us at: RandyKFisher@gmail.com or Facebook/Instagram/Twitter @HHSYC

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