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Villanova Communication Students Produce Documentary on Mental Slavery After Visit to Ghana

Villanova students in Ghana filming Sankofa

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Twenty-one Villanova students from 23 backgrounds tell one story in Sankofa, a social justice documentary about mental slavery and its negative systemic impact on black males across the world. Sankofa premieres at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 4 at WHYY in Philadelphia. A question and answer session will follow. The event is open to the public and tickets are available here.

The student group, Riptide Pictures, shot last fall on location in Ghana and in the U.S. The student-produced film is part of a social justice documentary class. The film explores the complexities and parallels between the United States and Ghana to illuminate the prevalence of mental slavery internationally.

“The social justice documentary class gave us the opportunity to shed light on important issues about slavery and hopefully inspire social change,” said Princess Garrett, director of the film. “To us, ‘Sankofa’ means the search of one's roots, no matter race or background, in order to find a way to unite and better understand the people around us.”

Villanova University hosts the on campus premiere, free of charge, on Sunday, May 6 at 1 p.m. in the Connelly Cinema. For more information about Sankofa and to view the film’s trailer visit Riptide Pictures’ website.

The Social Justice Documentary Film course is offered by the Department of Communication in Villanova’s College of Liberal Arts and Science, and gives students an opportunity to create documentary films that spotlight a contemporary social justice issue. The class is made possible through the support of Villanova’s Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit