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Portraits of Courage Film Screening, Panel Discussion Set for Sioux Falls

July 6, 2024

“…I have to keep on fighting in my way, and I have to make sure I am healed.” – Nieema Thasing

A Brookings woman’s healing journey is one of multiple stories that will be featured during the Portraits of Courage Screening and Panel Discussion in Sioux Falls at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at the Siouxland Library, 200 N. Dakota Ave. The event is free to the public and is jointly sponsored by South Dakota Voices for Peace (SDVFP) and the South Dakota Humanities Council (SDHC).

The documentary, which is about 30 minutes in length, shares the authentic life stories of three remarkably resilient individuals – Chandradhar Dwivedi, Nieema Thasing, and Nitza Rubenstein – and the challenges that they encountered due to their differing beliefs and customs from the mainstream population. After the film, a panel discussion will be held, giving attendees an opportunity to interact with the film’s featured guests.

Dwivedi was motivated to participate in the project because of its great potential for public education. “Education is the answer for bias,” he said. “If society becomes educated, most of the evils will be gone.”

Project Director Jen Dreiske recently spoke about the project’s goal.

“South Dakota Voices for Peace’s Portraits of Courage Storytelling Event uplifts the stories of three community elders and how their resilience in the face of racism and bigotry has brought them to a place of healing. Audience members will learn how they, too, can find resilience in their journeys towards healing, as well as be inspired and empowered to step up and stand up for those who are and will experience discrimination and hate in our communities. South Dakota Voices for Peace imagines a state that is diverse, inclusive, and anti-racist. We all have a part of this work of bringing all our communities into belonging.”

SDVFP was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in South Dakota in October 2017, along with its sister organization, South Dakota Voices for Justice (SDVFJ), a 501(c)(4) which is committed to lobbying and policy work. According to its mission statement, SDVFP “builds power and enables healing in immigrant, refugee, and Muslim communities by amplifying their voices and working in solidarity with all who dismantle bigotry and racism.”

For more information, contact SDVFP at (605) 782-9560 or SDHC at (605) 688-6113.

Learn more about humanities programming in South Dakota by signing up for SDHC e-Updates!