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Street Sense Media‘s online screening and panel discussion of Beats
The first episode of Street Sense Media’s Beats docuseries, shot and directed by journalists experiencing homelessness, opens with a striking scene. Luxury apartments—with monthly rents more than $2,000 for a one-bedroom—tower over a bright red tent. It cuts then to more tents, and their residents, in NoMa’s underpass encampments. This first episode is one of two 10-minute pilots, and is part of Street Sense Media’s ongoing work to fight gentrification in Washington, D.C. Filmmakers Reggie Black, Robert Warren, and Sheila White speak with many individuals living in these encampments, particularly those near the 100 block of K Street NE. They share their perspectives on shelters, the community and safety they’ve found in their neighbors, and their relationships with housed NoMa residents. The second episode focuses on what residents call an “eviction.” As part of the city’s “pedestrian passageway” program designed to keep sidewalks open for pedestrians, the K Street encampment was cleared, allegedly permanently. Black, Warren, and White juxtapose footage of this January move with broader dialogue about the encampments. Were residents given fair notice to pack their belongings? Where are they supposed to go during these clearings, including the temporary ones? And what resources are actually available to those living in the increasingly large encampments? To dive further into this docuseries, the filmmakers behind Beats are hosting an online screening and panel discussion. Chelsea Cirruzzo, a health reporter at InsideHealthPolicy who has also reported for City Paper on homelessness and the NoMa encampments, will moderate the conversation. The online screening begins at 6 p.m. on June 4. Registration is available at eventbrite.com. Free. —Sarah Smith
Dr. Sally K. Ride: First American Woman in Space
While Sally Ride is known as the first American woman in space and the only person to participate in the investigations of both the Challenger and the Columbia shuttle disasters, her biographer says Ride never sought fame. “She just wanted to fly,” Lynn Sherr wrote in a 2014 Slate article. But even beyond her space and physics legacy, as the online Smithsonian exhibit Dr. Sally K. Ride: First American Woman in Space showcases, Ride led a dynamic life before she died of pancreatic cancer in 2012. Before pivoting to science, Ride briefly considered pursuing a career as a professional tennis player—and she was good. Ride attended private school on a tennis scholarship and became a nationally-ranked player as an undergraduate student, according to the exhibit’s description of her tennis racquet and the silver bowl she won in a tournament at age 14. She was also a fierce supporter of 1984 vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, saying that her candidacy helped Ride realize “why it was such an emotional experience for so many people, to see me accomplish what I had, as a woman.” The Smithsonian collection features three political buttons owned by Ride during the election, all donated by Ride’s partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy. While Ride was known to keep her personal life private, instead dedicating her life to elevating women in science, she chose to reveal her sexuality and partnership in her obituary after she died. “Being open about us might be very hard on NASA and the astronaut corps,” Ride reportedly told her partner as they planned her end-of-life celebration. “But I’m OK with that. Whatever you think is right is fine with me.” The exhibition is available at si.edu. Free. —Katie Malone