RPL Film Theatre Presents:


Curated by Laurie Townshend

Featuring a discussion with Laurie Townshend and Alexa Joy

Film School: Black Activist Histories

Live Panel Discussion with Laurie Townshend and Alexa Joy

Join RPL Film Theatre for the livestream panel which will occur online on Thursday, March 4 2021 from 7PM-8PM CST (8PM-9PM EST)

The video link below will connect you to this livestream video once it is available.
You can also connect in the following ways:
YouTube Live: https://bit.ly/2L1m8f5
Facebook Live: 

Use #RPLFilmSchool and @RPLFilmTheatre to post questions or comments.


Panel Discussion Recording
Once available, you can watch the recorded panel discussion with Laurie Townshend and Alexa Joy below.


Known collectively as The Akua Benjamin Legacy Project, these five short films celebrate the lives, the work and commitment of five Black Canadian activists. Executive produced by Alison Duke. Curated by filmmaker and teacher Laurie Townshend. 

The films focus on anti-Black racism and resistance and seeks to instill a sense of history and pride for the significant contributions of Black Canadians to the younger generation of activists and/or activists-to-be. The overall goal is to promote the kind of educational work and activism that builds a just, inclusive community and society.

Films will be available for free viewing on VUCAVU March 1-8, 2021. 

To watch these films, please sign up for a FREE VUCAVU Account by clicking here. 

Dudley Speaks for Me, (2016) Dir. Ngardy Conteh George
Where is Marlene Green? (2016) Dir. Ella Cooper
Book of Love (2016) , Dir. Sara Michelle Brown
Charley (2016), Dir. Laurie Townshend.
Rosie (2016), Dir. By Sonia Godding Togobo 

WATCH The Akua Benjamin Legacy Project trailer by clicking here. 


Writer-director, educator and photographer Laurie Townshend credits her mantra, “You have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé” for her ability to make groundbreaking films while successfully lobbying her 8th graders for “coolest teacher” nods. 

With a thematic lens aimed squarely on acts of courage made visible through crisis, The Railpath Hero (2013) features a spellbinding performance by Stephan James (Selma, Race, Beale Street), in a story about the threads of resilience that hold a young athlete's life together in the wake of childhood sexual abuse. Laurie’s take on human connectedness is explored in Human Frequency Streetdocs (2014). Award-winning Charley (2016) connects the work of late civil rights activist Charles Roach to today’s BLM movement. Currently, Laurie is in pre-production on Mothering in the Movement (2022), a coming-of-middle-age saga that follows Staceyann Chin, Brooklyn’s most outspoken poet-activist and poster-mom for radical Black parenting as she raises her daughter Zuri, while investigating the past of her own mother who abandoned her as an infant. 


Alexa Joy is a researcher, activist and artist whose work attempts to dismantle structural white supremacy while encouraging demonstrations of Black, radical-advocacy. Her work as the founder and president of Black Space Winnipeg inspires her to push for authentic dialogue on challenging anti-Blackness in Canada and establishes critical inquiries on deconstructing how we think of race and racism. As a vocal percussion, Alexa explores the power of breath and rhythmic dialogue to create percussion communication while pushing the boundaries of beatboxing. Alexa continues to disrupt institutional inequalities by searching for truth and justice for society's most vulnerable. Alexa was also the Director of the Afro Prairie Film Festival in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

This program is presented by the RPL Film Theatre

RPL Film Theatre thanks the following organizations for their support in this programming:


This curated program is part of the VUCAVU Expanded project.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.​