Past Talks & More | Public Programs

'Cincinnati Goddamn'

Director's Dialogue on Art and Social Change
Featuring April Martin, Dr. Rhonda Williams, Treva Lindsey, and others

Director's Dialogue featuring April Martin, Dr. Rhonda Williams, Treva Lindsey, and others

Advancing the role of the arts in sparking meaningful dialogue about contemporary issues, this fall’s Director’s Dialogue features the powerful and timely documentary Cincinnati Goddamn (April Martin & Paul Hill, 2015), a new work supported by our Film/Video Studio Program. Told through news reports, first-person accounts, and cinema verité footage, the film captures the personal trauma and civic unrest caused by the deaths of 15 African American men at the hands of Cincinnati police from 1995 to 2001 and traces both the protests and reform efforts that followed. (100 mins., video)

After tonight’s screening join us for a compelling panel discussion with the film’s codirectors, April Martin and Paul Hill, an editor at the center’s Film/Video Studio; Cincinnati native, businesswoman, and community activist Iris Roley; and Dr. Rhonda Y. Williams, professor of history and founder and director of the Social Justice Institute at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University. The panel is moderated by Dr. Treva Lindsey, a professor in Ohio State’s Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Wexner Center’s Director’s Dialogues are made possible in part by a lead endowment gift from an anonymous donor.

This year’s Director’s Dialogue is presented in partnership with Ohio State’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and with additional support from Puffin Foundation West, Ltd. Thanks also to Ohio State’s Counseling and Consultation Service for their assistance with this event and to our community partners: Columbus Urban League, National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice-Midwest Regional Chapter, Ohio State's Office of Student Life, Stonewall Columbus, United Way of Central Ohio, and YWCA Columbus


April Martin is a documentary filmmaker and photographer. She has created short documentaries about a range of subject matter including the devastation and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, young women’s health in underprivileged communities, Kerry James Marshall’s Rythm Mastr at the Wexner Center, and the innovative restorative justice program, Rising Voices, in San Francisco. She has also taught media classes at high schools and middle schools. Martin has been awarded a Puffin Foundation Grant, the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and has received fellowships from Northwestern University and C-Span Television. In addition, she has been awarded artist residencies at the Wexner Center for the Arts and the Headlands Center for the Arts.

Paul Hill is an award-winning filmmaker, editor, and sound mixer. He joined the Wexner Center’s Film/Video Studio Program in 1996 where he edits with world-renowned filmmakers and video artists. He also makes his own documentaries, including Myth of Father (2002), a personal film about his transgendered father that has screened and won awards at festivals worldwide. Through the Film/Video Studio Program, Hill has worked on hundreds of projects with such filmmakers and video artists as Sadie Benning, Jennifer Reeder, Barbara Hammer, William E. Jones, and Shimon Attie. He was an editor for The Brandon Teena Story (which won Best Documentary awards at the Berlin and Toronto International Film Festivals) and a contributing editor for the Emmy-winning documentary A Lion in the House by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar.

Iris Roley, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, is a businesswoman and community activist who helped design and monitor the Cincinnati Police-Community Collaborative Agreement. As the project manager for the Cincinnati Black United Front, Roley executed a plan of action to collect stories from the African American community, documenting over 400 incidents of police misconduct, and provided a forum for developing and implementing collective remedies. The documentation was essential in filing of federal class action lawsuit against the city of Cincinnati and its police department that led to the historic Collaborative Agreement. Roley was later part of the selection committee that hired Cincinnati’s first African American Police Chief. Her extraordinary community service has been recognized with awards from the Cincinnati Branch of the NAACP and the Cincinnati Herald, among others. Recently, Roley traveled to Ferguson, Missouri, meeting with community leaders to share Cincinnati’s story as a possible way to bring about change.

Rhonda Y. Williams, PhD is the founder and director of the Social Justice Institute at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University, where she also serves as an associate professor of history and is the founder and director of the postdoctoral fellowship in African American studies. The award-winning author of The Politics of Public Housing: Black Women's Struggles against Urban Inequality, Williams has been honored by History News Network as a Top Young Historian. Her research interests include the manifestations of race and gender inequality on urban space and policy, the history of low-income people’s lives and activism, and illicit narcotics economies in the post-1940s United States. She is the coeditor of the recently launched book series Justice, Power, and Politics, from the University of North Carolina Press. Her most recent book, Concrete Demands: The Search for Black Power in the 20th Century, was published this year by Routledge. Williams received her doctorate in history from the University of Pennsylvania and was later a recipient of an American Association of University Women Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Harvard University W.E.B. Du Bois Institute Fellow.

Treva Lindsey, PhD (moderator) is an assistant professor in Ohio State’s Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, where her research focuses on black feminist theory, women’s history, and popular culture studies. She is the recipient of several awards and fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Emory University, and the National Women’s Studies Association. Lindsey’s work has been published in many distinguished journals and her first book, Colored No More: New Negro Womanhood in the Nation’s Capital is forthcoming from the University of Illinois Press. Lindsey has built a strong online presence through guest contributing to online forums such as HuffPost Live, The Feminist Wire, and The Left of Black Web Series.


Director’s Dialogue on Art and Social Change Endowment Fund



Puffin Foundation West, Ltd.



Rohauer Collection Foundation



Greater Columbus Arts Council

The Columbus Foundation

Nationwide Foundation

Ohio Arts Council


Past Talks & More

'Cincinnati Goddamn'