Code Oakland by Kelly Amis
This film examines the evolution of Oakland through the eyes of social entrepreneurs who are determined that youth of color not be left on the sidelines as Silicon Valley spreads across the Bay and into the home of the second largest black community in California. Kalimah Priforce, whose first success as a social justice rebel was a hunger strike at the age of eight to get books for his group home, and Kimberly Bryant, a successful electrical engineer turned founder of Black Girls Code, are organizing large-scale hackathons to prepare youth to redesign the future through the power of digital coding. Joined on the national stage by #YesWeCode founder Van Jones, their work represents the cusp of a movement to change both the face and use of technology in America. But is Silicon Valley ready to be hacked?
Director: Kelly Amis
Kelly Amis is the founder of Loudspeaker Films, a new independent media production company focused on social justice issues, and the Producer/Director of “TEACHED,” an innovative new short film series that examines disparities in the American public education system, especially as they impact urban minority youth.
After graduating from Georgetown University, Amis taught fourth and fifth grades in South Central, Los Angeles as a charter corps member of Teach for America. This experience inspired her to earn a master’s degree in Education Policy Analysis from Stanford University and to research local school governance as a Fulbright Scholar at the Australian Council for Educational Research in Melbourne. Since then, Amis has worked as a legislative aide to United States Senator Dianne Feinstein—handling education, labor and foreign policy issues— and for a variety of urban schools and non-profit organizations based in Washington DC, including the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, the Sallie Mae Fund and Fight for Children. She has been a long-time volunteer as a “Big Buddy” for Project Champ, a program for children living with HIV/AIDS at Children’s National Medical Center; as a steering committee member of EdAction DC; and as a founding board member of the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation in Washington, DC.
TEACHED is a reflection of Amis’s twenty years of research and education activism combined with a passionate belief in the power of art and film to transcend politics and connect audiences across racial, demographic and geographic divides.
She currently resides in Northern California.