COEXIST: A Special Encore Presentation
April 8, 2014•60 min
COEXIST is a documentary film making an impact on young people's lives. This week we will be airing a special encore presentation of an interview I did with Adam Mazo, the producer and director of the educational documentary film, COEXIST. In this interview, Adam draws parallels between the events in Rwanda and attacks by school bullies, suggesting peer pressure can push nonviolent people to commit violent acts-- whether it’s throwing someone’s backpack in the trash or committing more extreme acts such as genocide. "It isn't enough to be tolerant of one another, we must learn to find acceptance. The best way to do that is to break bread with someone who you may think is very different than you. It's difficult to hate anyone that you've just shared a meal with." -Adam Mazo, Producer and Director of COEXIST
I am pleased to be able to recognize Adam's great work and do my part to pass this important message forward.
Educating our children is the best way to create awareness, tolerance and ultimately end violence in communities.
This Boston-based educational documentary film project, Coexist: Bridging the Divide Between Us and Them aims to teach students about genocide to increase their awareness of "othering," which can range from pushing and teasing to bullying and hate crimes. The ultimate goal of Coexist is to prepare the next generation of youth leaders and young adults to make othering socially unacceptable and interrupt violence in its less destructive stages.
COEXIST examines many difficult questions at the heart of the human experience.
~What leads people to commit such attrocities as genocide, othering and bullying?
~Does propaganda lead to mob behavior?
~How can we find compassion and forgiveness toward any perpetrator who seeks reconciliation?
A reflection about bullying is a productive way for us to understand violence in any community.
We cannot pretend that we don't relate. If anything, practicing extreme tolerance helps us to understand why bullying occurs, and what we can do to prevent it. It's not always as simple as a deep rooted lack of self esteem that motivates one group to dominate over another. In the case of Rwanda, and how it mirrors events on our playgrounds, often those who bully are protecting themselves from the wrath of the group by pledging loyalty. This is a also a mob mentality: bully or be bullied.
The film provides and excellent opportunity for us to educate our children about name-calling, scapegoating, revenge and retaliation.
This thought inspiring film and comprehensive documentary will be airing publicly on PBS, April 16 and April 17. (Please check your local listings for times).
You can learn more about this film at