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Netroots Nation events will be held at the America’s Center Convention Complex in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. If you’re new to Netroots Nation, you can get a sense of what the event looks like by checking out our schedule overview. Below you can view panels, training sessions, keynotes and other content as sessions and speakers are confirmed.

Highlights for Netroots Nation 2016 include:

  • 90 panels and 45+ hands-on training sessions
  • Local activism
  • A progressive film Screening Series
  • Annual events including our pub quiz, comedy show and candidate reception and much more to be announced!

Order by:

Screening: Free CeCe

On her way to the store with a group of friends, Chrishaun Reed “CeCe” McDonald was attacked. In fighting for her own life, a man was killed. After a coercive interrogation, CeCe was incarcerated in a men’s prison in Minnesota. An international campaign to free CeCe garnered significant support from media and activists, including actress and executive producer Laverne Cox. Laverne uses her platform to explore the roles race, class, and gender played in CeCe’s case.

CeCe emerges not only as a survivor, but as a leader. Documentarian Jac Gares pushes past everyday narratives of victimhood that surround the lives of trans people, to foreground the way CeCe and other trans people are leading a growing movement to critically interrogate and disassemble the prison industrial complex.

CeCe will be present for Q&A and discussion, along with filmmaker Jacqueline Gares, and activist Joshua Allen, a Black trans-feminine organizer and abolitionist whose work revolves around issues of race, gender and policing.

Screening cosponsored by Democracy for America and Ultraviolet.

Panelists: Jacqueline Gares, CeCe McDonald

Filmmaker Caucus

Introduce yourself to fellow filmmakers, producers, presenters, activists and movie-lovers at our annual Filmmaker Caucus. All are welcome, whether you’re participating in the Screening Series or just interested in hearing about a range of projects and meeting other people creating progressive change through film.

Led by: Justin Krebs

The Screening Liberally Reel Action Showcase

Film showcases present several films in one session by showing 10-15 minutes of each, then inviting a presenter from each film to participate in a moderated discussion. Lineup subject to change. This showcase includes “Making a Killing,” “LGBT Equality Act” and “Just a Judge.”

“Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and The NRA” tells the stories of how guns, and the billions made off of them, affect the lives of everyday Americans. It features personal stories from people across the country who have been affected by gun violence, including survivors and victims’ families. The film exposes how the powerful gun companies and the NRA are resisting responsible legislation for the sake of profit—and thereby putting people in danger. The film looks into gun tragedies that include unintentional shootings, domestic violence, suicides, mass shootings and trafficking—and what we can do to put an end to this profit-driven crisis. Through this film and campaign, Brave New Films will work with partners to fight for a country where public safety is more valued than profit.

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land. Many Americans saw this momentous decision as the end of a decades’ long struggle for LGBT equality. In truth, it was only the beginning. Not long after the SCOTUS decision, the Center for American Progress began its campaign in support of the Equality Act, a piece of federal legislation that would essentially serve as a modern Bill of Rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans. The Act would extend comprehensive non discrimination laws to universally outlaw practices like denying same sex couples service in places of public accommodation, or firing someone simply for because of who they are. A major part of that campaign was a multifaceted video series that raised awareness around LGBT discrimination and the need for the Equality Act through explainer videos and personal stories of discrimination. We teamed up with YouTube sensation HeartBeat for a series of explainers on how the Equality Act protects LGBT Americans. And we embarked on a series of emotionally resonant stories of discrimination faced by LGBT Americans, including a lesbian couple whose baby was denied medical care because of her parents’ sexual orientation, and a Virginia man who was fired for being gay. The videos were seen nearly a million times by people across a variety of social networks, and have been an integral part in CAP’s work to educate elected officials and the general public of the need for comprehensive LGBT anti-discrimination laws.

Thanks to the classic Schoolhouse Rock video, we all know how a bill becomes a law. But with the current vacancy on the Supreme Court and 90 vacancies in our lower courts, you might be wondering—how does a person become a judge? Taking inspiration from the “Just a Bill” video, we follow the journey of Martha, a fictional aspiring federal judge, from appointment to confirmation and show the many ways that justice can be delayed along the way. Our goal was to turn a sometimes dry topic into a fun and accessible product everyone can understand and rally behind.

Led by: Matthew Filipowicz

Panelists: Regina Clemente, Laura Durso, Anisha Singh

Screening: The Brainwashing of My Dad

Jen Senko, a documentary filmmaker, looks at the rise of right-wing media through the lens of her WWII vet father who changed from a life-long, nonpolitical Democrat to an angry, right-wing fanatic after his discovery of talk radio on a lengthened commute to work. In trying to understand how this happened, she not only finds this to be a phenomenon, but also uncovers some of the forces behind it: a plan by Roger Ailes under Nixon to create a media for the GOP; the Lewis Powell Memo, urging business leaders to influence institutions of public opinion, the media and the courts; and under Reagan, the dismantling of the Fairness Doctrine—all of which helped to change the entire country’s direction and culture, misinformed millions and divided families and even the country itself. The film will be introduced by Charles Chamberlain of Democracy For America, which is planning screening parties of this film throughout the summer.

Panelists: Charles Chamberlain, Jen Senko

Pictures in Motion: A Showcase of Movies for the Movement

Film showcases present several films in one session by showing 10-15 minutes of each, then inviting a presenter from each film to participate in a moderated discussion. Lineup subject to change. This showcase includes “Compared to What? The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank” and “House Not Home.”

“Compared to What? The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank” is a rollicking tale of one of America’s longest serving and most outspoken liberal legislators.

“House Not Home” is a firsthand account of Terran, an African American gender fluid teenager navigating bullying, violence and rejection from their father and peers before finding their courage and voice to come out. Written by Skyler Edge and directed by Joshua Butler.

“Spotlight California” is a documentary web series exploring the California you won’t see on postcards. In this episode, host comedienne Kiran Deol heads to Los Angeles to investigate the hidden costs of pollution. Spoiler alert: we pay for it! 3.3 million Californians have asthma, and nowhere is pollution more rampant than in low-income communities.

Panelists: Sheila Canavan, Stephanie Wahome-Lassiter, Ben Wessel

Test Screen Your Video, Online Graphics + Social Content

It’s seemingly nigh impossible to know what will and won’t hit when it comes to online shareable media, whether it be a tweeted meme graphic, a short want-so-badly-to-be-viral video or a please-let-this-hit-at-the-right-moment microsite. That’s why we’ve assembled a room of experts who eat, live and breathe this stuff, and won’t whisper to anyone a word of what happens inside the room. Got a video or graphics series you’re planning for after the conference? Test-screen it here, and we’ll give you our take on how to give it the best shot at spreading possible. Got something that flopped, but not sure why? We’ll help you dissect what went right, what went wrong, and what you can learn for next time.

Led by: Josh Bolotsky

Panelists: Meena Hussain, Mohammad Khan, Sonya Spann

Screening: Dear President Obama

The film takes a cross-country look at drilling, highlighting its variety of contaminations, the stories of its victims, and the false promise of an economic boom, with a focus on clean energy solutions that would allow us to proceed toward a future that does not rely on yet another dirty fossil fuel extraction process. Interviews with scientists, economists, health professionals, geologists, and whistle-blowers provide the core information we think will convince the current President and those who will follow to join the “anti-drilling” majority growing across the United States and call for fossil fuels to be left where they belong—in the ground. An Oceans 8 film written and directed by Jon Bowermaster and narrated by Mark Ruffalo.

Led by: Jon Bowermaster

Screening: Boom Bust Boom

Terry Jones presents “Boom Bust Boom,” the result of a meeting between writer, director and historian Python Terry Jones and economics professor and entrepreneur Theo Kocken. Co-written by Jones and Kocken and featuring John Cusack, Nobel Prize winners Daniel Kahneman, Robert J Shiller and Paul Krugman, the film is part of a global movement to change the economic system through education to protect the world from boom and bust. A unique look at why economic crashes happen, “Boom Bust Boom” is a multimedia documentary combining live action with animation and puppetry to explain economics to everyone.

Led by: Alan Minsky

Virtual Reality Experience: Across the Line

This immersive VR experience puts the audience on the scene with anti-abortion extremists trying to intimidate patients seeking sexual and reproductive health care. Using documentary footage and a montage of real audio, viewers gain intimate knowledge of the harassment outside and compassion inside health centers across the country.

Screening: Abortion: Stories Women Tell

In 1973, the US Supreme court decision Roe v. Wade gave every woman the right to have an abortion. Since 2011, over half the states in the nation have significantly restricted access to abortions. In 2016, abortion remains one of the most divisive issues in America, especially in Missouri, where each year sees more restrictions. Award-winning director and Missouri native Tracy Droz Tragos sheds new light on the contentious issue, with a focus not on the debate, but rather on the women themselves: those struggling with unplanned pregnancies, the providers who show up at clinics to give medical care and the activists on the sidewalks hoping to sway decisions and lives.

Courtesy of HBO Documentary Films.

Led by: Erin King, MD, Tracy Droz Tragos

Film, Storytelling and the Fight for Abortion Rights

The filmmakers and presenters of “Across the Line” and “Abortion: Stories Women Tell” will participate in a conversation about their work and the role of film in the current fight over women’s health and reproductive rights.

Led by: Emily Figdor

Panelists: Erin King, MD, Brad Lichtenstein, Kristen Tilley, Tracy Droz Tragos

Screening: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy

Follow gonzo investigative reporter Greg Palast (BBC, Rolling Stone) as he busts the new Ku Klux Klan – the billionaire bandits that are behind a scheme to purge one million voters of color in November.

With the help of Willie Nelson, Rosario Dawson, and detectives Ice-T and Richard Belzer, Palast tracks down the secret billionaires behind Donald Trump. His investigation goes from the Artic where Palast is clued in to the heist by a foul-mouthed Eskimo, then on to a speed boat to a high class event in the Hamptons, and finally a jump on the ballot rustler known as “The Vulture.”

With Palast’s inimitable style (“funnier than Michael Moore, more substantial than Naomi Klein” – The Guardian) and cartoons by the man who drew “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” this is not just a documentary – it is a non-fiction, real life, high stakes detective mission. Palast, says Jim Hightower, is “[a] cross between Sam Spade and Sherlock Holmes” and this investigation shows just how true that statement is. Joined by his sidekick Ms. Badpenny, Palast names the ballot bandits and shines a light on the shadowy tactics employed by the GOP officials that do their bidding.

Greg Palast is an investigative reporter for the BBC and the Guardian who busted Katherine Harris’ fake felon purge that stole the election for Bush in 2000. His work has been called “courageous reporting” (Michael Moore) that is funny, heartbreaking, and loaded with “facts like hand grenades” (John Pilger)

Seating is limited; please RSVP at http://bit.ly/PalastNetRoots.

For more information on “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy,” press inquiries, or to order a screener, please contact Christopher Lee at info@gregpalast.com.

Best Democracy Money Can Buy