Amidst the uprising in Ferguson, seven St. Louis college students evolve into advocates and activists as they demand change through policy and protest and test the validity of the Margaret Mead quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Show Me Democracy documents the efforts of The Scholarship Foundation’s Education Policy Internship Program, which empowers students to research education policy issues that affect them and their peers, and to coordinate efforts to influence public policy around increasing post-secondary educational access for low-income students. The documentary follows the interns’ initial frustrations with police brutality and failing school systems; their first meetings as a team; one student’s experience of being tear-gassed on the streets of Ferguson; and the group’s visits with Missouri representatives. At the state capitol, they advocate for educational reforms that would improve educational access for students of color, those with limited financial resources, and immigrant students in Missouri. The film examines the students’ personal lives and diverse backgrounds, follows them as they cope with the events in Ferguson, and will ultimately reveal whether a group of committed young people can make a difference in complex and imperfect systems.
Show Me Democracy functions as a powerful tool that educates young people on not only the need for educational advocacy, but the power they have to affect change for themselves and those around them. Too often young people are dismissed as a group without the right to have their views considered or their interests independently represented at any level of decision making. One of the film’s taglines represents that well “Nothing about me, without me.” Our audiences will realize they have the capacity, potential, power, and right to speak up on those issues that directly affect them and their peers.