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New Mexico State University

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NMSU's 'Critical Conversations' concludes with 'A Good Day to Die'

New Mexico State University's 2012 lecture series about diversity will end with "A Good Day to Die," an inspiring film about the plight of Native Americans, followed by the chance to hear from American Indian Movement co-founder Dennis Banks. The film will be screened at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1, in NMSU's Corbett Center auditorium. Banks, who is the subject of the film, will participate in a question-and-answer session following the screening.

Dennis Banks, co-founder of the American Indian Movement, will screen 'A Good Day to Die' at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 1, in NMSU's Corbett Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. (Courtesy photo)

"The film is powerful and will certainly speak to an era of Civil Rights," said Dulcinea Lara, an associate professor of criminal justice in the College of Arts and Sciences. "It will also be a chance for all of us to collectively think about what still needs to be done for communities of color, namely indigenous communities."

The award-winning documentary is based on the life of Banks and the establishment of the American Indian Movement. AIM began with a small Native American community in Minneapolis in 1968 when 200 community members joined together to combat police brutality, racism, high-unemployment and federal government policies.

The movement garnered national attention when members occupied Alcatraz Island in 1969. They marched on Washington, DC in 1972 with the Trail of Broken Treaties, and, in 1973, carried out a 71-day armed takeover of Wounded Knee, S.D. to protest government corruption.

"The history of oppressed peoples in the U.S. is largely omitted and forgotten and this is an excellent opportunity to meet an elder who carries that history with him and can serve as a guide for all of us seeking to improve society in meaningful ways," Lara said.

Prior to the screening, a welcome reception will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m. just outside the auditorium.

"Since we are in New Mexico, a state with a high Native population, these issues are important for us to acknowledge," Lara said. "As Dennis Banks illustrates in his life's work, it's not enough to merely acknowledge - is time to take action."

This event is free and open to the public. For parking information visit http://nmsuparking.com/visitor.htm.

For additional information contact Lara at dulcinea@nmsu.edu.