66th U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Historian David M. Kennedy Announce the Premiere of Their Documentary Film, American Creed

STANFORD, Calif.--()--Today, 66th U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Pulitzer Prize winning historian David M. Kennedy announced the premiere of their documentary film, American Creed, on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 on PBS. Rice and Kennedy came together on the project to investigate the idea of a unifying American creed and to discuss the ideals of freedom, equality and opportunity in today’s society. Both Stanford professors, Rice and Kennedy began a series of conversations about American ideals and identity in 2011 that led to the feature-length film.

“In times like this, we need stories that remind us of the ideals that hold us together”

“Since leaving office, I have listened to Americans’ concerns about our nation’s daily discourse and the fractures in our institutions,” said Rice, a Hoover fellow at Stanford. “We set out to create a film that examines what unites Americans and what ideals we share that lead us to hope for our future.”

Along with their personal stories of overcoming obstacles, Rice and Kennedy’s inquiry frames the stories of citizen-activists striving to realize their own visions of America’s promise. These stories are told from the points of view of unlikely activists whose work melds cultural, economic and/or political divides. Themes like service to country, duties of citizens, bridging politics, the role of institutions, the value of education, and addressing diversity are also covered.

“In times like this, we need stories that remind us of the ideals that hold us together,” said Kennedy, a professor emeritus of History at Stanford. “There have been many challenges to our system but each time we rise up to meet them, and are better because of them.”

The film features the wide-ranging stories of World Series-winning Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon; Citizen University founder Eric Liu; novelist Junot Diaz; Marine Sgt. Tegan Griffith; educator Deidre Prevett; MoveOn.org founder Joan Blades; Tea Party Patriots founder Mark Meckler; and Leila Janah, CEO of Samasource and LXMI. More stories of activism, aspiration, citizenship and rising above circumstances – from the Pacific Northwest to the Mississippi Delta, from Berkeley to Birmingham – are told as well.

Following the premiere, Rice and Kennedy will kick off a multi-year, multi-partner national public engagement campaign to facilitate conversations throughout communities nationwide about important issues and questions raised in the film. Rice and Kennedy aim to engage Americans in reflection and dialogue about their part in the American story. Audiences are encouraged to share their own “aspirational narratives,” and to engage with the themes of the film, on all social media platforms.

American Creed will stream at PBS.org for the duration of this multi-year campaign. A wider selection of short films, stories and reflections on America’s ideals and identity can be found at AmericanCreed.org, along with listings of special community conversation events and cast appearances around the country.

American Creed is produced, directed and written by Sam Ball. Producer is Kate Stilley Steiner. Executive producer and writer is Randy Bean.


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