Professor Nathalie Martin on Panel to Discuss New CNN Film

October 19, 2010

Professor Nathalie Martin

UNM Law Professor Nathalie Martin will participate in a panel discussion following an advance screening of the film, Almighty Debt – A Black in America, to be shown from 2-4 p.m. Oct. 13 in Africana Studies on the fourth floor of Mesa Vista Hall.

The film will air on CNN on Oct. 21. Through the 7,000-member First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, NJ, it explores how an institution central to African-American communities for generations is helping them survive the worst financial crisis since the Depression. Every leading indicator – unemployment, income, wealth, educational attainment, homeownership and foreclosures – demonstrates that the African-American financial foundation is crumbling. CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien introduces viewers to Rev. Dr. DeForest ‘Buster’ Soaries, who believes ‘debt is the new slavery’ and follows him as he attempts to fight debt from his pulpit.

The church’s community development corporation struggles to help desperate homeowners save their homes from foreclosure. The youth ministry assists students into college and with financial aid applications. But can this church ensure better futures as a younger generation starts down the path of financial debt? Will they succeed? Viewers see inside one church as the pastor and his members worship together, and struggle to meet new challenges and changes.

Following the film, Martin will participate in a panel discussion with Howard Kraye of the UNM Anderson School of Management and Pastor Dennis G. Dunn of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.

Africana Studies is hosting the event in conjunction with the UNM School of Law, the Black Student Union, Anderson School of Management and Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church.

This is the first film in the 2010 Film Series, “Scholarly Conversations on Contemporary Topics,” offered by the Charlie Morrisey Research Hall.