Students of color are marginalized, dismissed, and plagued by negative stereotypes; and most recently find themselves at the crossroads of a critical debate that threatens to silence conversations about race among students and teachers in our nation’s schools. The political stories get plenty of screen time, but the personal stories of those impacted are rarely heard.

Defining US is a non-partisan documentary that puts a face to the educators and students who are creating the impact and living through the fallout of a country struggling with change. It is about the importance of delivering on the promise of education to liberate marginalized Black and Brown children from reinforced narratives by encouraging them to share their personal stories and discuss the issues that shape their identity.

New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE), Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the nation’s two largest school systems along with Atlanta Public Schools and Guilford County School District in Greensboro, NC worked with Defining US producers along with other districts across the country to share their experiences through emotional and compelling storytelling. Leaders in equity, diversity, and inclusion from UCLA, NYU, Columbia University, and Yale University also lent their voices and expertise to the conversation

CWK Network, Inc., owns the nation’s largest evidence-based, non-fiction video library on improving social and emotional learning, equity, mental health, and character development. The company’s current network of clients reaches over 4 million students and 20 million households. New York City Department of Education is CWK’s largest client, where CWK provides customized SEL, Equity, and Mental Health resources through a digital portal for all 1,800 NYCDOE schools.

“Academic outcomes tie directly to social outcomes. For example, 3rd grade reading scores are used to project how many prisons are going to be built. When schools do well, we graduate more kids, improve the economic workforce. Real estate values go up. Crime rates go down. Schools are at the center of every community and to a large degree shape the future development of all children.”

Alison Yoshimoto-Towery, Director of Operations, Los Angeles Unified School District Schools Watching the film is only the first step.

What will you do to keep the conversation going?

Whether you’re a teacher, administrator, a student’s guardian, or someone working with student organizations and you need more information, our educational resources offer support as you continue the journey to drive change

CWK owns the nation’s largest, non-fiction, proprietary video and text library on social, emotional, mental health, and equity issues. CWK is an Effective Producer of Programs on the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse and resides on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). Defining US and its mission is supported by content-rich digital platforms that include evidence-based resources for communities and connect a network of educators who are taking the lead.

  • Become a member of our Do Something Community and join meetings facilitated by leading voices in education, new short films with lesson plans, and adult learning resources shared each month.
  • Screen the film for your community of educators and families and follow it up with a presentation from a featured speaker
  • Private label documentary short films designed to reach and teach your community, addressing your specific needs
  • Access our mental health library of videos and text learning experiences covering topics including Mental Health Awareness & Advocacy, Suicide Intervention, and Trauma and ACE Study.
  • Sign-up for CWK-TV, which delivers more than 300 engaging videos, evidence-based curricula, parent engagement programs, professional development resources and communications tools for PreK12 students.
  • DIY Movie Making Kit allows your team of administrators and students to participate in the creative filmmaking process and document your own story

Take the movement beyond the classroom and into the boardroom. Defining US also provides robust opportunities for corporate partners. CWK is one of only a few educational content companies with the expertise, credibility, and trust to distribute corporate-sponsored educational resources through proprietary educational platforms. Contact us to learn more about corporate sponsorships.

“The film made me reflect on the importance of teachers and school. There is a huge responsibility for schools to not only provide effective education for all, but to provide a safe and nurturing environment for its students. I hope that those who watch this film realize that situations don’t have to happen to them for it to matter to them.”

Contact us to help begin your journey.

America’s premier streaming service on social emotional learning, equity, and mental health delivers more than 300 videos, 400 evidence-based lessons, parent engagement programs, professional development resources, and communications tools for educators and youth.

Schedule a private screening. Enhance the experience with in-person discussion from our panel of experts.

One-year Membership includes podcasts and vodcasts, monthly meetings facilitated by leading voices in education, new short films with lesson plans, and adult learning resources shared each month.

Create your own short films designed to reach and teach your community through privately labeled documentaries

Our on-demand learning management system educates adults to be aware of mental health issues, details the warning signs and provides information to seek support.

With our DIY Movie Making Kit, administrators and students can participate in creative filmmaking projects and document their own defining stories.

CWK Network