Bending the Arc Screening - Partners In Health Fundraiser
Sponsored by: Rotary Club of Northborough
Hosted by: Algonquin Regional High School
6:30 PM Doors Open
7:00 PM sharp Bending the Arc Documentary Screening
8:45 PM Panel Discussion: Dr. Paul Farmer, Loune Viaud, Cori Shepherd Stern
Moderated by: Susan Kaplan
(all bios below)
9:30 PM Meet-and-Greet, with Light Refreshments
Nearly forty years ago, as much of the world was being ravaged by horrific diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, three remarkable young people, barely out of their teens—Jim Yong Kim, Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl—came together in a squatter settlement in Haiti. Determined to provide the same world-class level of medical care they would expect for their own families to the Haitians that soon became their friends, they faced obstacles so enormous they weren’t even considered surmountable by the rest of the world.
The groundbreaking work they began in Haiti—creating a remarkable model of how to deliver the highest-quality care in the most unlikely places—would eventually grow to have massive global effects. They expanded beyond Haiti to Peru, then onwards to Rwanda, where they helped rebuild the country’s health care system. They averted a deadly MDR-TB epidemic, treating dying patients against official World Health Organization policy. They took on HIV/AIDS—becoming the first doctors in the world to treat patients in rural settings with full courses of anti-retrovirals. As a result, world policies changed, deeply entrenched ideas transformed, and millions of lives were pulled back from the brink of death.
Through remarkably candid interviews and stunning never-before-seen archival and on-the-ground footage shot in the midst of a deadly epidemic, the audience is immersed in the struggle of these fiercely dedicated characters as they fight ancient diseases, scrape together funding with the lives of their friends on the line, face scorn and hostility from the global health establishment, and suffer heartbreaking mistakes from their own lack of experience. Reaching far beyond the issue of health care, Bending the Arc shows how moral imagination, strategy, and sheer will together can change the trajectory of the world, bending the arc of the moral universe closer to justice.
Dr. Paul Farmer was an infectious-disease physician, medical anthropologist, professor, and a prolific author. He was chief strategist and co-founder of Partners In Health, Kolokotrones University Professor and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He also served as U.N. Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Community-based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti. Paul wrote extensively on health, human rights, and the consequences of social inequality.
Loune Viaud is the Executive Director of Zanmi Lasante (Partners In Health Haiti), joining ZL/PIH in 1987. In 1992, Loune launched Sante Fanm, the first women’s health project in Haiti. In 2002, she received the "RFK Human Rights Award" from Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and in 2003, she was one of Ms. Magazine’s Women of The Year. In 2019, she spoke on behalf of women and girls in Haiti at the UN Security Council, making it the first time a Haitian Civil Society member has spoken at the Security Council in its 50+-year history. Loune currently leads a 7,000-person team in providing health care and supportive program throughout the Central Plateau and lower Artibonite regions of Haiti. In 2010, she established Zanmi Beni, a children’s home for 64 children left homeless after the Haiti earthquake. Today, Zanmi Beni is a vibrant, active forever home for these children and young adults.
Cori Shepherd Stern is an Academy Award-nominated producer focused on both documentary and fiction film projects. Her most recent film, Bending the Arc, explores the epic arc of the global health rights movement through the intimate story of the extraordinary team who led the fight. Her credits include box office and critical success Warm Bodies. She also produced Open Heart, nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject of the 2013 Academy Awards. The film followed eight children on a perilous journey to get high-risk surgery at Africa’s only high-tech, free-of-charge heart surgery hospital. In addition to film, her experience includes hands-on work as a social change strategist and social entrepreneur. She appeared in the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award-winning documentary Sonita, working to help the young woman/rapper escape child marriage in Afghanistan and pursue her art. She has been a Media Advisor as part of the Skoll Foundation and Sundance Documentary Film Programs, well as a speaker at international conferences including the Skoll World Forum Stories of Change project—and the Aspen Institute Ideas Festival. She was the architect of the highly effective impact campaign for Open Heart—which resulted in a historic financial commitment and specific action plan to eradicate rheumatic heart disease in Rwanda through a public-private partnership of Skoll Foundation and the Government of Rwanda.
Susan Kaplan is a public radio journalist, editor, and host. Most recently, Susan spent a year as a senior editor in the newsroom at WBGH in Boston. Her career began at WFCR, now New England Public Media, where her tenure included hosting "All Things Considered," "Morning Edition" and working as a feature reporter. Her radio stories have aired nationally on NPR's "Morning Edition," "All Things Considered," "On the Media," "Only A Game," PRI's "The World" and "Marketplace." For six years, she hosted "Watercooler," a weekly public affairs program on WGBY Public Television for Western New England. Susan has received numerous Associated Press Broadcaster's awards. She is the recipient of a 2010 Ochberg Fellowship, awarded by the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma based at Columbia University, which supported her reporting on women in the military. Susan spent the bulk of the pandemic year working as a Case Investigator for Partners in Health.