Newsroom

Home  »  Newsroom  »  Drake News  »  Article

Presentation, documentary to address family values, family pride

October 20, 2008
News photo
Professor Sandra Patton-Imani with her children at an impromptu news conference in August 2007.

MEDIA CONTACT: Lisa Lacher, 515-271-3119, lisa.lacher@drake.edu

On Friday, Oct. 24, Sandra Patton-Imani, Drake associate professor of American studies, and her co-author, Melanie Patton-Imani, will present their documentary film "Red Light, Green Light: Family Values, Family Pride" as part of the Drake Center for the Humanities Colloquium Series.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will run from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Honors Lounge of Medbury Hall, 2730 Forest Ave.

Professor Patton-Imani teaches courses in life-history method, documenting lives, race/ethnicity, poverty and sex/gender in Drake's Department for the Study of Culture and Society.
She is the author of "Birthmarks: Transracial Adoption in Contemporary America," published by New York University Press in 2000.

She continues to conduct research on transnational adoption. Her next book, "Ghosts in the Tree: Adoption and the 'Search' for Self," is a work in progress that draws on interviews with both transracial and "inracial" adoptees, along with her own experiences as an adoptee, to explore searches and reunions with birth parents.

In Friday's presentation, professor Patton-Imani will discuss the documentary that records the life experiences of more than 80 lesbian mothers from a broad range of races and ethnicities as they interact with and are affected by local, state and federal laws regulating family relationships and access to social resources.

The family experiences articulated by those interviewed in the documentary speak to the breadth and depth of discrimination against families who do not fit the heterosexual "mandate" in the United States.

The filmmakers' own story of the successful battle they waged against the Des Moines YMCA on these issues also will be addressed. A story about how professor Imani's complaint led to a change in YMCA's policy definition of family is posted on the Drake Web site.

For more information about the colloquium, contact Joseph Schneider at 515-271-2158 or joseph.schneider@drake.edu.