To Kill a Mockingbird Film & Discussion

Movies help us experience and understand each other and the world around us. They educate and enlighten us. And, they can lead to meaningful and much-needed discourse. Lights, Camera, Civics! hopes to be a catalyst for such conversations. Not only is there division in our country and state over a multitude of issues, there is within our own communities a clear lack of connection among people of different ages and viewpoints. For these reasons, New Hampshire Humanities has awarded a grant to the NH Institute for Civics Education for film screenings to generate multigenerational conversations about law, justice, and civics. The film chosen this year is To Kill a Mockingbird. Local teams made up of a lawyer, a teacher, and a high school student will lead the discussions. For this showing, the educator is Kimberly Schmidl-Gagne of Keene State College and the attorney is Alexander Parsons, a public defender.

Kim Schmidl-Gagne is the program manager for accreditation processes and for diversity and multicultural student initiatives at Keene State College.  After 20 years in residential life, Kim joined the staff of the provost and chief officer for diversity and multiculturalism as the accreditation liaison officer and to assist with coordinating a variety of programmatic efforts, including the American Democracy Project ADP, the symposium and numerous speaker series as well as efforts to integrate academic affairs and student affairs. Kim is a past president of the Northeast Regional Housing Association. Kim is the curator for the AASCU Economic Inequality Blended Learning Course and a member of the ADP/TDC Economic Inequality Steering Committee.

Emma Schmidl-Gagne is a 10th grader at Keene High School. Emma is an Honors student and loves literature, math and writing. She is the stage manager for drama club productions and was recently inducted into the International Thespian Society. Emma is an active member of the MoCo arts center dance community and has been studying dance since she was 18 months old. She regularly participates in jazz, ballet and hip-hop classes and has been a counselor-in-training at MoCo for the past two years. In her spare time, Emma is a trained volunteer for the Monadnock Humane Society.

Alexander Parsons is the managing attorney at the Keene NH Public Defender office. Born and raised in Springfield, VT, Alex is the first in his family to attend college. He attended the Community College of Vermont, received a  B.S. in History from Keene State 1998. Alex worked several jobs in Keene including at Timken, Bagel Works, Keene Sentinel, Residential Resources. He taught English at college in central China in 2000. Alex earned his law degree at Yale Law in 2005. He has been at the Office of NH Public Defender since 2005, managing attorney of Keene Public Defender since 2015. He is married with an 8-year-old son and lives in Keene.