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Photo portrait of Rashel Barragan
Rashel Barragan

NATIONAL HISTORY DAY STUDENTS NAMED FOR SMITHSONIAN DOCUMENTARY SHOWCASE

WHAT: 33 student films, 2 from New Mexico
WHERE: Smithsonian Learning Lab
WHEN: June 2021
CONTACT: New Mexico History Day State Coordinator, Heather McClenahan, HistoryDay@NMHumanities.org.

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—National History Day® (NHD), the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and the Smithsonian Learning Lab are pleased to announce the global premier of 33 documentary films, to be featured in an online showcase. The films were produced by middle and high school students competing in the 2021 NHD National Contest and were screened and selected by NMAAHC staff. The documentaries premiered, Wednesday, June 16, via the Smithsonian Learning Lab.

NHD students whose films were selected for the showcase grappled with topics consistent with the mission of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Their documentaries address topics of African American history, civil and human rights, and the experiences of historically underrepresented, marginalized, or subjugated peoples. These 10-minute films also reflect the 2021 NHD theme, Communication in History: The Key to Understanding.

Due to the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic, this showcase will be exclusively available online through the Smithsonian Learning Lab, instead of being screened in-person in the NMAAHC’s Oprah Winfrey Theater.

“Despite the ongoing public health emergency, the virtual nature of this showcase allows us to leverage modern technology to share student work that addresses important movements and advancements in communications history,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “These students have recognized, researched, and refined powerful stories of communication breakthroughs and pioneers of the past. We are so grateful to our partners at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Smithsonian Learning Lab for making this showcase accessible to millions of people around the world.”

The 33 student films will be available to stream online for one week via the Smithsonian Learning Lab, from Wednesday, June 16 through Wednesday, June 24.

This program is generously supported by United Airlines.

The two following films and students have been selected from New Mexico to be featured in this showcase:

Photo portrait of Rashel Barragan

Communicating Through Art: The Harlem Renaissance
By Rashel Barragan from Silver High School in Silver City, New Mexico

Photo portrait of Elizabeth McDonald

Communication through the Arts: Gordon Parks’ Choice of Weapons
By Elizabeth McDonald from Silver High School in Silver City, New Mexico

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NATIONAL HISTORY DAY

Helping student historians and their teachers study the past to inform the present and shape the future.

ABOUT NATIONAL HISTORY DAY® (NHD):

NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park, Maryland, that seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students every year in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels, where the top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by, HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, the Crown Family Foundation, The Better Angels Society, the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, and the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation. For more information, visit NHD.org.

ABOUT NATIONAL HISTORY DAY® IN NEW MEXICO:

History Day in New Mexico is open to elementary, middle, and high school students statewide. The program is organized and sponsored by the New Mexico Humanities Council. NMHC offers online and in-person professional development for teachers as well as student events.