Human Rights Film Festival to explore trauma-informed care, social justice issues

The fourth annual festival is free and open to the public.

Grand Forks Empire Arts Center
The Empire Arts Center will host the Human Rights Film Festival on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022. The event is free and open to the public.
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GRAND FORKS – The North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival returns to Grand Forks on Tuesday, Nov. 8, with the screening of two films at the Empire Arts Center.

The fourth annual festival is free and open to the public. Seats may be reserved at .

At 7 p.m., the film “The Wisdom of Trauma” will be shown, followed by a community discussion about trauma-informed care. The panelists are Therese Hugg, vice president of therapy services at the Community Violence Intervention Center; Kim Miller, associate project director of Mountain Plains Addiction Technology Transfer Center at UND; and Jennifer Modeen, a licensed social worker with East Grand Forks Public Schools. The discussion will be moderated by Janell Regimbal, founder of Insight to Solutions.

“The Wisdom of Trauma” explores factors underlying why Western society is facing epidemics. This is a journey with a physician, Dr. Gabor Maté, who has dedicated his life to understanding the connection between illness, addiction, trauma and society.

At 1:30 p.m., a series of short films will be shown including “That’s None of My Business,” about an effort to desegregate a concert by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London performing in 1950s Jackson, Mississippi, and the ensuing international uproar that inspired prominent musicians to boycott performances before segregated audiences.


Other documentaries will deal with topics such as the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19, the American asylum system and the humanitarian aid response in the U.S.-Mexico border region, and young African migrants in Sicily as they create a musical album about their migration experience.

“The Wisdom of Trauma” examines trauma, an invisible force that shapes lives, as the root of one’s deepest wounds. Maté, offers a new vision in which parents, teachers, doctors, policy-makers and legal personnel are not concerned with fixing behaviors and suppressing symptoms, but instead seek to understand the sources which cause troubling behaviors and diseases, according to a notice from The Human Family, a North Dakota-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting human rights and social justice through film and art.

The mission of the North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival is to educate, engage and facilitate discussion around local and worldwide human-rights topics through the work of filmmakers and artists.

The festival is supported in part through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fargo Arts and Culture Commission, the North Dakota Council on the Arts, the Arts Midwest GIG Fund and the Arts Partnership.

A singer-songwriter, Doug Allen Nash has entertained U.S. troops in 87 countries, and has performed in venues including Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nashville’s Opryland Hotel, and the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City.

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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