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WCNY Examines the Critical Challenges to Affirmative Action in New Documentary

WCNY, Central New York’s public communications organization, will premiere its locally produced documentary “Equal Protection: The Supreme Court’s Battle with Affirmative Action” at 8 p.m. on Feb. 19 on WCNY-TV.

The documentary is an examination of race-based decision making as two cases before the court challenge its use in college admissions. Interviews with scholars and key participants illuminate affirmative action’s judicial history, its future, and the passion that surrounds it.

“By placing one of the nation’s most controversial issues in historical context, ‘Equal Protection’ is of particular interest in Central New York, home to many top institutions of higher education,” said Mitch Gelman, president and CEO at WCNY and a co-writer of the documentary.

“This film explains the Supreme Court’s struggles with race-conscious decision making,” said co-writer Thomas Seeley. “It looks at how justices can interpret the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment differently and explores how college admissions might change if the right to use affirmative action to create a diverse student body is ended.”

“Equal Protection: The Supreme Court’s Battle with Affirmative Action” is a local production co-written by Seeley, an Emmy award-winning television writer, and Gelman, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, and edited by WCNY’s Eric Hayden.

WCNY partnered on the film with RetroReport and The Hechinger Report. It is funded in part through a grant from the Pulitzer Center and underwriting from JP Morgan Chase.

The documentary will premiere on WCNY-TV and will be broadcast by other public television stations across the country. It will also re-air on March 20 at 9 p.m. and April 5 at 8 p.m. on WCNY-TV.

Visit wcny.org/equalprotection to learn more about the documentary. For viewing information, visit wcny.org/wheretowatch.

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