Face to Face: Community Conversations

Face to Face: Community Conversations is a community-based discussion program that encourages dialogue on issues central to civic life in New Jersey. This program features film screening/discussion events and supplementary activities that work together to foster and sustain meaningful public conversations.

Join the Conversation!

This fall, events will be taking place at the following venues:
(Click each line for additional details)

Somerset County Library in Bridgewater, September 29, 1:00pm

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Galloway, October 16, 4:30pm

Maplewood Memorial Library, October 23, 7:00pm

Pennington Public Library, October 26, 3:00pm


Created Equal Film Collection

In 2013, the National Endowment for the Humanities, working in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, launched its Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle project. For the next three years, up to 500 communities across the nation will be hosting conversations centered on a curated collection of NEH-funded films.  This summer, Council-sponsored events will make use of the NEH’s Created Equal film collection.


The Abolitionists

A small group of moral reformers in the 1830s launched one of the most ambitious social movements imaginable: the immediate emancipation of millions of African Americans held in bondage, at a time when slavery was one of the most powerful economic and political forces in the United States. Produced and directed by Rob Rapley. Sharon Grimberg, executive producer for American Experience, WGBH.

Slavery by Another Name

Even as slavery ended in the south after the Civil War, new forms of forced labor kept thousands of African Americans in bondage until the onset of World War II. Based on the 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same title by Douglas Blackmon. Produced and directed by Sam Pollard. Catherine Allan, executive producer for Twin Cities Public Television. Douglas A. Blackmon, co-executive producer. A production of TPT National Productions, in association with Two Dollars & A Dream, Inc.

The Loving Story

The moving account of Richard and Mildred Loving, who were arrested in 1958 for violating Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage. Their struggle culminated in a landmark Supreme Court decision, Loving v. Virginia (1967) which overturned anti-miscegenation laws in the United States.  Directed by Nancy Buirski; produced by Nancy Buirski and Elisabeth Haviland James. A co-production of Augusta Films and HBO Films. Distributed by Icarus Films.

Freedom Riders 

The Freedom Rides of 1961 were a pivotal moment in the long Civil Rights struggle that redefined America. Based on Raymond Arsenault’s recent book, this documentary film offers an inside look at the brave band of activists who challenged segregation in the Deep South. Produced and directed by Stanley Nelson. Mark Samels, executive producer for American Experience, WGBH.

Meet the Scholars

Christopher Fisher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History, The College of New Jersey

A specialist in American diplomacy, the Cold War, and race politics in US history, Professor Fisher is a member of the Department of History at The College of New Jersey. He has taught various classes on topics in twentieth-century, American diplomatic, and African-American history. He received his doctorate from Rutgers University’s Department of History.

James Johnson, Ph.D.
Independent History Scholar

Dr. Johnson is an independent scholar who specializes in African American History and the Civil War and Reconstruction eras.  A former industrial worker, his diverse background includes merchant marine sailor, meatcutter, and chemical laboratory analyst.  Dr. Johnson has taught at the University of MD Eastern Shore, Moravian College, Gettysburg College, and Rutgers Camden University. He is also a former high school social studies teacher in Camden, New Jersey. He is currently completing his book, Souls of Black Soldiers In the Civil War: The Camp Life and Field Experiences of the Camp William Penn Regiments, 1863-1865.

Contact Us

Have questions or comments about the Council’s Face to Face: Community Conversations program?  Contact Robert Apgar, Senior Program Officer, at facetoface@njch.org or (609) 695-4838.

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