The talk of our villages as the school year starts up is America to Me, the compelling and complex 10-part documentary on Oak Park and River Forest High School produced and directed by Steve James, a long-time Oak Parker and creator of such noted documentaries as Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters.

The documentary was previewed last week to a large crowd at the Lake Theater. And this coming Sunday, episode one will debut on the Starz cable channel. 

Today, though, the Journal is announcing that Steve James will be our guest for the latest in our Wednesday Journal Conversations series. This event, done in partnership, as always, with Dominican University, will be on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. Once again, Charlie Meyerson of Chicago Public Square will be our moderator.

This will be a fascinating conversation about how America to Me came to be, how James convinced the school board to grant him almost unfettered access to the school for a full year, how he chose the dozen students who are at the heart of this documentary, how he sees the complex issues of race and equity at our high school. 

We’ll also be asking ticket holders to send us their questions for Steve James.

Get your tickets now. We’ve priced them a bit lower than in the past to make sure that families can join in. General admission is $15. Students are $5. And Journal subscribers get a $5 discount, because each of you is very special to us.

This is a great opportunity to be part of Oak Park and River Forest’s most important topic just as we step into a national spotlight on education, race and equity.

We’d also ask you to consider it an added opportunity to stand in support of your independent neighborhood newspaper and to help us fund the community journalism we have been doing since 1980. We need your support.

Purchase your tickets at And we’ll look for you on Sept. 11.

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Dan Haley

Dan was one of the three founders of Wednesday Journal in 1980. He’s still here as its four flags – Wednesday Journal, Austin Weekly News, Forest Park Review and Riverside-Brookfield Landmark – make...

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