Cracking the Codes Film/Dialogue Event in OAKLAND

 Sponsored by: Alameda County Health Services

THURSDAY November 8th  6:30 – 9:00 pm
Grand Lake Theater 3200 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA
Tickets are $20.00, Advance purchase recommended 

Hometown Premiere of Cracking the Codes on Thursday, November 8th :New Racial Equity Film Designed for Dialogue

October 11, 2012
Oakland, CA — A multi-city tour of the new documentary film Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity comes home to Oakland with a film & community dialogue event on Thursday, November 8th at the Grand Lake Theater.  Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity, asks America to talk about the causes and consequences of systemic inequity. The film includes moving personal accounts that illuminate the system that perpetuates structural inequity. The film was developed in Oakland and features 23 leaders in the equity movement including many from the Bay including Josh Begley, Aeeshah Clottey, Ericka Huggins, Elena Featherston, Connie Heller, Ise Lyfe, and Hugh Vasquez.  A critical mass of stories is supported by original music by local recording artist Amikeayla Gaston and spoken word by Oakland Poetry Slam finalist Y. Jelal Huyler.

Cracking the Codes is designed to deepen and shift the framing of racial disparities in this country,” said Shakti Butler, PhD, director of the film and founder of World Trust Educational Services in Oakland. “The current conversation is not only shallow, but actually harmful.  When we talk about solving the issues of violence and poverty in Oakland, we often focus on individuals, when institutional and structural inequities are the bigger problem.”  Cracking the Codes is Shakti Butler’s fourth documentary film with cinematography by her husband, EMMY award-winner Rick Butler.  Her films reach both head and heart with a critical mass of stories intertwined with music, art and poetry.

At the event, film clips will be braided with dialogue facilitated by Shakti Butler. The event is ideal for anyone yearning for change yet wary of conversation about race. “In these divisive times, one of our goals is to deepen the conversation,” says Dr. Butler, “Film lends support by allowing folks to see the multiple ways we walk through the world. Dialogue rekindles our connection to one another and enables us to hold paradox: Your experience is different than mine. The world is not only the way I see it.  To heal the wounds of racism and dismantle systemic inequity, we must be able to hold that paradox. And we can, for in our heart of hearts we all want to create a world that works for everyone.”

The film/dialogue event is open to the public and is sponsored by the School Health Services Coalition of Alameda County Health Care Services Agency and promises to be an event that will engage the community at large. The collaboration between Alameda County Health Care Services Agency and World Trust was natural given Alameda County’s commitment to equity. According to Alex Briscoe, Director of Health Care Services Agency, “The most difficult truth we face is that the current health status of many Alameda county residents is so closely tied to many generations of poverty and racism.  This has resulted in an unfair and unequal distribution of resources and opportunity to thrive.  We remain committed to improving the health outcomes of the residents of Alameda County and in order to fulfill that mission we must examine and talk about the systems that prevent equitable health care.  Tools like Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity can help us get there.”

Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity Film and Community Dialogue Event
THURSDAY November 8th  6:30 – 9:00 pm
Grand Lake Theater 3200 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA
Tickets are $20.00, Advanced purchase recommended

See Film Clips Here

Shakti Butler will also be facilitating a follow-up Cracking the Codes workshop on November 9th for health and education partners in Alameda County.  This day-long forum will focus on deepening the experience of the film-dialogue event and examining how systems of inequity effect health and education.  “School Health Services is sponsoring this film and workshop for our provider community to deepen our conversation about how to achieve health and education equity in Alameda County, and design strategies to transform our work in schools and communities.  We are privileged and honored to partner with Dr. Butler, who will facilitate a transformative dialogue,” says Tracey Schear, Director of the Alameda County School Health Services Coalition.

Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity premiered to a standing room only crowd in Chicago on September 27th. The film/dialogue tour continues to Boston on October 23rd, on to Seattle in the spring of 2013 with more sites on the horizon. For film clips and more information visit

About Shakti Butler and World Trust
Shakti Butler, PhD is Founder and Creative Director of World Trust Educational Services, a nonprofit based in Oakland, CA. Through education rooted in love and justice, World Trust is a catalyst for racial equity. Using the powerful combination of film, dialogue, and transformative learning World Trust strives to create new understanding and build community.  World Trust produces programs and seminars based on Dr. Butler’s acclaimed documentary films such as “The Way Home: Women Talk About Race in America” and “Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible.” World Trust’s film-based conversation/study programs are in continual use at hundreds of schools, universities, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and government institutions nationwide.  World Trust’s films, learning events and programs engage thousands of new people in racial equity each year. More information at

About the Film: Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity
Designed for dialogue, the film works to disentangle internal beliefs, attitudes and pre-judgements within, and it builds skills to address the structural drivers of social and economic inequities.  “Like our previous projects, The Way Home: Women Talk about Race in America and Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible, this new project fills a gap in racial equity training and education.  Organizations are seeking tools that will provide their students, staff and communities with a deeper understanding of systemic inequity that will drive cultural change and be expressed in policies, services and other forms of democratic action,” says Shakti Butler, “Cracking the Codes will inspire accountability and a passion for racial justice in many thousands of students, teachers, faith-based organizations and leaders in our country.”  The film contains three sections that correspond with World Trust’s framing of the system of racial inequity:

Section 1: Social Determinants: History, Identity & Culture
Section 2: Internal Components: Bias, Privilege, Internalized Racism
Section 3: External Relationships: Interpersonal, Institutional, Structural

The film is 75 minutes long and includes Spanish and English subtitles.  A downloadable conversation guide is available online. To learn more about the Cracking the Codes project or purchase the film visit .
Praise for Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity
“Most of us, if we admit it, feel pretty stuck and helpless when it comes to addressing racism.  It’s the social ‘third rail’ that we either avoid, collide with or both – without much guidance or support.  Cracking the Codes is an important breakthrough in helping to turn this around.  Part story telling, part toolbox, this project deftly portrays the complex interplay between the personal, institutional and systemic.  Cracking the Codes helps us pull the lens back so we can see the landscape of racialization and racial inequity and how we as individuals are shaped by it.  It will be an invaluable resource for anyone who has ever wondered how to get this conversation started – and keep it going.”
Makani Themba-Nixon
Executive Director,The Praxis Project

“Smart, timely and necessary challenge to the nation to address what race means to all of us.”
Maya Wiley
Executive Director, The Center for Social Inclusion

Cracking the Codes asks viewers to understand the costs of systemic racial inequity. Building a world that works for everyone isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the only way to fulfill the American Dream. This unconventional film project challenges us to do just that. ”
– Van Jones
Co-Founder, Rebuild the Dream

© 2012 World Trust