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Caption: Arlington HS students discussion Coexist, a documentary film exploring issues of forgiveness, reconciliation, and difference. Credit Ben Pender-Cudlip unrenderedfilms.orgAHS students a documentary film exploring issues of forgiveness, reconciliation, and difference. / Photo by Ben Pender-CudlipNinth graders from Arlington High School are the stars of a new film aimed at supporting the public conversation about reducing violence in our communities.

They are to reflect on the video Friday, Jan. 11, from 9:05 to 10:25 a.m., in room 233 at Arlington High School.

Watch "Coexist in the Classroom" here >>

The short documentary released Jan. 7 comes as people throughout New England and the nation reflect on how to respond to the horrific violence in Newtown, Conn.

The film is part of a campaign launched by Coexist, a Boston-based educational documentary film project now in the hands of 3,000-plus educators across the country.

The mission of the project is to build social and emotional skills in young people to increase appreciation for difference and reduce the acceptance of "othering" in all its forms: name-calling, teasing, pushing, scapegoating, bullying and hate crimes.

Coexist has been featured in film festivals, conferences, schools, and universities around the world following its world premiere in Boston. The film examines the legacy of catastrophic "othering" that resulted in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, and the effort toward reconciliation in the years that followed. A four-lesson free teacher’s guide accompanies the film and helps middle, high school, and college students, and youth in community organizations examine their own relationship to “othering,” violence, forgiveness and reconciliation.

American Public Television has selected Coexist for distribution to public television stations across the country, reaching a potential audience of more than 100 million viewers. The purpose of this campaign is to show the film to a wide audience who can strengthen efforts to create healthier and more inclusive schools and communities.

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