Walter R. Allen Serves as Consultant, Appears in PBS Documentary on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

UCLA Distinguished Professor served on advisory panel for “Tell Them We Are Rising,” to air Feb. 19 as part of "Independent Lens" series.

Walter R. Allen, the Allan Murray Cartter Professor of Higher Education and Distinguished Professor of Education, Sociology and African American Studies at UCLA, appears in the award-winning documentary, “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story About Black Colleges and Universities,” which will air nationwide on Monday, Feb. 19, at 9 p.m. as part of the on the acclaimed PBS series, “Independent Lens” (consult local listings; available to stream on Feb. 20). Professor Allen served on an experts’ panel for the documentary, advising the filmmakers on source materials, content, and approach of the topic.

“McArthur Fellow and award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson has produced an outstanding chronicle of the distinctive place and role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in our national story,” says Professor Allen. “Born of slavery and segregation, HBCUs have made outsized contributions to Black and American history, culture and identity,” says Professor Allen. “HBCUs are part of the bedrock for vibrant, creative, substantial life in Black communities, and are also examples of sustained Black struggle and success.”

Beginning with the earliest attempts at education to today’s campuses, “Tell Them We Are Rising” examines the impact Historically Black Colleges and Universities have had on American history, culture, and national identity for the last 150 years. Kimberlé Crenshaw, UCLA Distinguished Professor of Law, was also interviewed as an expert consultant and provides commentary in the film.

A prolific author, editor, and writer, Allen’s publications include “As the World Turns: Implications of Global Shifts in Higher Education for Theory, Research and Practice” (2012); “Towards a Brighter Tomorrow: College Barriers, Hopes and Plans of Black, Latino/a and Asian American Students in California” (2009); and the article, “Everyday Discrimination in a National Sample of Incoming Law Students,” which was written for the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education in 2008. He has served as an expert witness in affirmative action and higher education discrimination cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, and has testified on race, education, and inequality before the United Nations in Geneva and the U. S. House of Representatives.

Professor Allen is a sought-after commentator in the media and has been interviewed by numerous outlets including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The MacNeil-Lehrer Report, 60 Minutes, the BBC, NBC Evening News with Tom Brokaw, GLOBO- Brazilian Television Network, Jet Magazine, Le Nouvel Observateur, The Chicago Tribune, Black Enterprise, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, U.S. News and World Report.

To view “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story About Black Colleges and Universities,” and learn more about the film, visit these links.

“Tell Them We Are Rising” – full film and trailer on PBS website

“Tell Them We Are Rising” – film website