Transcript for Ava DuVernay talks about the Law Enforcement Accountability Project
Keep reading along with us on our Instagram. We have a great guest now. Ava duvernay. As the country was in the midst of massive protests following George Floyd's murder duvernay founded the law enforcement accountability project. Good morning, ava. Thank you for joining us. Thank you so much. We want to congratulate you. Yale university just awarded you an honorary doctorate. We hear your mother was calling you doctor, did you Ver nay. Is that how she addresses you now? I don't know when it will wear off, but yes it's happening. The arts and advocacy that you founded won a Peabody award. Oprah Winfrey made that announcement. How did that feel? It feels so good. I love the Peabody because the way it's chosen. No campaigns. No big effort to get it. It's a beautiful jury. They choose things they care we're so happy to be in that category. Tell us about the law enforcement accountability project. You launched it a year ago. Why did you do it? What's your intention? I felt that after the murder of George Floyd, we had to do something. We needed to assert our voices and speak to the things that were challenging us. For me that came down to the idea that we don't have enough conversation about law enforcement, about police, about what happens to officers who use excessive force, who murder while doing their job and that discourse needed to happen. Our citizens need to feel like they can ask questions, that they can have information about those officers and what happens next. We've seen cases of officers who rejoin the force or move to other forces in other communities without the community knowing. The idea was to use artists to amplify the idea of ask questions about your local police, who are they, what are they doing? With the law enforcement accountability project we invite artists to think about that idea and push that awareness forward. You've chosen four artists to create projects. Today you're going to announce a fifth. So tell us about her and tell us what she creates. Well, the fifth artist -- we've had four artists we commissioned. We commission artists from across discipline. The women and men that you see up on the screen. Deleta martin is the newest artist. We commissioned from her a painting. She's a gorgeous fine artist. She's made a custom piece that will start traveling the country pretty soon. The piece is called blue is the color we see before we die. A striking title. It's a part of our artistic expression to say let us interrogate what's going on with the Poli. She's thinking about the murder of a woman named Yvette Smith who was murdered in 2014 by an officer named Daniel Willis. Her whole process is recreating the moments of that murder, thinking of that in an artistic way and challenging viewers to ask the question we should be asking of our law enforcement. So cool to see it transformed there on that canvas that she was painting. How do you choose the artists for these projects? You know, we have an incredible team led by Mercedes cooper. We're looking for artists not superstars yet. We want to reach out to artists doing great work in their communities, folks on the cusp of national attention and giving them the opportunity with the money to think and take time to think about these specific cases. We had a culinary artist who is one of my favorites, Joslin Jackson. A culinary artist who thinks about visual expression through food. She did a whole interpretation of the Castillo case. She used the food to create this motif we created in Los Angeles and online. It got people thinking in an emotional way through art. You have to do more than say the names. We have to connect emotionally. What's the last year meant for your film making? That's a tough question. You know what, I'm often making things that deal with race, class, culture. I'm working on an adaptation of the book "Cast." Thinking about the structures and systems that got us to the place that we are. If we interrogate the systems, we can get to the foundation of our culture and maybe make some change. Powerful book. Can't wait to see the movie. Thank you. Ava, thank you. We love the work you're doing through your media collective arr array. It's amazing. Ava duvernay. Coming up, the new study on the
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