Ava DuVernay Launches Educational Platform to Dig Deeper on Projects Like 'When They See Us'
Photo Credit: When They See Us

Ava DuVernay Launches Educational Platform to Dig Deeper on Projects Like 'When They See Us'

One year following the release of her Emmy award-winning “When They See Us” docu-series, Ava DuVernay is continuing conversations centered around social justice with the launch of a new online learning platform called “ARRAY 101.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, ARRAY 101 — launched by DuVernay’s multiplatform media company and arts collective ARRAY — is an online education initiative created to educate those who watch the company’s films and television series.

DuVernay’s company is a culmination of “entertainment and socially conscious education,” Fast Company reports.

“We’re going back into the catalog, creating very deep learning companions to help people elevate their understanding of what they’ve watched and go further to use the work as a springboard into deeper understanding,” DuVernay said. “As opposed to something you watched and felt bad about and just kept going.”

In partnership with Participant, ARRAY 101’s focus for their first learning guide will be on “When They See Us,” the Netflix miniseries recounting the stories from five teenagers — Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana Jr., Korey Wise, and Yusef Salaam — who were wrongfully convicted of a Central Park rape in 1989.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Participant to launch our first ARRAY 101 learning companion, which expands on themes and topics in When They See Us. I firmly believe that there must be a stronger bridge between what our industry produces and real teachers in classrooms,” DuVernay said in a statement. “The one-year broadcast anniversary of the series was the ideal time to release this social impact learning supplement and kick-off ARRAY’s upcoming study guide initiative overall.”

The miniseries evoked much national attention this time last year and was celebrated for storytelling and blunt dialogue surrounding the larger conversations about police brutality and racial injustice in America, an all too timely subject at the moment.

When They See Us shines a timely and important light on the many challenges and pitfalls of the criminal justice system, which are heightened even more by COVID-19,” added David Linde, CEO of Participant, in a statement. “We are proud to partner with Ava DuVernay and ARRAY on the When They See Us Learning Companion to educate the public, building from the power of an artist’s original voice, about the state of criminal justice reform and offer students, advocates and organizations resources to take action.”

Ava DuVernay has always been a strong voice in socially conscious efforts for Black and brown people, including her work like documentary “13th” that unpacks the prison industrial complex and “Selma,” which recounts Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march to Montgomery, Alabama.

Alongside the launch of the inaugural learning guide for ARRAY 101, DuVernay hosted an  Instagram Live Watch party over the weekend to pay tribute to the one-year anniversary of “When They See Us” by screening the first episode featuring commentary and a discussion to follow, The Hollywood Reporter reported.

Future guides to be released will feature ARRAY projects such as “Burning Cane,” “Jezebel,” “They’ve Gotta Have Us,” and “The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open” in the upcoming months.

To learn more about Array 101 and its first lesson, visit https://www.array101.org/.