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American Creed

About American Creed

This PBS feature documentary is the centerpiece of a national public engagement initiative that gathers audiences together, across ideological, geographic and cultural divides, to investigate the idea of a unifying American creed based on ideals of freedom, fairness and equal opportunity. The documentary centers around a dialogue between Pulitzer Prize winning American historian David M. Kennedy and his Stanford University colleague Condoleezza Rice. Their spirited inquiry frames the stories of citizen activists whose work is guided by their own visions of what America’s ideals ought to be.

American Creed premiered to a national audience of 785,000 people in February 2018. The documentary profiles a range of citizen-activists, educators and entrepreneurs striving to realize their own visions of America’s promise of equal opportunity.

Our PBS special was watched by 785,000 people when it premiered in February 2018. It has since been rebroadcast by local PBS stations a total of 2,552 times and has garnered a total of 2.4 million views to date. What’s more, hundreds of communities around the country have participated in facilitated conversations like the one depicted in the segment Citizen Film is submitting to accompany its SFAC-CEI request. This segment was produced in collaboration with the San Francisco based nonprofit Samagroup and the Arkansas based Delta Technology Center.

The American Creed public engagement campaign is an example of Citizen Film’s expertise in coalition building. In addition to building local partnerships, we secured national support from the American Library Association, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the NEH allowing us to coordinate a broad-based public engagement and education campaign. Our civic education partners Facing History and Ourselves and the National Writing Project collaborated with KQED to create a facilitation guide for classroom conversations and writing activities about equity and opportunity, inspired by short films we created for high school students. More than 5,000 students have submitted essays or digital stories in response to the films’ framing questions and prompts.


Directed, Written & Produced by Sam Ball

Senior Executive Producer and Writer: Randy Bean

Executive Producer: Dan Soles

Producer: Kate Stilley Steiner

Producer, Editor & Writer: Mike Shen

Cinematographers: Sophie Constantinou, Richard Gunderman, Dana Kupper, Garland MacLaurin

Co-produced by Citizen Film & WTTW – Chicago Public Media



Posted on

November 12, 2019