Life the Griot—directed by Matt DeGennaro and produced by Grady Thrasher and Kathy Prescott—documents the story of local social worker, mentor, poet, author and activist Lemuel LaRoche. LaRoche, better known to the community as simply Life the Griot, takes his nickname from a term that doubles as an ambassador to the community and as a class of traveling poets, musicians and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa. Weaving poetry, storytelling and heart-to-heart talks over games of chess, LaRoche is committed to empowering youth, promoting community development and raising awareness of social injustices. Admission to the screening includes complimentary soda and popcorn, and all proceeds will benefit Chess & Community Conference, a non-profit organization founded by LaRoche that uses chess to encourage youth to “think before you move” and apply forward-thinking strategies to their lives. The premiere starts at 2 p.m., and entry is a suggested donation of $5.
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