Ripple of Hope



Typically, all first-year students at Fairfield University are assigned a summer book to read before they arrive on campus in the Fall. However, for the Class of 2014, the university broke with that tradition and instead selected as the common "text" the documentary, RFK in the Land of Apartheid: A Ripple of Hope.

This decision reflected both the university's focus on the theme of "From Activism to Global Citizenship" during the 2010-2011 academic year, as well as higher education's increasing use of multi-media technologies to engage with students and their learning process.


In preparation, a 21 page "Teachers/Facilitators Guide for Teaching the Film" was written by John F. Suggs the film's Outreach Director. Click the link to download a copy of the guide which was used by Fairfield Faculty and Staff over the course of the year.

Over 200 upper class student facilitators first viewed the film. They also received copies of the "Teachers/Facilitators Guide for Teaching the Film." The new First Year students (approximately 900) then collectively viewed the film in a single sitting on Monday, August 30, 2010 as part of their Fall Welcome. This screening was followed by small group debriefing sessions with teachers and student facilitators. A third screening for the entire university community was held at the Quick Center for the Arts in Fairfield. The Q & A was led by by John F. Suggs. These campus screenings culminated in the Fall Convocation "From Activism to Global Citizenship," program held on September 2, 2010.


After the Convocation, the film was made available throughout the university for the full academic year for use in a variety of courses and other activities. These activities included: a special evening session with Ian Robertson, the 1966 NUSAS Student leader featured in the film; a special Upward Bound Youth Leadership Workshop and the assignment of a written essay on the film for all first year English courses. The film was incorporated in the week-long Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ripple of Hope Celebration and Convocation in January, 2011.


For additional information on the Fairfield University experience, and the "Teachers/Facilitators Guide for Teaching the Film," please contact