The State of Eugenics

April 25, 2017
3:30pm Pacific Time
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Join Facing History and Ourselves and REEL SOUTH for a special screening of THE STATE OF EUGENICS followed by a discussion about the legacy of eugenics with filmmaker Dawn Shapiro, Alexandra Stern, Professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan, and Milton Reynolds, Senior Program Associate at Facing History and Ourselves. Special introduction by Senator Thom Tillis (NC-R).

REEL SOUTH is a co-production of UNC-TV, South Carolina ETV, and the Southern Documentary Fund (SDF) with major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Video Descriptions


The State of Eugenics


Senator Tillis Eugenics Remarks

OVEE: Remarks from US Senator Thom Tillis


Between 1933 and 1974, the state of North Carolina ran one of the most aggressive eugenics programs, sterilizing more than 7,600 men, women and children. This film follows the journey of survivors, legislators and journalists who insist the state confront its role in the tragic, forced sterilization of thousands of Americans thought to have “undesirable” genetics

90 minutes



  • Milton Reynolds, Moderator

    Milton Reynolds is a Senior Program Associate with Facing History and Ourselves. Before joining Facing History he spent over ten years as a middle school teacher, a diversity/communications consultant and as a curriculum design specialist and has over 30 years of counseling experience. Dedicated to improving dialogue and implementing innovative solutions to address difficult social issues such as race relations and juvenile justice and delinquency concerns, Milton sustains a high level of engagement in his home community. His work with Facing History and Ourselves has been largely focused on providing teachers with support and deepening classroom implementation of the Race and Membership in American History: The Eugenics Movement resource book. The book is a case study developed for classroom use and is focused on four domains of eugenic policy influence including education, immigration, marriage restriction and sterilization.

  • Dawn Shapiro

    Dawn Sinclair Shapiro is a filmmaker and journalist. Dawn Shapiro began her journalism career at CBS Sunday Morning. She has been a producer and writer at Tribune Broadcasting, CNBC, MSNBC, and Dateline NBC. Her 2011 film THE EDGE OF JOY documented maternal health issues in Nigeria and was selected by The Economist Film Project (a co-production with the PBS Newshour) for its debut. Dawn Sinclair Shapiro’s third feature-length documentary THE STATE OF EUGENICS aired nationally on PBS affiliated stations on January 29, 2017 as part of the series REEL SOUTH.

  • Alexandra Minna Stern

    Alexandra Stern is Professor of American Culture at the University of Michigan. Currently, she directs the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and co-direct the Reproductive Justice Faculty Program based at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Stern's research focuses on the history of eugenics, genetics, society, and justice in the United States and Latin America, and explores the dynamics of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, disability, social difference, and reproductive politics.

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The views and opinions expressed in this online screening are those of the presenters and participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ITVS, public broadcasting, or any entities hosting the screening.