America To Me


This 10-part documentary series spend a year at Oak Park and River Forest High School, a diverse and high-achieving school outside of Chicago. Digging deep into the experiences of black students, AMERICA TO ME sparks extremely candid conversations about what has succeeded and what has failed in the quest to achieve racial equality and overcome bias in our education system.  Award-winning filmmaker and Sundance Film Festival veteran Steve James (HOOP DREAMS, LIFE ITSELF) crafts a humble and daringly honest portrait of these students and the systemic racism they face. Part observational character story and part high school confessional, James captures critical moments within this vibrant high school ecosystem.

AMERICA TO ME will be presented in two parts featuring the first five episodes of this captivating docuseries, which aims to bring us one step closer to change and understanding by confronting our fear head-on.

Director: Steve James

Segment Directors: Bing Liu, Rebecca Parrish, Kevin Shaw

Series Producers:  John Condne, Risé Sanders-Weir

Exec. Producers:  Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Steve James, Justine Nagan, Gordon Quinn, Betsy Steinberg

Co-Producer: Janea Smith

Associate Producer: Stephanie Rae Smith

Cinematographers: Kevin Shaw, Rebecca Parrish, Bing Liu, Steve James

Editors: Leslie Simmer, David E. Simpson, Steve James

Co-Editor: Alanna Schmelter

Associate Editor: Rubin Daniels Jr.

Music Supervisors: Dawn Sutter Madell, Jocelyn Michelle Brown

Music Composer: Joshua Abrams

America To Me

Participant MediaAbout Participant Media

Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant Media’s ( content combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for real world impact and awareness around the most pressing global issues of our time. As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 40 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake—all aimed at entertainment that inspires social awareness and engaging audiences to participate in positive social change. Participant’s content and social impact mandate speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing over 2 billion consumers who are compelled to make impactful content a priority focus. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant is positioned uniquely within the industry to engage a rapidly growing audience while bringing global awareness and action to today’s most vital issues.

Participant’s more than 80 films, including Spotlight, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, He Named Me Malala, The Look of Silence, CITIZENFOUR, Food, Inc. and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 56 Academy Award® nominations and 12 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Best Foreign Language Film for A Fantastic Woman. Participant’s digital entertainment division, SoulPancake (, is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting digital content including such widely popular series as Kid President and The Science of Happiness and reaches an audience of nearly 9 million fans. Follow Participant Media on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow SoulPancake on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram.