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We’re Here to Speak for Justice: Details

“We’re Here to Speak for Justice: Founding California’s Regional Centers,” is a provocative and moving documentary on the founding of the regional center system for people with developmental disablilities and their families in the State of California. The movie originally aired on February 27, 2000 on KCET.

Image of the cover of the companion booklet to the film “We’re Here to Speak for Justice: Founding California’s Regional Center’s.” To order a video click on the image.

The film was produced and directed by award winning filmmaker Theodore Braun, senior lecturer at USC’s School of Cinema-Television. It was made through a partnership between Union Bank of California, Lanterman, Golden Gate and Harbor Regional Centers, and The University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.

The film captures for the first time, in print or moving images, the fascinating, challenging and dramatic story behind the development of the regional center system - told by the pioneers who lived it. It is a remarkable historical achievement that stands as a testament to the ability of committed individuals to effect social change.

It’s the story of impassioned parents, dynamic professionals and legendary state legislators who worked together to open the doors, bring down the old system, and forge a new, more humane and responsive way to improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families. It is a story about ordinary citizens coming together to change government for the good of their community. It is a story that celebrates partnership, idealism and compassion.

This story of a generation that transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Californians, reminds us all of the extraordinary obstacles we’ve overcome since the early 1960s, the triumphs we’ve enjoyed, and the spirit required to face the challenges ahead. We hope it inspires, encourages and empowers all those in the field of developmental disabilities and the broader community to “keep the vision alive.”

About the Producer/Director

Theodore Braun has written and directed fictional films and documentaries for HBO, PBS, A&E and The Discovery Channel on subjects ranging from the historical Jesus to test pilots of aviation’s golden age to the Clarence Thomas- Anita Hill Hearings. His documentary on the Gulf War for U.S. News & World Report was A&E’s highest-rated original documentary in 1991. He also served as a producer for the 1992 Democratic National Convention.

Before joining the faculty at USC’s School of Cinema- Television, where he is currently a senior lecturer in screenwriting, Mr. Braun taught screenwriting at Amherst College. He regularly conducts seminars in Europe as a member of North by Northwest, the distinguished script development program of the European Union.

About the Sponsors

The film “We’re Here to Speak for Justice: Founding California’s Regional Centers” was produced with a generous grant from Union Bank of California and the support of Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center, Golden Gate Regional Center and Harbor Regional Center, in partnership with the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.

Additional support was provided by Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center, Kern Regional Center, North Los Angeles County Regional Center, Regional Center of the East Bay, San Andreas Regional Center, San Gabriel-Pomona Regional Center, and South Central Los Angeles Regional Center.

View the Film

A streaming video version of the film is available online.

Download the Companion Booklet

The companion booklet to the film “We’re Here to Speak for Justice” is also available online as a downloadable PDF. Download the booklet (450KB)