Featured character in award-winning documentary speaks at UI April 3
Thursday, March 28, 2013
poster for movie showing chicago skyline

Ricardo "Cobe" Williams, one of the featured characters in The Interrupters, an award-winning documentary film addressing violence in Chicago, will speak at the University of Iowa after a presentation of selected portions of the film at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 3.

The event will take place in Jones Commons, Room N300 Lindquist Center, and is free and open to the public. Sponsors are the UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment in the UI Chief Diversity Office and The Hubbard Group, which is dedicated to increasing the retention of undergraduate African American men at the UI. Additional support comes from the UI College of Education.

Williams is a national trainer for CeaseFire, an anti-violence organization featured in The Interrupters. Williams, who grew up in Englewood, Ill., a community marked by poverty and violence, spent three stints in prison for drug-related charges and attempted murder before deciding to make a change and join CeaseFire. He now travels the country to train other Violence Interrupters.

He received the Hero Award from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and has been recognized by the mayor of Milwaukee, Chicago State University, and the University of Illinois-at-Chicago for his work. He’s spoken at the United Nations, the American Bar Association, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, as well as at numerous colleges and universities, high schools, and at juvenile detention centers around the country.

The Interrupters premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on PBS’s FRONTLINE in January 2012 as a two-hour special. It was picked as one of the best films of 2011 by The New Yorker, The Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly, and The Los Angeles Times.

To learn more about the film, visit interrupters.kartemquin.com/about.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. For more information or special accommodations to attend, contact Frances Barnes at frances-barnes@uiowa.edu.