BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Liberty Mutual, the exclusive corporate sponsor of PBS’ forthcoming AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentary “Freedom Riders,” announced that four short films will be exclusively available at ResponsibilityProject.com beginning this February during Black History Month to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, a historic Civil Rights event. The short films feature poignant reflections from four 1961 Freedom Riders who joined others to challenge segregation in the South. The films can be found on Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility Project website, a site which uses compelling and entertaining content to spark a dialogue about “doing the right thing.”
The “Freedom Riders” documentary, directed by award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, will air on PBS on May 16, 2011. The film was based on Raymond Arsenault’s acclaimed book “Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice.” The documentary illustrates the experiences of the 400 black and white Americans who challenged segregated travel in the Deep South from May until December 1961. While fighting to change the course of American history, the Freedom Riders were met with mob violence and bitter racism, sorely testing their belief in non-violent activism. The film features testimony from a compelling group of individuals: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials and journalists who witnessed the rides firsthand.
“We are delighted to share these moving stories of courage, hope and determination as told by individuals who helped shape American history,” said Paul Alexander, senior vice president, communications, Liberty Mutual Group. "Liberty Mutual has sponsored PBS' American Experience series since 1997, and we appreciate the standard of excellence in programming and the compelling content that series like ‘Freedom Riders’ provide audiences. We hope that by experiencing the film series through our Responsibility Project website, individuals will be inspired to discuss responsibility as it relates to history and the 1961 Freedom Rides.”
PBS has partnered with Liberty Mutual to bring the “Freedom Riders” experience into the lives and homes of Americans through a multi-part initiative beginning with the launch of the short films. The four short films include:
- “The Young Witness,” a firsthand account of one child’s decision to help the Freedom Riders;
- “The Tactic,” a look at how nonviolence was more than a philosophy during the journey;
- “Fresh Troops,” a narrative of how the Freedom Riders desegregated Nashville; and
- “The Turning Point,” a story of how a return to Mississippi challenged the Freedom Riders to continue their journey.
Until April 5, 2011, the short films can be viewed exclusively at www.responsiblityproject.com. Additional short films about the documentary characters can be found at www.pbs.org/freedomriders. First unveiled at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010, the full film will air on PBS on May 16, 2011.
Information regarding the “Freedom Riders” film and the history of the Riders is available online through The Freedom Riders website, which is the first and only comprehensive website about the 1961 Rides. Additional parts of the Freedom Riders initiative include a 2011 Student Freedom Ride for college students, a traveling exhibit, comprehensive curriculum materials for the classroom, as well as local screening and forums.
About The Responsibility Project
The Responsibility Project, created by Liberty Mutual, is an organic evolution of the company’s advertising campaign that has showcased personal acts of responsibility and daily examples of ordinary people making the decision to do considerate things for strangers. These ads featured the tagline, “Responsibility. What’s your policy?” Through The Responsibility Project, Liberty Mutual is using entertaining content, including independently produced short films, blogs, articles, advertising and television programming, as catalysts for examining the decisions that confront people trying to “do the right thing.”
The Responsibility Project’s online community launched in the beginning of 2008, and to date there have been more than 19 million unique visitors to the site. Individuals can participate in online conversations about personal responsibility and watch and discuss live-action and animated short films at The Responsibility Project website and online community at www.ResponsibilityProject.com.
About Liberty Mutual Group
Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group is a diversified global insurer and fifth largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2009 direct written premium. The Company also ranks 71st on the Fortune 500 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2009 revenue. As of December 31, 2010, Liberty Mutual Group had $112.4 billion in consolidated assets, $95.4 billion in consolidated liabilities and $33.2 billion in annual consolidated revenue.
Liberty Mutual Group offers a wide range of insurance products and services, including personal automobile, homeowners, workers compensation, commercial multiple peril, commercial automobile, general liability, global specialty, group disability, assumed reinsurance, fire and surety.
Liberty Mutual Group (www.libertymutualgroup.com) employs over 45,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
About AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Television's most-watched history series, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has been hailed as "peerless" (The Wall Street Journal), "the most consistently enriching program on television" (The Chicago Tribune), and "a beacon of intelligence and purpose" (The Houston Chronicle). On air and online, the series brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America's past and present. Acclaimed by viewers and critics alike, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentaries have been honored with every major broadcast award, including fourteen George Foster Peabody Awards, four duPont-Columbia Awards, and twenty-seven Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards, one most recently in Outstanding Directing Nonfiction for My Lai.
Exclusive corporate funding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE provided by Liberty Mutual. Major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Major Funding for FREEDOM RIDERS is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities: because democracy demands wisdom. Additional funding provided by Lynn Bay Dayton, Nordblum Family Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Public Television Viewers. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.