PTAFF 2017

Public Forum Program

PTAFF New York

October 30th and 31st


PTAFF Los Angeles

November 1st - 4th

Public Forum Panels

This year we have chosen Mass Incarceration and Education as the focus of our Public Forums. We will partner with related organizations to present panels and workshops around these very important issues.  Ending the disparate treatment of Black and Brown people within the criminal justice system and within our halls of elementary and high school education is paramount to PTAFF.  Our panels will explore these issues and the actions needed to prevent and end mass incarceration and poor educational opportunities in these communities.


Understanding our penal system of rehabilitative, restorative, reconciliatory, and punitive justice and what arguments can be made for or against abolishing prisons in America.

Is the current system of justice in the United States effective in eradicating crime and decreasing recidivism. How does the current system in the United States compare to other penal systems across the globe.  We will discuss the pros and cons of each of these systems, where the American Penal system falls and how we can best meet the needs of our prison population to ensure they are able to return to society as productive and contributing citizens.  What is the impact on recidivism under each of these systems? What are the effects on society if we abolish prisons all together, are there alternatives to incarceration?


Social Enterprise and its Impact - Innovations in Post Incarceration

Exploring barriers to re-entry and how Social Enterprise as both for profit and non profit is meeting the needs of the re-entry community and breaking down those barriers. What are some of the effective strategies being utilized by successful re-entry programs that struggling programs may adopt.


The Prison Industrial Complex – Real or Imagined cause of the increased number of incarcerated Americans as the states expands prisons for profit. 

This panel will explore the “Myths and Facts of the Prison Industrial Complex”.  We will lay out the realities as to the numbers of private prisons currently in operation, its effects on incarceration rates and the prison for profit agenda.  Is the “Prison Industrial Complex” responsible for the large number of Black and Brown inmates?


Understanding Solitary Confinement, mass incarceration of Immigrants and Refugees as a human rights violation.

Under the current government immigrants and refugees who once had the promise of freedom are being rounded up and imprisoned, they now live in fear, striped of their hopes of freedom. How do we as a Nation recover from this violation and betrayal? How do we advocate for those experiencing the cruelty of this regime, as well as those experiencing the cruelty of placing inmates, specifically transgender individuals in Solitary Confinement which tends to create long lasting damage to their mental and physical health.



We are losing the future - What's the truth behind the Mass Incarceration of our Youth - Community Leaders and stake holders explore the facts and data behind the incarceration of the poor, black and brown youth with the sole intent to find solutions to this epidemic.


The Economics of Incarceration - How do we combat this "For Profit" criminal justice system?  What are the action steps to ending the exploitation of the poor, Black and Brown people by the U.S. Bail System and the Prison Industrial Complex?



The current state of Public Education in underserved communities

Who is actually accountable for ensuring students receive the education necessary to prepare them for the future? Is it the role of the Federal Government, the state, teachers, or the parent? How do we hold each stakeholder accountable for the success of our youth?

Public schools in underserved communities are being taken over by Charter Schools, both with the funding of Charters with State and Federal dollars and the taking of prime real estate within the public school walls.  The idea of choice how does the new educational policies affect underserved communities?


Exploring the School to Prison Pipeline

Holding our community, local and national leaders accountable for investing in schools to educate our youth not in prisons to incarcerate them.  Who is responsible for ending the pipeline and how do we as community members and leaders hold them accountable. What's the action plan to build schools not prisons?


Meeting the needs of the future Workforce as we move into the era of technology and globalization.

Is our current education system helping students from underserved communities prepare for the future workforce?


Arts Education and Its Impact on our Youth

It is a proven fact that students who have access to arts in school tend to be more successful, they achieve better grades, tend to be more well adjusted and have less behavioral issues.  Reports have shown specifically, low-income students who had arts-rich experiences in high school were ten percent more likely to complete, for example, a high school calculus course than similar students who had less exposure to the arts.  Additionally, economically-disadvantaged students who had exposure to the arts were more likely to have planned to earn a bachelor’s degree (74 percent) than were economically-disadvantaged students with little or no access to the arts (43 percent).

The National Education Association believes the arts play an important role in providing students with a well-rounded education.  With all the data on the successful impact arts education provide for our youth why has there been such significant cuts to arts programs in the public schools.  Why has more funding been allocated to arts education in juvenile facilities rather than allocating those funds to students in traditional programs.  Is it possible that more funding for arts programs within our public schools lead to more successful students and positively reduce the drop rate?


WORKSHOP (Los Angeles)

Best Practices for Parent Engagement and Active Participation in Childs Education

We will explore proven methods of getting parents engaged and participating in child's learning process.


Comparative Education Models - How does the United States education model compare globally?

Education experts from around the world sharing educational models and successful pedagogy, proven to create engaged and succesful academic achievements. The United States consistently lags in academic achievement behind most industrialized nations.  What steps need to be taken to ensure America's education system becomes among the top ranking systems in the world.  Finland was able to do it can America follow in their foot steps?



Empowering the student to take ownership of his/her education.

High school students from varying institutions across Los Angeles will discuss their experience as it relates to school culture, resources, educational opportunities, college preparation, and institutional pedagogy.  They will share their views on their institutions effectiveness in preparing them for the future, and compare and contrast classes and extra curricular activities offered from one institution to the next. Students will discuss their needs, expectations, and how best the institutions can best meet such needs.




As filmmakers seek to make films that inspire and create social change they are often conflicted withthe need to make commercially viable films. For most filmmakers the difficulty in finding financing for their films causes them many sleepless nights as they sacrifice to earn. The percentage of filmmakers that actually stay the course and finally get more than their friends and family participating in a crowd funding campaign to help them get their film made decreases each year. Movie making is a big ticket item and most investors are interested in return on their investment. Filmmakers of Socially relevant films tasking themselves with the desire to bring about change through their work, find it most challenging to secure financing for their passion induced projects.  

As the consciousness of the masses heighten and the desire of filmmakers to move beyond solely entertainment, to inspire, educate and inform their audience, how do they connect with industry partners interested in the financing, socially relevant films. Filmmakers who were able to find financing will share with us.


Does Hollywood romanticize incarceration with the popularity of shows such as “Orange is the New Black” and “Oz”?

Given the popularity of “Oz”, “Prison Break” and “Orange is the Black” has the younger generation gotten desensitized to the realities of incarceration?  Do these shows truly present the truth regarding life behind bars and can they act as deterrence to incarceration?


Alternatives to theatrical release

Have you finished your film yet no distributor coming forward with offers of theatrical release. Winning festival after festival yet no release date in sight.  

Lets talk alternatives to traditional theatrical release.      



AI and Hollywood's Bottomline

We will explore using Artificial Intelligence to determine the potential success of a film project in order to minimize the risk associated with film funding and investment.


This list of Public Forum Panels is subject to change.