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The second annual Huntsville Human Rights Film Festival will take place September 14-16, 2023, on the campus of The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Sponsored by the UAH Humanities Center, UAH Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, City of Huntsville Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and United Women of Color, the Festival showcases films, documentaries, and dialogue with community members and advocates from Huntsville, the region, and the state of Alabama. The Festival also shines the spotlight on national issues with local impacts. 

This year's Festival theme, Community Health is a Human Right, focuses the lens on the collective health and well-being of a community, elevates human rights as a public good, and exposes threats to safe, healthy communities across four dimensions:

  • Community Mental Health
  • Policing
  • Environmental Health
  • Food Insecurity

These are voices and experiences not often heard, and the Festival opens the door for memorable film experiences and eye-opening, first-person interactions among diverse people groups.

Festival Schedule

The complete Festival schedule is viewable HERE. 

2nd annual huntsville human rights film festival

A limited number of souvenir programs will be available each day of the festival. 

Festival Highlights:

Thursday, September 14

The M. Louis Salmon Library will offer a dedicated screening of Ethereal Films, Angel of Alabama, The Story of Brenda Hampton.  For access to the screening, visit

About: If you’ve heard about PFAs, or forever chemicals, in our water supply, it’s likely because of Lawrence County native, Brenda Hampton.  Brenda’s work for environmental health and justice led to permanent water solutions for her community, and policy change in government and corporations. 

Brenda Hampton was born first of ten to a family in rural Alabama. Her mother taught her to think critically and always fight for justice, so she left for Boston to become an investigator. When her mother fell ill, she returned to Alabama to donate her left kidney. Eventually Brenda’s remaining kidney began to fail and triggered her realization of a larger problem. With her expertise and passion for justice, she identified the source of massive environmental contamination in Alabama. Her efforts have even pushed international progress including a policy change by the largest fast-food company in the world: McDonalds.

Friday, September 15

6:00 PM Film Festival Opening Reception

7:00 PM Chosen for Change. An evening with Michael Brown Sr.

8:00 PM Film Screening: Ferguson Rises

Hosted by David Person. Lakeside United Methodist Church, 3738 Meridian Street, Huntsville, AL 35811. 

Michael Brown, Jr. was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. His death sparked national debate on law enforcement responses in Black and Brown communities. 

Mr. Brown, Sr. established Chosen for Change to empower, engage, and build leadership and self-determination in grieving fathers, children and youth and families regardless of religious preferences, ethnic background, gender and race.

This event is held at historic Lakeside United Methodist Church. Local advocate and journalist David Person will moderate the conversation about the intersections of faith, justice and policing.

Saturday, September 16 

Festival Main Day 9:00 AM-6:00 PM at Morton Hall

Requiring Justice: Faith and the Coverage Gap

Alabama is one of only 10 states that has refused to expand Medicaid. Requiring Justice: Faith and the Coverage Gap is a new short film from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network that explores how expanding Medicaid could make a difference for more than more than 220,000 Alabamians caught in the coverage gap. The film is the cornerstone for a conversation with Alabama faith leaders including:

  • Reverend Carolyn Foster, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama, Greater Birmingham Ministries, and the Alabama chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign.
  • Fisher Humphreys, professor of Divinity, Emeritus, at Samford University, residential Scholar at St. Mary’s-on-the-Highlands Episcopal Church in Birmingham, and chairman of the board of Christian Ethics Today.
  • Father Manuel Williams, C.R., CFRE, M.Div., Th.M., director of Resurrection Catholic Missions of the South, Inc., and pastor of Resurrection Catholic Church in Montgomery, Alabama.

Veterans, Mental Health and Policing: An intersectional conversation with the family of Crystal Ragland

Crystal Ragland was killed by police while she was experiencing a mental health crisis. The Ragland family and panelists discuss her life, special mental health needs for veterans, and humane policing for people in crisis. The film, Ernie & Joe: Crisis Cops, will be screened during this session.

Alabama Rivers Alliance - Southern Exposure Films “Takeover”

Southern Exposure Films will “takeover” the Festival’s Environmental Health track, with a slate of short films, documentaries and dialogue Alabama’s waterways

Film: Hungry to Learn: The Highest Cost of College Might Be Your Health

The hidden faces behind an American crisis, some college students are so strapped to pay tuition that they don’t have enough money to eat or a place to live. A lack of food is just a symptom of a bigger problem. The American Dream of a college education is slipping out of reach. This documentary is not just about the devastating hunger crisis unfolding on American campuses. It is about what can — and should — be done about it.

Community Resource Fair

Community partners are invited to host resource tables on Saturday’s main Festival Day.

The Huntsville Human Rights Film Festival is possible through the generous support of The University of Alabama in Huntsville Humanities Center. United Women of Color, City of Huntsville Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, City of Huntsville Human Rights Commission, and the UAH Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion. Partners include the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, North Alabama School of Organizers, Southern Fried Film Festival, Southern Exposure Films, and Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

 All events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Dr. Noelle Hunter at or 256-824-2397.