Richard Ray Perez

Richard Ray Perez

Activism is in the Action: Civility, Community and Starting from Where You Are

Diversity Conference

11:30 - 12:20 p.m.

October 6, 2017

Accomplished filmmaker Richard Ray Perez empowers storytellers and audiences to tell more compelling stories.  In his speeches, at his talks and in his workshops, he inspires participants to tap into their life experience, discover and develop their personal narratives, and access their creativity to tell more impactful stories. An expert in the field of storytelling for social change, he has given talks, presented workshops, and participated as a both panelist and a moderator at events focusing on nonfiction filmmaking, as well as domestic and international events for students and communities.  Filmmakers and communities have sought his insights into visual storytelling at presentations in China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and throughout the United States; he has presented illuminating talks on at the Smithsonian Institution, the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, and the Sundance Film Festival. He has been instrumental in building storytelling communities in Beijing, Los Angeles, and Miami).

Richard Ray Perez (Rick) directed the award-winning documentary Cesar's Last Fast, a film that illuminates the life and impact of civil and labor rights leader Cesar Chavez. He has a deep, personal connection to the subject matter addressed in Cesar’s Last Fast: for 22 years his father was a farm worker who labored under and lived in the conditions Cesar Chavez fought to end. His first feature film, Unprecedented, tells the story of the tumultuous 2000 presidential election and helped expose systemic disenfranchisement of thousands of minority voters in Florida.  In addition to his work as a filmmaker, he is a senior staffer at Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program where he oversees a portfolio of strategic partnerships that focus on the convergence of nonfiction filmmaking, innovative thought leadership, and themes vital to contemporary societies.

Rick developed his commitment to storytelling for social change during his nine-year tenure at d Brave New Films, where he created three award-winning documentaries series including Operation In Their Boots, a project that commissioned veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to produce and direct episodes, Freedom Files, Season II, and Sierra Club Chronicles.

Mr. Perez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Harvard University where he was the recipient of the Harvard College Scholarship for academic achievement of high distinction.



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