Atlanta, GA – The Degrees of Separation documentary film by Zakiya Akerele presents the stories of black college graduates plagued by unemployment and underemployment.
As you walk across the stage, receive your degree, and turn your tassel to the left, you now officially become a college grad. The expectation is that with this newly conferred degree comes a better quality of life, more money – the ideal American Dream. You’ve often heard from others that “the more education you have, the more money you’ll make.” Unfortunately for many, the reality is joblessness or low-wage work.
Degrees of Separation is a 31-minute documentary that brings awareness to the employment gap affecting black college graduates, such as implicit bias, discriminatory hiring practices, and lack of career advisement.
“The stories in this film are important for me to share because it used to be my story. I was a Ph.D. holder who experienced joblessness and had to work minimum wage jobs after completing my degree, and I realized I wasn’t alone in having that experience”, said film creator Zakiya Akerele.
Degrees of Separation features the stories of black college graduates who attended both predominately white institutions (PWI) and historical black colleges and universities (HBCU), including commentary by professionals who share their analysis on the issues.
A report by the Economic Policy Institue presents that black workers have double the unemployment as white workers and black college degree holders are more likely to be unemployed than their white counterparts. It furthered in presenting that even when black college graduates and advanced degree holders are employed, nearly 40% of them are underemployed and work jobs that do not require their level of education.
The Degrees of Separation documentary helps viewers understand the reality of this issue in hopes to change the narrative and implement possible solutions.
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/2q7QkfbJqjk