Community Cinema Presents Solar Mamas

Nov 12, 2012

For Immediate Release

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rafea, shown with two of her four children, travels outside her Jordanian village for the first time to attend the solar engineering program at India's Barefoot College. Her story is profiled in the Independent Lens film Solar Mamas.
Credit Mona Eldaie / Independent Lens

Contacts: Vickie Devenport, WSIU Outreach Coordinator, (618) 453-6148,

Local Film Shares the Power of Women’s Education

Carbondale, Ill. -- WSIU Public Broadcasting, the public media arm of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and the Carbondale Public Library will host Community Cinema’s third free screening with the film Solar Mamas on Saturday, November 24 at 2:30pm at the library, 405 West Main in Carbondale.

Dr. Lizette Chevalier, Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, and Melinda Yeomans, Coordinator for University Women's Professional Advancement, will lead a discussion after the film. Refreshments will be provided.

Solar Mamas introduces India’s Barefoot College, where rural, poor, and often illiterate women from around the world are offered the rare opportunity to receive an education that teaches them how to make their communities self-reliant and sustainable. Barefoot’s groundbreaking program addresses the needs of rural communities for both jobs and sustainable energy by teaching women the skills they need to create solar energy and then earn a living by practicing the trade and teaching it to others. In addition to an education, the college experience provides new friendships and an eye-opening adventure for women who have never before been on their own.

The film features Rafea, a beautiful, strong-willed 32-year-old Jordanian mother of four, who is traveling outside of her village for the first time ever to attend Barefoot’s solar engineering program. During her journey, Rafea goes through a profound transformation, returning to Jordan stronger and more confident, with the skills to earn an income and help her community in ways never done before. Additional details about the film are available at the Solar Mamas website.

The remaining Community Cinema schedule is as follows: Soul Food Junkies (January 26), The Powerbroker (February 23), Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines (March 30), The Island President (April 27), The Revolutionary Optimists (May 25), and Love Free or Die (June 29).  

Community Cinema is national civic engagement initiative featuring free film screenings of films distributed by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), followed by discussion of the themes explored in each film. Film screenings will be at the Carbondale Public Library on the last Saturday of every month at 2:30pm. Screenings will be held monthly through June 2013, with the exception of December. The project is designed to bring communities together to discuss key social issues of our time.

For more information about WSIU's Community Cinema screenings, contact Vickie Devenport at (618) 453-6148 or More information can be found online at the WSIU Community Cinema website.

The Community Cinema initiative is a service of Independent Television Service (ITVS) and is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

About WSIU Public BroadcastingWSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than three million people across five states and beyond through three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and an education and community outreach department.

WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.

WSIU's programs and services are partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

#  #  #