Dare to Dream: My Thoughts on Won’t Back Down

Won’t Back Down elevates the awareness level of the disparity of education available to students living in low income areas when compared to students in the same grades in better neighborhoods.

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Jaime Fitzpatrick, a single mother who is determined to get a better education for her daughter.  As a mother I could relate to Jaime and the battle she chose to fight.  When questioned about her motivation, she says that she refuses to fail her daughter by not getting her the education she deserves.

This mom viewed her daughters education as her responsibility and she refused to give up.  Her character reminded me that when it comes to my kids education, I can never settle for what I am told. I can’t and won’t back down.

Viola Davis plays Nona Alberts, a teacher at the school who is experiencing her own personal challenges but joins the battle to get better education for the kids. She risks her job, her relationships and her character by joining the fight. Although she wanted to give up many times, she stuck with it until the end.

As I sat in the audience, I was moved to tears.  My tears were not due to the challenges each mother faced while trying to get a better education for the children.  I was touched by the fact that two women united for a cause.  These women had completely different backgrounds and never let that distract them.  I was empowered as a woman at the thought of what we could accomplish when we stick together.

Between the election, various sound bytes and covers of national magazines asking if we (moms) are mom enough; women have been put in a position to choose sides.  We have been put in a position to judge one another. This movie is a strong reminder that there is strength in unity. In this movie an entire movement started with just two women.  Because of their commitment to each other and to their cause, they were able to pull in more women.

I suggest that you take the time to see Won’t Back Down, it comes out on September 28th.   It will warm your soul and challenge you to find another woman and a cause to support. Special thank you to Essence Magazine for providing an opportunity for me to see this empowering movie.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the movie, “What are you going to do with your one life?”