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We're Here To Speak for Justice

i hour 3 min. “We’re Here to Speak for Justice: Founding California’s Regional Centers,” is a provocative and moving documentary on the founding of the regional center system for people with developmental disablilities and their families in the State of California. The movie originally aired on February 27, 2000 on KCET.The film “We’re Here to Speak for Justice: Founding California’s Regional Centers” was produced with a generous grant from Union Bank of California and the support of Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center, Golden Gate Regional Center and Harbor Regional Center, in partnership with the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.

The film was produced and directed by award winning filmmaker Theodore Braun, senior lecturer at USC’s School of Cinema-Television. It was made through a partnership between Union Bank of California, Lanterman, Golden Gate and Harbor Regional Centers, and The University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.

The film captures for the first time, in print or moving images, the fascinating, challenging and dramatic story behind the development of the regional center system - told by the pioneers who lived it. It is a remarkable historical achievement that stands as a testament to the ability of committed individuals to effect social change.

It’s the story of impassioned parents, dynamic professionals and legendary state legislators who worked together to open the doors, bring down the old system, and forge a new, more humane and responsive way to improve the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and their families. It is a story about ordinary citizens coming together to change government for the good of their community. It is a story that celebrates partnership, idealism and compassion.

This story of a generation that transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Californians, reminds us all of the extraordinary obstacles we’ve overcome since the early 1960s, the triumphs we’ve enjoyed, and the spirit required to face the challenges ahead. We hope it inspires, encourages and empowers all those in the field of developmental disabilities and the broader community to “keep the vision alive.”Additional support was provided by Eastern Los Angeles Regional Center, Kern Regional Center, North Los Angeles County Regional Center, Regional Center of the East Bay, San Andreas Regional Center, San Gabriel-Pomona Regional Center, and South Central Los Angeles Regional Center.