MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE - Now Available from Third World Newsreel

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MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE: THE STORY OF PUERTO RICAN STUDIES IN BROOKLYN COLLEGE tells the story of the student-led struggle to win Puerto Rican Studies at Brooklyn College, CUNY, in the late 1960s.


This new documentary film is a mosaic of voices, film footage, and photographs taken by student activists. This important intergenerational story highlights how students and faculty seized the moment to build upon an alliance of Puerto Rican, African American, and other progressive students forged in their communities and the civil rights movement. Together they changed the face of higher education, transforming the curriculum and expanding who gets educated. The film sheds light on the 50-year history of struggle that started with the founding of one of the first Puerto Rican Studies departments in the nation, and documents the continued movement to maintain their gains. (2021, 30 minutes)


Produced by Gisely Colón López, Tami Gold and Pam Sporn

Edited by Sonia Gonzalez-Martinez and Pam Sporn

Featuring music by Arturo O’Farrill, Oscar Hernández and BombaYo

A Production of the Alliance for Puerto Rican Education and Empowerment (APREE)




“What a fabulous film! I was blown away, uplifted, taken back to the amazing spirit of those times and encouraged by how learning about it can fire up the young movements of today. The unbreakable bonds between Blacks and Puerto Ricans and students and faculty should be the big takeaway here.”

- Rosalind Petchesky, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Hunter College


“Fantastic film! An essential documentary revealing a rarely examined set of events in New York City's history that has needed to be told for decades. The story of the formation of the Puerto Rican Studies Department at Brooklyn College became the model for similar critical curricula adopted by many Universities and Colleges around the U.S., some of which remain in place today because of the activists and scholars captured in this film.”

- Michelle Materre, Founder and Director, Creatively Speaking


"Wow! The energy, the pacing, the archival photos and footage, and the storytelling and storytellers! It teaches and inspires and underlines how important it is to always know the roots of our activism and our victories—on whose shoulders we stand.”

- Elena Schwolsky, RN, Author and Educator


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Watch trailer: 


Livia Camperi

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