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Film tells story of climate change, environmental racism and resilience

November 7th, 2023

The "Eroding History" poster with screening details, and a photo of a deteriorating church building

The second film in the 2023-24 KIPCOR Film Series is a story of climate disaster, climate justice, longstanding systemic racism, and people’s struggle to hold onto their culture and community.

Eroding History, a film by Andre Chung, screens Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center on the Bethel College campus.

Eroding History centers on two Black communities on Deal Island, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, that are finding themselves at the intersection of sea level rise, historic racism and the disappearance of Black communities.

The film is a climate justice story made by two Black filmmakers and a Jewish grandchild of refugees, resulting in a deeply personal story.

The Environmental Justice Journalism Initiative produced the film. EJJI is a Baltimore-based nonprofit committed to helping young people tell their own stories about environmental inequities in their communities and neighborhoods.

There will be an audience talkback after the film with Dr. Jonathan Frye, professor of natural science at McPherson College.

Frye, who has taught at McPherson since 1993, is a native of central Pennsylvania and has a master’s degree and Ph.D. in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia, where his research focused on the Chesapeake Bay.

During a year-long fellowship at the University of Cologne, Germany, Frye studied flood tolerance in plants, and the role wetland plants play in the transport of methane, a greenhouse gas, from the soil to the atmosphere.

KIPCOR, the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Bethel College, sponsors the film series each school year. It is free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to support KIPCOR and the series.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel ranks at #23 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of “Best Regional Colleges Midwest” for 2023-24. Bethel was the first Kansas college or university to be named a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center, in 2021. For more information, see


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