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Speaking our truth

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Over 5 years ago I embarked on a very monumental project. My vision was to honor, preserve and pay tribute to African-American trailblazers in the medical field. More importantly, I wanted to honor my father’s wishes to tell his story to the world. I decided to go in the direction of creating a documentary film. I didn’t know exactly what was ahead of me, but I was ready to take on the project and make the commitment to see it through. I made the decision to reach out to a few filmmakers to determine who would be the best fit to bring my vision to fruition. A filmmaker who knew what it would take to embark on such a project. I was able to finally narrow it down to a close family friend who had the knowledge and expertise in movie making. I was comfortable and confident that this project would be executed with empathy, strategy, and dedication. This business partner suggested we include another creative to join our project and we then became a team of 3. We spent nearly a year discussing the logistics and the part I would play to create a powerful team!

Nearly 3 years were spent raising funds to support our efforts (we didn’t have a personal budget required for filming, travel, marketing, etc.) To our surprise with our fundraising efforts, we raised over 20k through donations and screenings. The community also wanted to see this project happen. We participated in dozens of film festivals and won “Best Documentary Film” in several cities around the country, even in Canada. My main responsibility was to oversee/direct/execute marketing, public relations, social media, website design, press, booking private screenings, accounting and record-keeping, banking, forming the business entity, trademark and copyright registrations, and graphic design to name a few. While working a part-time job, fulfilling my art responsibilities as a full-time visual artist, I made sure to continue making the film project a main priority. Our vision was to get distribution... Not for the “money” per se, but to bring awareness and pay homage to this legacy.

In the spring of 2018, we did just that. Secured a world-wide distribution deal! We were all excited and proud that all of our work paid off. In the process to secure this distribution deal, there were several industry requirements that needed to be done before the film would be released to the public. To my surprise, not even a week before the film was released, I was taken aback that I was NOT included in the 3-way partnership for the distribution deal. I was devastated, saddened, heartbroken, and confused- my father and I both were. I couldn’t understand why. I spent months trying to wrap my mind around what happened. I did my due diligence and tried to make sense of it, and get to the bottom of it, but was later ghosted. My only option was to protect my father and my interest in the film and our legal rights.

In 2019 I began the process of retaining an attorney to investigate. I later realized that this was a serious legal matter and would require me to retain a major law firm. I didn’t have out-of-pocket money to retain the law firm and had to use every line of credit I had to pay legal fees which was roughly $20,000. I successfully was able to receive a permanent withdrawal from the business entity and my entitled ⅓ rights to the film and any intellectual property that was in my name.

As of today, I have not received any form of payout/ profit or accurate record of any accounting. I have continued paying my credit card bills only to still be in the negative and still drowning in debt.

This entire ordeal has drained me and caused mental distress, fatigue, and depression. For over 4 years I have kept silent in hopes that I could move on and put the entire ordeal behind me, but to no avail, I am still living this unfortunate situation each and every day. My goal as a business owner/entrepreneur/creative is to always be transparent, ethical, responsible, and fair while continuing to preserve the integrity of the “film” and part ways from this horrific business venture.

It has taken me years to be able to share this information. I never bashed, defamed, or spoke negatively regarding my former business partners. I always had hope that this would be resolved. It has also taken a bit of humility to ask for help. My goal is to raise at least half of the money to even make a dent in my legal debt. If I surpass my goal, that would be amazing, but I needed to start somewhere.

Every dollar will be used to pay all legal fees incurred.

Retainer: $5000
Invoice: Feb 4, 2021- $7,314.11
Invoice: March 11, 2021- $4,179.50
Invoice: March 16, 2021- $2,179.50
Invoice: April 20, 2021-$1,679.73

I want to thank you in advance for your help and your contribution toward a new chapter in my life. My father is 91 years old and did not deserve this and only wanted to share his story and I wanted to honor that. I want my father to know that I am resilient and strong and will always stand up for what's right. It is my hope to keep pushing forward with dignity and pride while contributing to the culture and making a difference in the arts. Sometimes there comes a time you have to speak up and it was long overdue. To say thank you and share my gratitude to my attorney after this case was closed, I gifted her two paintings that I did of the late John Lewis and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her reply….

“I hope this finds you well. Many thanks for the beautiful artwork. I’ve been so inspired by both Ginsberg (I cried when she passed last year) and Lewis’ work toward social justice work and will continue to be guided by their example through your artwork.”

Sincerely,

Rebecca and Dr. Earle U. Robinson Jr.



Portrait Reveal of Dr. Earle U. Robinson Jr. 
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Donations 

  • Mario Page
    • $100 
    • 6 mos
  • Lynda VanKirk
    • $50 
    • 9 mos
  • Angela Haynes
    • $500 
    • 9 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $10 (Offline)
    • 9 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $230 
    • 11 mos
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Organizer

R Robinson
Organizer
Indianapolis, IN

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