Storming Caesars Palace Screening and Community Conversation at The National Women’s History Museum

“If you want your life to get better, you’ve got to fight for it!” These powerful words from Ruby Duncan set the tone for the unforgettable event centered around the screening of the award-winning WMM release STORMING CAESARS PALACE (dir. Hazel Gurland-Pooler) at The National Women’s History Museum. This free event provided attendees with a unique opportunity to watch the film and engage in a meaningful discussion with the filmmaker, Hazel Gurland-Pooler, and Ruby Duncan’s daughter, Sondra Phillips-Gilbert. The event was more than just a screening; it was a space to connect with community members who continue Ruby Duncan’s legacy of fighting for justice and dignity.

In addition to the screening, participants had the chance to explore The People’s Archive and several exhibitions that celebrate Black feminist history and community activism. The event also featured the Our Stories, Our Justice Project, where audience members could record their stories, contributing to a collective oral and visual history that highlights the ongoing radical leadership of BIPOC women. Partnering with local organizations such as Empower DC and the DC Poor People’s Campaign, the event underscored the importance of community-led efforts in advocating for economic justice and the protection of low-wage workers.

STORMING CAESARS PALACE vividly chronicles Ruby Duncan’s battle against a welfare department entrenched in fraud allegations, showcasing her fierce combination of feminism and civil rights activism. Duncan’s mobilization of her community in 1970s Las Vegas, culminating in a massive protest that shut down Caesars Palace, drew national attention to the plight of welfare mothers. It is available to book or purchase!

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