The Fall ’21 Take A Stand! Sit In! symposium featured several guest artists including LCC alum Rudy Valdez, showing and discussing his Emmy-winning documentary, The Sentence. LCC has acquired a one-year license through Kanopy so the film is available for viewing and classroom use to LCC faculty, staff and students. Log in at

The Sentence explores the devastating consequences of mass incarceration and mandatory minimum drug sentencing through the story of Cindy Shank, a mother of three young children serving a 15-year sentence in federal prison for her tangential involvement in a Michigan drug ring years before. Shot and directed by Rudy Valdez over the course of a decade, this feature documentary tells the very personal story of his sister’s plight in the criminal justice system while tackling subjects like mandatory minimums and sentencing reform.

Rudy Valdez is a Michigan-raised, New York City-based filmmaker committed to creating social, cultural, and political stories through a cinematic and meaningful lens. An alum of LCC’s Theatre Studio Program, Rudy got his start in film as a Camera Operator on the Peabody Award-winning, Sundance series Brick City before directing The Sentence. He has worked as Cinematographer on a multitude of projects including with directors Whoopi Goldberg, Robert DiNiro, and many others. His most recent project, Breakaway, a feature film following WNBA superstar, Maya Moore and her fight for criminal justice reform, premiered on ESPN in July 2021.His four-part docu-series, We Are: The Brooklyn Saints, is currently streaming on Netflix. He also co-directed the premiere episode of Through Our Eyes (HBO) alongside Academy Award-winning director, Geeta Gandbhir, a four-part docu-series from Sesame Workshop that explores the lives of American families from the perspective of children; how they navigate their circumstances with their families and the world at large. He is in production on the definitive feature documentary of Carlos Santana, and of Disney +’s CHOIR, a docu-series following the Detroit Youth Choir after their star turn on America’s Got Talent. Valdez’s repertoire now extends into the scripted arena as he recently sold a genre TV series he created to Amazon that is loosely based on his family and life experiences.

A recording of the post-film discussion with Rudy will be posted in December at