Center gives something to talk about

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When Linda Lewis, Sandra Sherrod and Summer Laws started meeting for coffee this summer, they had no idea how many things would come out of their conversation.

They spent two months discussing political opinions and thinking of ways to make changes before opening the Steamboat Springs Peace and Justice Center.

One of their first ideas was to organize a film series of educational movies of social import.

The series started two weeks ago with the film, "Uncovered: The Whole Truth about the Iraq War." Filmmaker Errol Morris' angle was simple. He simply replayed speeches by President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld made during the past six months, Lewis said.

As the film progressed and the speeches started to contradict themselves, the 60 people watching the movie became more and more outraged, Lewis said.

"The film showed how they were changing what they said," Lewis said. "There were a lot of young people in attendance, and they were holding Impeach Bush petitions."

After the films, audience members are invited for snacks and tea and a chance to discuss what they have seen.

"People need to know that there are other people who feel the way they do," Lewis said. "And there needs to be a group of concerned, committed people who are working together so we can make real change."

The films they chose for the series take stands on issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the presidential elections and the effects of Wal-Mart on a small town.

"We didn't pick anything that's middle-of-the-road," Lewis said. "We want to get people discussing."

Tonight's film is "Unprecedented: The Untold Story of the 2000 Election." Attendees will be given the chance to register to vote at the end of the evening, just in time for the Feb. 13 deadline for registering to vote in the April primaries.

The Peace and Justice Center will be showing films every other Friday on a schedule that offsets the Steamboat Springs Arts Council free Friday Film Series.

In addition to the film series, the Peace and Justice Center also is hosting a Sunday "Peace Potluck" brunch. Brunch participants chose two topics they wanted to explore as a group: a study of the presidential candidates and living simply.

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