Heart Of Florida United Way Releases “Know Your Place” Film 

Documentary Honors Black History Month and Celebrates Black Excellence

ORLANDO – Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) recently celebrated the public premiere of its first-ever documentary film “Know Your Place” – which illuminates realities in Central Florida’s not-so-distant past. Nearly 250 attendees attended the premiere to witness the powerful narrative unfold on the big screen. The film shares the untold personal stories of Central Floridians who faced the harsh realities of racism, segregation and bias throughout their lives.

“To build a thriving community, we must confront the realities of our past,” shared Jeff Hayward, president and CEO of Heart of Florida United Way. “We believe this film is for everyone and can serve as a catalyst for meaningful conversation and tangible action. For our business community, particularly, we hope it serves as a call to action to actively speak up and engage in initiatives that pave the way for a more just and inclusive future.”

Produced by Macbeth Studio, the documentary features prominent community voices, including:

  • Nick Aiken, Jr.,
  • Mable Butler, former Orange County Commissioner,
  • Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings,
  • Former U.S. Representative Val Demings,
  • Dr. Kathleen “Kat” Gordon,
  • Former Chief Judge Belvin Perry, Jr.,
  • Dr. Alzo Reddick, former member of Florida House of Representatives,
  • Lorenzo “Tee” Taylor,
  • Florida State Senator Geraldine Thompson,
  • Dr. Clara Walters, and
  • Annetta Wilson

Following the public premiere, a post-film discussion was held to share insight about the importance of the project.

  • “This was a bittersweet experience…more emotional than I expected and, at the same time, elated to talk about history that should be remembered. Denying history doesn’t alter it. Failing to remember and learn from it dooms you to repeat it. That would be the ultimate tragedy,” said Annetta Wilson, film participant and HFUW Board Member.
  • “Powerful and Compelling, the Heart of Florida United Way’s Know Your Place film provides important insights on our shared history and engages the community to have heartfelt and meaningful conversations on discrimination past and present.  These discussions will hopefully move us forward to creating a stronger and more inclusive Central Florida community. I appreciate the Heart of Florida United Way creating this film and sharing it with residents and leaders as a way to learn, grow, and work towards a brighter future for the community we call home,” said Tracey Powell, HFUW Board Chair and Senior Vice President, Consumer Insight, Measurement & Analytics for Disney Experiences.

Sponsors and partners of the film premiere event include Florida Blue, the Central Florida Foundation, the African American Chamber of Commerce, Ernst & Young, the Orlando Magic, and Meris Law Firm.

WFTV Channel 9 aired the film, presented by Florida Blue, on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. (EST).

To learn more about the film or how to partner with HFUW to bring the film to your organization, visit KnowYourPlace.org.