JACKSON, Tenn. – Oct. 21, 2011 – Brooks Douglass, the writer and producer of the film “Heaven’s Rain,” will be the featured speaker at the Remember Me Commemorative Walk for Homicide-Loss Survivors Oct. 24 at Union University.
Following the walk, Union will show “Heaven’s Rain,” and Douglass will answer questions from the audience.
“Heaven’s Rain” tells the story of the murder of Douglass’ parents and his journey toward justice and forgiveness. Douglass was 16 years old in 1979 when he opened the door of his family’s home to what he believed was a man in need. But the man, Glen Ake, and his partner, Steven Hatch, pulled out guns, tied up the Douglass family, assaulted Brooks’ 12-year-old sister Leslie and shot all four family members.
Douglass’ parents died at the scene, but Brooks and Leslie recovered from their wounds and for the next 16 years endured the struggles that accompanied the lengthy courtroom trials of Ake and Hatch. At age 27, Douglass became the youngest state senator in Oklahoma history and was successful in passing a series of victims’ rights legislation.
On a tour of a state prison in 1995, Brooks saw Ake and asked to talk to the man who had destroyed his family. “Heaven’s Rain” shares the result of that meeting.
Douglass received the prestigious 2011 Ronald Reagan Public Policy Award for his work on the film, which has received accolades from church groups and Christian leaders across the country. After viewing the film, Union President David S. Dockery said that the film “presents the challenges and suffering faced by the Douglass family in a sensitive manner, producing a moving and powerful portrayal of forgiveness.”
The film screening begins at 7 p.m. in the Carl Grant Events Center. It is free and open to the public.
The Remember Me walk begins with dinner at 4:45 in the Grant Center, where Douglass will speak, followed by a candlelight walk and a balloon release. Surviving family members of homicide victims are invited to participate in the event, which is sponsored by the Trauma, Faith and Resilience Program of the Center for Just and Caring Communities at Union University.
To register for the walk, or for more information, contact Terry Blakley at (731) 661-5564 or firstname.lastname@example.org.