Our embrace of the power of storytelling drives strategic communications campaigns for some of the nation’s most stellar documentarians.

Zooming in with the sharp racial-justice lens that defines our work, we promote films that capture the saga of rights and equality. More than mere exposure, we create conversations—engaging diverse audiences and expanding the national discourse about social justice.

Beginning in 2003 with The Murder of Emmett Till, Stanley Nelson’s gripping documentary about the horrific 1955 slaying of a 14-year-old Black boy, McKinney has brought public attention and acclaim to these cultural events. We again teamed with Nelson and PBS to screen Beyond Brown: Pursuing the Promise, marking the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s historic Brown v. Board of Education decision ending school segregation.

To support Race—The Power of an Illusion, California Newsreel’s evocative examination of the artificial construct of race, McKinney generated mass interest in a tight news cycle by enlisting columnists and writers who probed questions raised by the three-part film series.

Race remains unsurpassed in its incisive treatment of the artificial construct; its subject continues to be scrutinized by students of racial justice, human biology, anthropology, sociology and American history.

The series also spurred a wider exploration of health disparities with a multi-tiered communications campaign promoting Newsreel’s second series, Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? The seven-part examination of the social determinants of health connects the dots between social inequities and health status, irrefutably linking physiology to the conditions in which we are born, live and work.

Recognizing the need to expand public engagement beyond the relatively small, well-informed audience of PBS viewers, we rolled out a six-month campaign that pushed health equity beyond the then-raging national debate about health care reform, asserting that where we live may also determine how long we live.

Unnatural Causes won critical acclaim, including the prestigious Alfred I. DuPont–Columbia Award. It has been screened by thousands of health, community and social justice activists across the country and is a trusted source for experts in the field.

McKinney most recently worked with Newsreel to elevate its third series, The Raising of America—a masterful investigation of early child development that grew directly out of the questions raised by Unnatural Causes about the root causes of racial inequities in health. The documentary series probes how conditions faced by young children and their families can literally alter the developing brain and affect a child’s later success—in school and in life.

McKinney’s insights and strategy have been pivotal to the success of these essential entries in the centuries-long narrative of democracy and social justice.