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Thank You Diane Turner and Remembering Rick Turner!

by November 3, 2020 0

The Meaningful Movies Project evolved out of a community film and discussion group formed in 2003 and held in the Wallingford neighborhood in Seattle, Washington. Neighbors, committed to peace and justice, wanted to learn more about the causes and consequences of military intervention in Iraq. They began educating themselves using documentary film. Soon more and more people were clamoring to meet & talk about important social justice issues and about how the movies that they were watching connected to current events, their lives, families and communities. Thus the Meaningful Movies Project was born. 

As with every great effort, someone needed to lead – to help organize volunteers, recommend films, research screening rights, and more. Rick Turner was this passionate leader. His humility, loving presence, good humor, talent and dedication helped one Meaningful Movies venue inspire others. Community groups from across Western Washington came to Rick to ask for his assistance and advice. And of course, Rick didn’t do this work alone. He relied on the help of many other volunteers and especially the commitment of one important person, the person he fell in love with when he was in college, his wife, Diane Turner.

In 2012 Rick formed the non-profit, “Meaningful Movies Project,” to provide ongoing assistance to Meaningful Movies neighborhood groups. With Diane at his side, Rick served as the unpaid Executive Director and Board President of the organization for 5years. 

In December of 2016 Rick Turner passed away. His loss was felt deeply – by his family, friends, colleagues and by hundreds of people across the state whose lives were touched by this extraordinary man. In the last years of his life, Rick was Meaningful Movies’ full-time volunteer. And when he died, Diane made a commitment to continue what Rick had started. She took over where Rick left off and became the organization’s full-time volunteer Executive Director and Board President. 

First Rick and then Diane devoted themselves completely to the vision for Meaningful Movies and to supporting peace and justice by educating people through free documentary film and community discussion events. Over the course of 17 years, because of their vision, commitment, hard work and financial support they expanded this organization from one venue to close to 30 venues. In 2019, alone, there were 210 Meaningful Movies events and over 9,000 people attended. Just as important, Meaningful Movies events provided a space for hundreds of non-profits, activists and community leaders to talk about the work they are doing to support peace and justice. Now, because of the pandemic, the Meaningful Movies have shifted to online events. With Diane Turner’s support and leadership, the Meaningful Movies Project has been able to continue to build community by  providing free documentary film and discussion events and bringing awareness to the work of other people and organizations that are working hard for racial, economic, environmental and social justice. 

In August, Diane stepped down from her roles as Executive Director and Board Chair. On behalf of the entire Meaningful Movies Network, our board, our volunteers and the thousands of attendees at Meaningful Movies events, I want to say thank you and to say that we love you and that we  are so grateful for your dedication, your leadership and most of all your loving guidance over these many years. Your daily presence is missed but we are grateful for your ongoing interest, support and advice! Thank you, a thousand times, thank you!

-Anne Miller, MMP Manager

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