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Delta State to Host Screening of “Mama Bears”

CLEVELAND, Miss.— Delta State University will host a screening of the documentary film “Mama Bears” on Tuesday, March 7 at 6:00 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. 

“Mama Bears” examines the experiences of mothers of LBGTQ+ children across the country who have found community via private Facebook groups. These mothers, many of whom are conservative Christians, are dedicated to supporting each other, their children, and the rights of all LGBTQ+ people. The film is an intimate, thought-provoking exploration of the journeys taken by two such “mama bears,” Sara Cunningham and Kimberly Shappley, as well as that of Tammi Terrell Morris, a young African American lesbian whose struggle for self-acceptance perfectly exemplifies why mothers like these are so vitally important. 

The screening is sponsored by Southern Circuit, LGBTQ Fund of Mississippi, and DSU’s Department of Equality and Inclusion. Southern Circuit screenings are funded in part by a grant from South Arts, a regional arts organization, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. 

DSU Coordinator for Diversity and Inclusion Michelle Johansen said, “This film addresses issues of faith, gender, and sexual identities in an accessible and compassionate way. It highlights a particular aspect of the LGBTQ+ experience that many might not be aware of.” 

H. Alley, Coordinator of the McNair Research Scholars Program said, “The idea that there are parents out there who are willing to love and continue to love their children and fight for their right to live is needed, especially in today’s day and age. Therefore this film, and advocacy for the queer community, is important to highlight in media.” Alley will co-moderate a Q&A session following the screening with Dr. Todd Davis. Assistant Professor of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at DSU.

For more information, please contact Michelle Johansen at