Intelligent Lives Screening & Community Conversation | Thomas Nelson Community College

Intelligent Lives Screening & Community Conversation

Earlier today, a shooting occurred at Heritage High School, which is adjacent to Thomas Nelson’s Southeast Higher Education Center located at An Achievable Dream Academy in Newport News.  “We are praying for the safety of everyone at Heritage High School, and for a quick recovery for those injured in today’s shooting,” said Thomas Nelson President Dr. Towuanna Porter Brannon.  Thomas Nelson’s evening classes scheduled for Monday, September 20 at the Southeast Higher Education Center will be held virtually.

Wednesday, April 17, Dr. Mary T. Christian Auditorium, Templin Hall, Hampton Campus

Opening Reception - 5:45 p.m.   •   "Intelligent Lives" Film Screening - 6:30 p.m. 


Thomas Nelson is pleased to screen Dan Habib's latest film "Intelligent Lives" followed by a conversation with members of the community and support partners. 

 From award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib comes "Intelligent Lives," a catalyst to transform the label of intellectual disability from a life sentence of isolation into a life of possibility for the most systematically segregated people in America.

"Intelligent Lives" stars three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities – Micah, Naieer, and Naomie – who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce. Academy Award-winning actor and narrator Chris Cooper contextualizes the lives of these central characters through the emotional personal story of his son Jesse, as the film unpacks the shameful and ongoing track record of intelligence testing in the U.S.

"Intelligent Lives" challenges what it means to be intelligent, and points to a future in which people of all abilities can fully participate in higher education, meaningful employment, and intimate relationships.

Film length: 70 minutes  (courtesy of


Community Conversation Panelist:

Facilitated by: Greta Harrison, Parent, Civic Leader and Podcast Host of "Born Fabulous"

Harrison works tirelessly with non profits serving: children in need, all people with disabilities, literacy, education, and special education.

Daniel Biegun, Intellectual Disability Specialist Training and Technical Assistance Disability (T-TAC) at Old Dominion University

T-TAC ODU improves educational opportunities for children with developmental delays and disabilities including individuals with intellectual disabilities (through age 21).  T-TAC ODU also provides training and support to teachers regarding assistive technology that will assist students with communication needs and provide access to the general education curriculum. 

Keisha Carroll, Program Manager, Hampton/ Newport News CSB

The Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board is an area provider of behavioral health and intellectual and developmental disability services. The Hampton/ Newport News CSB creates a community where people can find their own strength and become self-determining.

Stacy Clark, Human Services Manager, Hampton Roads District DARS 

The mission of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) is to improve the employment, quality of life, security, and independence of older Virginians, Virginians with disabilities, and their families.  

Dr. Susan English, Thomas Nelson VP of Academic Affairs and Workforce Development

Susan English joined Thomas Nelson Community College in 2017. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from University of Maryland Baltimore County, a Master of Education in Administration from Salisbury University, and a Doctor of Education in Community College Leadership from Morgan State University. She has held previous administrative positions in community colleges and K-12 institutions in North Carolina and Maryland.

Kim Shepard, District Director, Hampton Roads District, DARS

The mission of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) is to improve the employment, quality of life, security, and independence of older Virginians, Virginians with disabilities, and their families.  

Rita White, Mentor Team Coordinator, Creating Opportunities to Advance Capable Hands (COACH) program

Rita White retired as Transition Specialist from Hampton City Schools. She currently serves as Mentor Team Coordinator of the COACH program: a program designed to support and include adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our community through facilitating access to volunteer opportunities by providing job coaching services.