Hangin’ with Macklemore at the White House

macklemore screening
October 31, 2016
In October 2016, President Obama launched South by South Lawn (SXSL), a summit bringing together artists and changemakers to discuss our nation’s most pressing issues. One SXSL event was a first-look screening of MTV's forthcoming original documentary, "Prescription For Change: Ending America's Opioid Crisis," featuring Macklemore and President Obama. PAF alumna Jacqueline Hackett, CCAS BA ‘08 MPP ’10 works at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and extended an invitation to current PAFs for the screening.
The film screened as part of President Obama’s Presidential Proclamation announcing Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week 2016. Every year, more Americans die from drug overdoses than in traffic accidents -- with three out of five of these deaths involving an opioid.  Current PAFs Angela Sako, Grace Mausser, Marcus Andrews, Marisa Cordon, Zunara Naeem, and I attended the screening to learn more about the epidemic. The film documents the prescription opioid and heroin crisis, methods of prevention and treatment, and the complicated path to recovery. Following the screening, MTV News Senior Political Correspondent Ana Marie Cox moderated a panel conversation which included Macklemore and ONDCP Director Michael Botticelli.
The PAFs in attendance brought  unique personal and academic interest in public policy, public health, and documentary filmmaking. The urgency of the opioid epidemic serves as a reminder that interdisciplinary and cross-sector solutions are needed to address the major issues of the 21st century. Thank you to Jacqueline for the opportunity to engage with this film and topic at such a pivotal time.

Zinhle Essamuah

PAF Class of 2017
BA '15
MA '17