The Raleigh PACT (WIP)

In 2016, Rolanda Byrd’s son Akiel Denkins was killed by a Raleigh police officer after he ran from the officer, who was trying to take him in for missing a court date. His death completely changed the trajectory of Rolanda’s life, and she began to orient her life around fundamentally changing policing in North Carolina, to prevent further unjust police killings and police brutality. Rolanda rose to the ranks of one of Raleigh’s most prominent social justice groups, Raleigh PACT, becoming the organization’s executive director. In this documentary, Rolanda enters the corridors of power in Raleigh, going through victories and losses, as she seeks to transform policing in her city. The Raleigh Pact highlights the pain and loss that parents who lose their children to police violence go through, as well as the activism that pain often brings to life. This film was created as an interactive mobile experience. Please refer to the website for a interactive documentary film experience.
(Currently WIP, sound mixing, and score completion in progress to be added to the film soon. The projected completion date is May 1, 2021)

  • Chelsey Brejanee
  • Chelsey Brejanee
  • Tom Barnes
  • Ben Moe
  • Tom Barnes
  • Erica Hawkins
  • Rolanda Byrd
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Web / New Media
  • Genres:
    Interactive Documentary
  • Runtime:
    29 minutes 28 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 1, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    4K Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Chelsey Brejanee

Chelsey Brejanee is an artist based in South Florida. She has multiple disciplines which include sculpting, writing, and film. She uses her art as a vehicle for activism and centers most of her work around social justice issues and mental health. Currently, she runs an activist themed podcast, Hit The Streets and is in the production phase of a couple of documentary projects.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

My main priority with filming The Raleigh Pact was to create a vehicle for Rolanda Byrd and her family to find healing and empowerment through the telling of their story. It was extremely important to me to capture the issue of racism and police brutality through the lens of a grieving Black mother in a way that showed her obvious strength while maintaining her vulnerability, dignity, and humanity. I also wanted to capture the important role that mothers of the movement play in our efforts to enact change. Raleigh PACT is a shining example of how to involve family members directly impacted by police violence in activism efforts without exploiting their grief. Lastly, we hope that this film will educate viewers about the power and importance of small, grassroots level organizing and encourage a shift for the collective to support groups and activists local to them, instead of those on a national level. The team came together and created an impact campaign, Map The Movement to make it easy for people to find, join, donate, and share the grassroots orgs near them using an interactive map. The Raleigh Pact is both a film and call to action for us all to reconsider the ways in which we fight for the safety and preservation of Black Lives.