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Saving Monsignor Ryan is a documentary that looks at his economic advocacy that called for a Living Wage during the Great Depression. Read more

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Saving Monsignor Ryan is a documentary that looks at his economic advocacy that called for a Living Wage during the Great Depression.

About this project

This is a full length documentary about the parallels between early 20th and 21st century American economics. During a time of robber barons in the early 1900's and growing poverty among the workforce, Monsignor John A. Ryan advocated a "Living Wage" for all workers. There were no federal regulations setting a minimum wage or regulating child labor. He was a profound influence on FDR and the development of the New Deal – making him an important figure in American history.  Today, poverty is growing at an alarming rate and we have the same disparity in wealth since the Great Depression,  Since 1978, CEO pay has risen 725 percent, more than 127 times faster than worker pay. 

Can America withstand a growing accumulation of wealth at the top 2% of society without another catastrophic economic event like the one Monsignor Ryan tried to prevent? This documentary focuses on the economic policies of John A. Ryan, who advocated "A Living Wage" for all workers. 

We will shoot interviews with historians, journalists and economists, use archival footage, photos and radio broadcasts from the Library of Congress, St Thomas and Catholic Universities to tell the story of Monsignor Ryan. 

Sister Constance Fitzgerald who is the niece of  Monsignor John A Ryan has enthusiastically offered to be interviewed and share family memorabilia. Dr. Harlan Beckley of Washington Lee University, Maria Mazzenga of Catholic University and Marie Cocco of the Washington Post have all agreed to do interviews for the documentary because they all realize the importance of restating the need for A Living Wage. 

Risks and challenges

The challenges we anticipate are funding for travel and licensing of footage, which is where your support comes in. Work has already begun arranging interviews and we were also contacted by the Ryan family when they heard of this project. They offered a collection of private photos, letters and recordings. Catholic University in Washington DC has also granted us access to the library which holds many of his writings. With anticipated funding, we expect to have this documentary completed by April of 2013. Shipping of DVD's will begin within 30 days of completion.

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    Packaged DVD of Documentary.

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    You will receive a mention in the end credits
    and a DVD of Saving Monsignor Ryan.

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Funding period

- (30 days)