Welcome to the neighborhood follows the story of a Berkeley family, the Howards. Mable Howard, known as Mama Howard, came with her husband and children to San Francisco during World War II to work in the shipyards of Hunters Point. They soon joined the growing community of African Americans in South Berkeley. Mable Howard’s landmark lawsuit against BART in 1968 forced the transit agency to underground the trains that traveled through South Berkeley, preventing the destruction of her neighborhood. Her daughter, the renowned artist Mildred Howard, grew up believing she could accomplish anything. Her work, which includes many public artworks in the Bay Area, re-frames history to tell the stories of those who are overlooked. Today there is one thing that Mildred Howard cannot do—afford to live in Berkeley. When her landlord raises her rent by fifty percent, Mildred comes to terms with leaving the city that has been her home for nearly seventy years.
Pam Uzzell is an award-winning documentary producer, director and editor. Her feature-length documentary, Unearthing the Dream, featured on Arkansas Public Television as part of their independent producer series, won Best Documentary at the Arkansas Black Independent Film Festival, as well as an Indie Award of Merit. A graduate of Brown University, with an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University, Uzzell has also worked on over twenty feature films in post-production, including Godfather III, Terminator 2, and Dead Poets’ Society.