About the Film

Courageous Journey: The Story of Dr. Joycelyn Elders tells the incredible life story of former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders from the cotton fields of rural Arkansas through the halls of power in Washington, D.C.

The film follows Dr. Elders’ story from childhood to her life today and focuses on her controversial work while serving as the Director of the Arkansas Health Department in the late 1980’s to establish school-based clinics and comprehensive sex education. 

The film was produced in association with the Walter J. Lemke Department of Journalism with some research and footage provided by the Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History.