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  • Hannah Rosenzweig, Director
  • Diane Robertson, Producer

A young Black man smiles with his arms spread wide in front of a blue and white mural reading "statehood."

About the Project

Set amidst the cultural backdrop of our capital city, a bitter fight for voting rights, and a nationwide racial reckoning, 51st State is the story of 25 year-old Jamal Holtz, a 4th generation native Washingtonian determined to make D.C. the 51st state of the United States. The film explores the emerging national issue of D.C. statehood from the personal perspective of one of its most vibrant young leaders. We learn how Jamal co-founded the statehood organization with a group of young activists of color. The film follows Jamal and his team from 51for51 through summer and fall of 2021 as they strategize to pass statehood legislation, organize in the streets, and reposition D.C. statehood as a national concern, not just a local D.C. issue.