Ady Barkan

In “Not Going Quietly,” Not Even Terminal Illness Will Stop Ady Barkan From Assuring Healthcare for Others

Ady Barkan

After a video of a confrontation with a U.S. senator went viral, Ady Barkan was more determined than ever to advocate for healthcare justice—even if it’s the last thing he does. Not Going Quietly documents Barkan’s political activism after a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). On October 12 at 7 pm, WSLR+Fogartyville will host an exclusive in-person screening of the documentary followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Lisa Merritt from The Multicultural Health Institute (MHI) and Mark Paul, assistant professor of economics and environmental studies at New College of Florida and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. 

A 33-year-old father battling ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Ady Barkan had a captive audience in Senator Jeff Flake on a flight to Phoenix in 2017. Concerned about the impact on healthcare of a tax bill about to go up for a vote, he asked Senator Flake, “What would you tell my son if you pass this bill and he cuts funding for disability and I can’t get a ventilator?” Ady Barkan catapulted to national awareness after the confrontation but few know what happened following that event. Not Going Quietly earnestly documents Barkan’s tireless advocacy for healthcare reform as he comes to terms with his illness. A fascinating look into 21st Century activism, Barkin never loses his sense of purpose and continues to find a way to be effective despite his decreasing motor functions and losing the ability to speak.

The Multicultural Health Institute (MHI) is the nonprofit partner for the screening of this film. Dr. Lisa Merritt will be present to talk about the work of MHI and also to address the issues raised in the film. MHI was founded in 1995 and focuses on health disparities, their effect on our nation’s citizens, and the positive impact of health education, nutrition, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The essence of MHI’s work embodies principles of service, empowerment, and collective community effort. 

Not Going Quietly will be presented online and attendees can view it on demand any time between October 10-13th. Admission to the in-person screening is $10 per person which includes a local panel discussion following the film. Tickets are available HERE.

This event is made possible through the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, a South Arts program. Since its inception in 1975, Southern Circuit has brought some of the best independent filmmakers and their films from around the country to communities throughout the South. The program is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.


Interviews with the filmmakers are available upon request.

About WSLR+Fogartyville 

WSLR+Fogartyville is a collective, made up of Sarasota’s Low Power Community Radio Station WSLR 96.5 and the Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center. WSLR+Fogartyville is a center for creative expression and community engagement that amplifies the voices of our diverse community and promotes peace, sustainability, democracy, and economic and social justice.

About South Arts

South Arts advances Southern vitality through the arts. The nonprofit regional arts organization was founded in 1975 to build on the South’s unique heritage and enhance the public value of the arts. South Arts’ work responds to the arts environment and cultural trends with a regional perspective. South Arts offers an annual portfolio of activities designed to support the success of artists and arts providers in the South, address the needs of Southern communities through impactful arts-based programs, and celebrate the excellence, innovation, value, and power of the arts of the South. For more information, visit the South Arts website.

Photos from Fogartyville

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