Academy for Social Purpose in Responsible Entertainment


Peter Samuelson, MA, President


Dr. D. Andy Rice, PhD, ASPIRE Fellow at UCLA


The Academy for Social Purpose in Responsible Entertainment (ASPIRE) partners with universities, community organizations, scholars, and activists to advocate for sustainability and social justice through media-focused teaching and research.  ASPIRE teaches digital media production to undergraduates of all majors to enhance their lifelong capacities to undertake social issue advocacy.

Nicole Boxer

A native of Marin County, California, Nicole Boxer has worked in the film and television industries for over two decades. After graduating from NYU’s Film School, she began her career in the 1990s on feature film projects such as Basic Instinct, Rudy and School Ties. Leaving Los Angeles for DC, Nicole married Tony Rodham (Hillary Clinton’s brother) in a White House wedding during the early days of the Clinton presidency. In Washington, Nicole started working on television projects for PBS, and Bravo and discovered a brewing passion for non-fiction. This allowed her to apply her storytelling skills to controversial issues such as immigration, sex trafficking and climate change and food policy. This convergence of filmmaking and activism was natural because Nicole grew up with grassroots movements and political campaigns launched from her backyard. Her mother, Senator Barbara Boxer is a member of the U.S. Senate representing California for over three decades.

Nicole co-produced a documentary, 14 Women, that contributed to raising social awareness about the advancements made and the progress still needing to be achieved by women in the U.S. Senate and other national elected offices. It premiered at the AFI/Silverdocs Festival in 2007 and was broadcast on the Sundance Channel.

Recently, Nicole was an Executive Producer of the 2013 Academy Award-nominated documentary film The Invisible War. According to The New York Times, Director Kirby Dick’s investigation of rape and sexual assault in the U.S. Armed Forces is responsible for changing federal policy.

Currently, Nicole is in post-production on the film How I Got Over. This is her directorial debut. The documentary looks at 15 formerly homeless women in addiction recovery who create an original theater script based on their collective life stories. How I Got Over is a journey from the women’s initial rehearsals in a rehabilitation center room to their live one-night-only performance on the Nation's premiere stage in Washington, DC, The Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts. The film explores the question, Can art save your life?

Nicole’s biggest dream for her career is to create an example of how the art of film can enrich and inspire a life and how that in turn can lead to ways to give back.