Thanks to the efforts of 27 prominent individuals in the field of entertainment and business, middle school and high school students in New York City are able to view the historic film Selma for free.
Amid the buzz surrounding director Ava DuVernay’s highly acclaimed film Selma, which will be released in theaters everywhere January 9th, executives such as BET Networks Chairman Debra Lee, American Express Chairman Kenneth Chenault, power broker Vernon Jordan, former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons and many more created a fund that will allow 27,000 7th, 8th and 9th grade New York students to attend a free screening of the film from January 8th to Martin Luther King Day on January 19th at participating theaters.
The film, which centers on the voting rights marches of 1965, is the first big-screen production that details the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It has already been nominated for four Golden Globe Awards and is expected to be a major contender during this year’s Oscar season.
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“Martin Luther King, Jr.’s momentous journey in Alabama is an important piece of American history,” Bill Lewis, one of the fund’s contributors and Co-Chairman of Investment Banking, Lazard, said in a statement. “We are passionate about bringing this story to New York City’s students and we encourage business leaders in other cities to organize similar programs so that more students around the country have the chance to see this powerful film about an epic chapter in American history.”
With millennials and youth seeing first-hand the racial tensions that still exist in our country today amid the Michael Brown and Eric Garner protests, the showing of Selma couldn’t come at a better time.