Move to help students see ‘Selma’ continues nationwide

Move to help students see ‘Selma’ continues nationwide
February 05
00:00 2015

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. ­– An additional five cities have joined the massive national campaign by African-American business leaders to raise funds for free student admission to the Golden Globe-winning film “Selma,” expanding the unprecedented movement to a total of 13 cities, nationwide.

Following the lead of a team of African-American business leaders in New York and across the U.S., funds have been established in Chicago, Dallas, New Orleans, Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area and Washington D.C. African-American business leaders in these cities – along with organizers in Boston, Nashville, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sarasota, FL and Westchester – have created programs that will allow students in these locations to see “Selma” for free at participating theaters.

The efforts are inspired by the success of the program in New York City, in which 27 African-American business leaders created a fund for 27,000 of the city’s seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade students to see the film for free. Due to the overwhelming demand, the New York City effort sold out in the very first weekend and was expanded to 75,000 tickets.

“The chance to share a film, which has so poignantly captured a pivotal moment in our history, has struck a deep chord within the African-American business community and resonated so profoundly across the country that a simple idea has become a national movement,” said Tony Coles, former CEO, Onyx Pharmaceuticals. “We are gratified that generous donors across the country see the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our youth.”

Frederick O. Terrell, Vice Chairman, Credit Suisse saids, “I think the overwhelming response to our ‘Selma’ initiative across the country has been a reminder to all of us of the power of a simple idea and the collective power of communities. Buying tickets for our children to see this wonderful film is an opportunity for greater awareness and education.”

“This initiative is unprecedented in African-American history. Never before has a group of black leaders donated the funds to enable students across the country to view a film created by a black director for free,” said Henry Louis Gates, professor of African American Studies, Harvard.

“This is a testament to Ava DuVernay and the cast of ‘Selma,’ and to the leaders of this initiative, Charles Phillips and Bill Lewis.”

In Chicago, the leaders have developed a program for students of After School Matters, a nonprofit organization that provides out-of-school programming opportunities for Chicago teens. Teens that participate in After School Matters will be sent an invitation to receive a complimentary ticket to see “Selma” at one of the participating theaters.

The students will provide their student ID and the After School Matters ticket at participating Chicago theaters. The After School Matters program in Chicago began on Friday, Jan. 16.

In the other cities, seventh-, eighth- and ninthth-grade students who present a current student ID or report card at the box office of any participating theater will receive free admission while tickets last.

Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, which is distributing “Selma,” is coordinating the programs with participating theaters in the U.S. For a list of participating theaters in select cities offering free admission to students during this program and for information on group sales, visit

Business leaders in additional cities are currently organizing commitments from community organizations.

“Selma” is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition.

“Selma” is playing in theaters nationwide. To learn more about the film, go to


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