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Bringing Selma to students for free!

(BPRW) Five New Cities Join the Movement to Bring “SELMA” to Students for

Free, Expanding the Nationwide Effort to 13 Locations

Washington D.C. Are Raising Funds for Free Admission for Students

African-American Leaders in Chicago, Dallas, New Orleans, Oakland/San Francisco Bay Area


(Black PR Wire) -- HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- 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 7th, 8th and 9th 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.”


Added Frederick O. Terrell, Vice Chairman, Credit Suisse, “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 will begin on Friday, January 16th


In the other cities, 7th, 8th and 9th 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.

Those cities will be announced Friday, January 16th


The local business leaders who are leading the efforts in the five cities are:

 E. Robbie Robinson, Managing Director at BDT & Company and Vice Chair of the Board of After

School Matters, and Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing Company and an advisory board

member of After School Matters, in Chicago

“The film „SELMA‟ represents a powerful moment in our nation's history," said Robinson. “It is critical

that our teens appreciate the significance of this moment and its extraordinary impact on the

advancement of civil rights. After School Matters is thrilled to provide our teens the opportunity to see

the film.”

 Former Ambassador Ron Kirk and Paget L. Alves in Dallas

“Thanks to Charles Phillips and Bill Lewis, whose vision and encouragement lead to this momentous

event, students all around the country will have the opportunity to know Dr. King‟s historic journey

towards civil rights,” said Alves.

 Roderick West, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Entergy Corporation, in

New Orleans

“New Orleans is proud to be a part of this remarkable movement to share this important and timely piece

of American history,” said West.

 Charles Ward, Chief Development Officer, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, in Oakland/San Francisco

Bay Area

“Watching these efforts unfold across America has been an inspiration to our community,” said Ward.

“We are honored to be able to help our students experience such an event.”

 Toni Cook Bush, News Corporation, and DeDe Lea, Executive Vice President, Global Government

Relations, Viacom, in Washington D.C.

“It‟s an honor to contribute to such a worthwhile cause,” said Bush. “I am certain that our students in

Washington will find hope and encouragement in Ms. DuVernay‟s film and will leave the theater better

for it.”


To help get the word out about the program, tweet using the hashtag #SelmaForStudents.

Directed by Ava DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr., “SELMA” earned a Golden

Globe Award for Best Song for “Glory” by Common and John Legend, and was nominated for Best Picture,

Best Actor and Best Director.


The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr., Alessandro Nivola, Giovanni Ribisi, Common, Carmen

Ejogo, Lorraine Toussaint, with Tim Roth and Oprah Winfrey as “Annie Lee Cooper.”

Paramount Pictures, Pathé, and Harpo Films present “SELMA.” Produced by Christian Colson, Dede Gardner,

Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey, the film is executive produced by Brad Pitt, Cameron McCracken, Diarmuid

McKeown, Nik Bower, Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes and Nan Morales. The film is written by Paul Webb.

“SELMA” is directed by Ava DuVernay.


“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. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson)

signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.

Director Ava DuVernay‟s “SELMA” tells the story of how the revered leader and visionary Dr. Martin Luther

King Jr. (David Oyelowo) and his brothers and sisters in the movement prompted change that forever altered



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

About Paramount Pictures Corporation

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of

Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and

digital entertainment brands. Paramount controls a collection of some of the most powerful brands in filmed

entertainment, including Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Television, Paramount

Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films, and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also

include Paramount Home Media Distribution, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., and

Paramount Studio Group.

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