African-American Leaders in Seven More Cities Offer Students Free Admission to 'Selma'

Selma Still - H 2014
Atsushi Nishijima

Selma Still - H 2014

Leaders in Boston, Nashville, New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Westchester and Sarasota are joining those in New York to offer free admission to local students

African-American business leaders from seven additional cities are joining those in New York in bringing the film Selma to students for free.

The effort began in New York last week and has recently expanded across America. Twenty-seven business leaders in the city, in partnership with Paramount Pictures, established a fund for 27,000 seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade students to be offered free admission to see the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic in participating theaters. With tickets completely sold out within the first weekend, the number was expanded to 75,000.

Read more African-American Business Leaders Offering NYC Students Free Admission to 'Selma'

Boston, Nashville, New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Westchester and Sarasota are now joining the initiative in raising funds for local students to see the film at no cost. Beginning Monday and continuing through Jan. 19 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), students will be offered free admission by just showing their student ID or report card at the ticket office of select theaters.

Leaders in Boston, Nashville, New Jersey, Philadelphia and San Francisco are currently contributing 10,000 tickets for each city. Sarasota and Westchester are offering 1,000 and 6,000 tickets, respectively. Additional cities that will also be participating in the campaign are set to be announced Jan. 14.

“Our goal was to educate as many children as we could about the historical importance and contemporary relevance of the march in Selma,” said Bill Lewis, co-chairman of investment banking at Lazard. “Seeing so many business leaders in other cities join this spontaneous initiative is a wonderful outcome for the children and for our country.”

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Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay and starring David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Carmen Ejogo and Oprah Winfrey, chronicles King’s 1965 voting rights campaign and depicts the famed march from Selma to Montgomery.

The film recently won a Golden Globe for best original song and was nominated in three other categories: best motion picture, best drama actor for Oyelowo and best director.