Everyone who knows me, knows that I am passionate about education. If there is anything that rivals my love of public education…it is my love for my hometown of Selma, Alabama.
This year Selma celebrates the 50th anniversary of the historic 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This was a social justice campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of opposition.
Paramount Pictures recently released the movie “SELMA” which tells the story of this movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965 when civil rights leaders, many from right here in Atlanta, won one of the most significant victories of the movements’ history. King attended APS’ Booker T. Washington High School and entered Morehouse College during his junior year in high school. I am thrilled that the Atlanta community answered the challenge set by business leaders in New York and throughout the nation, and will kick off the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday weekend by providing free movie tickets for “SELMA” to 10,000 APS high school (9th-12th grades) students beginning Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015.
Members of the Atlanta community raised more than $100,000 to purchase tickets for the film. 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 history. 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.”
The movie has an excellent educational component for our teachers that includes lesson plans that meet Common Core Standards to incorporate into the district’s curriculum.
STUDENT “ASSIGNMENT”: Our students who present a current Atlanta Public Schools’ ID or report card at the box office of any participating theater will receive free admission while tickets last. The metro Atlanta theaters are:
- AMC PARKWAY POINTE 15-Atlanta
- AMC PHIPPS PLAZA 14-ATLANTA
- AMC SOUTHLAKE 24-MORROW
- AMC STONECREST 16-LITHONIA
- CARMIKE CINEMAS MOVIES ATL 14-ATLANTA
- REGAL ATLANTIC STATION 18 IMAX & RPX-ATLANTA
- REGAL HOLLYWOOD 24 @ NORTH I-85-CHAMBLEE
- REGAL PERIMETER POINT STADIUM 10-ATLANTA
The diversity of our group of funders accurately represents our city. We’re proud of the fact that people from all backgrounds and income levels that have come forward to share Dr. King’s message with APS students. We had a range of donations where people gave what they could, including one very special $16 gift. I love this city’s generous nature and our generous corporations, Chick-fil-A and Newell Rubbermaid, as well as well as individuals of all means who came together to make this happen.
I appreciate the efforts of Dr. Michael Lomax, president & CEO, United Negro College Fund; Hala Moddelmog, president & CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber; and Dr. John Silvanus Wilson, Jr., president, Morehouse College.
In addition, the following supporters are making it possible for 10,000 APS high school students to see “SELMA”:
Large Funders $10,000
|Bill Lewis & Carol Sutton-Lewis|
|Myrtle Potter & Alan Thompson|
The Family of Meria Carstarphen
|W.K. Kellogg Foundation|
Other Funders ($9,999-$1,000)
Atlanta Board of Education
Coast to Coast Tours
Georgia-Pacific & Youth Entrepreneurs Georgia
Georgia Natural Gas
H.J. Russell and Company
Kathy and Kenny Waller
Metro Atlanta Chamber
The Integral Group
Thomas Kennedy Sampson & Tompkins
United Way of Metro Atlanta
100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.
Atlanta Business League
Atlanta City Council
Atlanta Women’s Club
Andrew & Walter Young Family YMCA
Dogwood City Chapter of The Links, Incorporated
First Congregational Church
National Black MBA Association – Atlanta Chapter
National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. – Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter
National Sales Network Atlanta
The Andrew Young Foundation
The C. T. Vivian Leadership Institute
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights
The Urban League of Greater Atlanta
United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta
Fulton County Chairman John Eaves
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard
Mr. Lonnie King
Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
Atlanta City Council President Ceasar C. Mitchell
Dr. C. T. Vivian
Ambassador Andrew J. Young
“SELMA” is nominated for Academy Awards® for Best Picture and Best Original Song for “Glory” by Common & John Legend. The film earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Song for “Glory” and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director.
The film’s educational outreach includes a curriculum guide with 11 interdisciplinary lesson plans in Social Studies, ELA, Geography, Math and Art. All lessons meet Common Core State Standards. Educators and parents may download a curriculum guide by visiting:
We’ve put up a page on the district’s website – for more information about theaters and show times for this weekend visit www.atlantapublicschools.us/selma or follow the Twitter hashtag #selmaforstudents.