Production Design Oscar Contenders

The story of struggle and triumph at the core of “Selma” clearly resonates with the current generation of African-American business leaders.

A group of 27 prominent movers and shakers — including BET Networks Chairman Debra Lee, American Express Chairman Ken Chenault, power broker Vernon Jordan and former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons — have teamed up to offer free tickets to the film for Middle School and High School students in New York City.

They’ve created a fund that will allow 27,000 7th, 8th and 9th graders to see the film from January 8th through January 19th (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) at participating theaters.

Directed by Ava DuVernay, “Selma” centers on the voting rights marches of 1965. It is one of the first big-screen films to dramatize the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and is expected to be a major Oscar contender. The film is also being shown for free at the Selma Walton Theater in the city of Selma, Ala., beginning Jan. 9.

“Martin Luther King, Jr.’s momentous journey in Alabama is an important piece of American history,” said Bill Lewis, Co-Chairman of Investment Banking, Lazard and one of the fund’s contributors, 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.”

Those contributing to the fund are:

Amsale Aberra and Neil Brown, Owners of The Amsale Group
Gerald Adolph, Senior Partner, Booz & Company and Gwen Adolph
Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO, Xerox and Lloyd Bean
Valentino D. Carlotti, Partner, Goldman Sachs Group
Ken Chenault, Chairman and CEO, American Express and Kathryn Chenault
Tony Coles, former CEO, Onyx Pharmaceuticals and Robyn Coles
Edith Cooper, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Human Capital Management, Goldman Sachs Group and Roger Taylor
Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., President and CEO, TIAA-CREF and Annette L. Nazareth
Bruce Gordon, Chairman, ADT, former CEO NAACP and Tawana Tibbs
Charles J. Hamilton, Jr., Senior Counsel, Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf LLP and Pamela G. Carlton, President, Springboard
Vernon Jordan, Senior Managing Director at Lazard and Ann Dibble Jordan
Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks
Bill Lewis, Co-Chairman of Investment Banking, Lazard and Carol Sutton Lewis
Ed Lewis, founder of Essence Magazine and Carolyn Lewis
Tracy Maitland, CEO and Founder, Advent Capital Management and Kimberly Hatchett
Ray McGuire, Head of Global Banking, Citigroup and Crystal McCrary
Scott Mills, Executive Vice President, Human Resources and Administration, Viacom and Iva Mills
Adebayo Ogunlesi, CEO, Global Infrastructure Partners, Lead Director, Goldman Sachs and Dr. Amelia Quist-Ogunlesi
Richard Parsons, Senior Advisor, Providence Equity Partners and Laura Parsons
Charles Phillips, CEO, Infor, Viacom Director and Karen Phillips
Jonelle Procope, President, Apollo Theater and Fred Terrell, Vice Chairman of Investment Banking, Credit Suisse
Tamara Harris Robinson, CEO, Haramat Advisory Services
Marva Smalls, Executive Vice President, Global Inclusion Strategy, Viacom
Frank Thomas, The Study Group
John Utendahl, Vice Chairman, Deustche Bank Americas
Reginald Van Lee, Executive Vice President, Booz Allen
Ted Wells, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Nina Wells

The participating New York City theaters are:

UA Kaufman Astoria Cinemas 14, Astoria
AMC Bay Plaza Cinema 13, Bronx
Concourse Plaza Multiplex 10, Bronx
Alpine Cinemas 8, Brooklyn
Bam Harvey Theater, Brooklyn
Cobble Hill Cinemas 5, Brooklyn
Linden Boulevard Multiplex Cinemas 14, Brooklyn
The Pavilion Theater, Brooklyn
UA Court Street 12, Brooklyn
UA Sheepshead Bay Stadium 14, Brooklyn
Williamsburg Cinemas 7, Brooklyn
Movieworld Cinemas 7, Douglaston
AMC Fresh Meadows 7, Fresh Meadows
UA Midway Stadium 9, Forest Hills
Regal Atlas Park Stadium 8, Glendale
Jamaica Multiplex Cinemas 15, Jamaica
AMC Loews 34th Street 14, New York
AMC Loews Kips Bay 15, New York
AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13, New York
AMC Empire 25, New York
AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9, New York
Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas 9, New York
City Cinemas East 86th Street Cinema, New York
Regal Battery Park Stadium 11, New York
Regal Union Square Stadium 14, New York
UA Staten Island Stadium 16, Staten Island
College Point Multiplex Cinemas 12, Whitestone

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