New York City African-American business leaders, in partnership with 20th Century Fox, Google, Facebook, Infor and ATT have launched an initiative to offer free admission to the critically-acclaimed feature, Hidden Figures, for over 25,000 students in New York.
New York schools are the first to benefit from the project. Like the 2015 project to screen Oscar-winner Selma - which reached 300,000 students across the country - the expectation is that other cities will join this important program as it rolls out in theaters nationwide.
Hidden Figures is the incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation's confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.
The screening program will educate students about the many contributions made by African-Americans to science, technology, engineering, and math, and inspire more students to enter those fields. Charles Phillips, Chairman and CEO of Infor, William M. Lewis, Jr. Co-Chairman of Investment Banking at Lazard, and Ken Chenault, Chairman and CEO of American Express, lead the group of African-American business executives driving the opportunity.
"On behalf of the African-American business community members involved today, I would like to thank the great organizations that have joined this effort," said Ken Chenault. "Hidden Figures spotlights our unsung communities' long lineage of shaping our nation. It serves as a wonderful opportunity to inspire the next generation to carry that torch forward."
"I'm deeply moved that my work is being used to educate and inspire students in this way. Programs like this are vital to sharpening our collective memories and enlightening young people about their history and exciting them about their future," said Margot Lee Shetterly, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller nonfiction book Hidden Figures, on which the film is based.
The New York Public School System has already signed up for 10,000 tickets. They have been joined by the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), Eagle Academy for Young Men, De La Salle Academy, Harlem School of the Arts, Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC, Harlem Children's Zone, Harlem Village Academy and the East Harlem Tutorial Program. NY Public Library will assist with ticket distribution.
Dovetailing with this initiative, Google has announced