African-American Business Leaders Partner with Paramount Pictures to Offer Free Admission to Golden Globe-Nominated Film “Selma” for New York City Middle School Students

Nearly 30,000 New York City middle school students will have the opportunity to see the Golden Globe-nominated film SELMA free of charge, starting this Thursday January 8th thru Monday, January 19th –Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  This free admission program was the brainchild of 27 African-American business leaders who were inspired by the film’s message of resilience and its gripping portrayal of the struggle for voting equality for African Americans.

The $240,000 effort is funded by generous contributions of both past and present board members of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (“LDF”), including LDF board co-chair Gerald Adolph and past LDF board co-chairs Ted Wells and Bill Lewis.  Lewis, co-chairman of investment banking at asset management firm Lazard, spearheaded the effort and has “encourage[d]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.”    

“We are thankful for the generous support and leadership of the African-American business community in New York and of Paramount Pictures in helping to deliver SELMA and Dr. King’s message to a future generation of leaders,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, LDF’s President and Director-Counsel.  Ifill recently penned a column in USA Today on the importance of SELMA and LDF’s historical role in the march, which included representing King and bringing a court challenge to secure the march route.

Participating theaters are located in each of New York City’s boroughs: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Bronx.  In order to secure free admission, students will be asked to show a school ID or report card. To reserve 25 or more student tickets through this program, please visit