After School Matters® To Provide Free Admission For Up To 10,000 Chicago High School Teens To See Paramount Pictures’ “SELMA” In Theaters

CHICAGO--()--After School Matters, a nonprofit organization that provides out-of-school programming opportunities for Chicago teens, in partnership with a coalition of Chicago business and civic leaders, has announced they will provide free admission for up to 10,000 Chicago high school teens to see the film “SELMA” at participating theaters. The group hopes these teens – who are participating in After School Matters programs – will benefit from viewing the historical importance and message of justice and equality portrayed in the film.

The After School Matters Board of Directors, chaired by Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson, is spearheading this effort to give After School Matters teens – the majority of whom are minorities with 87 percent living at or below poverty – the opportunity to see the film at no cost. Modeled on a similar initiative underway in New York City and other cities nationwide, the organization’s Board is coordinating the fundraising effort in partnership with friends and leaders in Chicago’s business and civic communities.

"The film ‘SELMA represents a powerful moment in our nation's history," said E. Robbie Robinson, Managing Director at BDT & Company and Vice Chair of the Board of After School Matters. "It is critical that our teens appreciate the significance of this moment and its extraordinary impact on the advancement of civil rights. After School Matters is thrilled to provide our teens the opportunity to see the film." Robinson, along with Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing Company and an advisory board member of After School Matters, led the fundraising effort to provide this experience to the teens.

Thanks to that fundraising effort, After School Matters teens will receive instructions on how to gain free admittance to screenings of “SELMA” at theaters in and near Chicago between Friday, January 16, the start of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, and Sunday, March 1. After School Matters teens or parents who have questions about the ticketing process should contact the organization by email at or by phone at 312.742.4182.

After School Matters is taking further steps to maximize this opportunity for teens. All participants will complete an electronic survey about their experience after seeing the film. Furthermore, all After School Matters program instructors will be provided with a study guide and encouraged to incorporate the historical material into the curricula for their Spring programs, which begin on February 2. In line with After School Matters’ project-based learning model, a number of these programs will incorporate the film’s themes and messages into their final projects.

“What took place 50 years ago in Selma is key to understanding much about the civil rights movement, race, equality and democracy,” said After School Matters Board Chair Mellody Hobson. “I want our teens to experience that moment in history and see how it directly connects to the challenges they face today. By encouraging this kind of civic engagement – whether that means talking about civil rights generally or about the right to vote as depicted in the film – we can empower our teens to take hold of their futures.”

The participating Chicagoland theaters are:

AMC FORD CITY 14         CHICAGO         IL
AMC RIVER EAST 21         CHICAGO         IL
KERS SHOWPLACE 16         CHICAGO         IL


After School Matters is a nonprofit organization that offers Chicago high school teens high quality, out-of-school time opportunities to explore and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Over the past two decades, more than 200,000 teens have participated in our hands-on, project-based arts, communications, science, sports and technology programs at Chicago public high schools, community locations across the city and Downtown at Gallery 37 Center for the Arts.

In 2014-2015, After School Matters is creating 22,000 unique opportunities for teens to participate in programs. Teens can search and apply for programs online at Follow After School Matters on Twitter at @aftrschoolmttrs, on Facebook at and on Instagram at @afterschoolmatters.

Continue the conversation with our teens and others across the country on Twitter at #SelmaForStudents!

“SELMA” is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the tumultuous three-month period in 1965, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The epic march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement. 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.”

Paramount Pictures, Pathé, and Harpo Films present “SELMA.” Produced by Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey, the film is executive produced by Brad Pitt, Cameron McCracken, Diarmuid McKeown, Nik Bower, Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes and Nan Morales. The film is written by Paul Webb. “SELMA” is directed by Ava DuVernay.


After School Matters
Michael Crowley, 312.239.5233


After School Matters
Michael Crowley, 312.239.5233