Google to sponsor "SELMA" at Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH)


Actress Tessa Thompson and Actor/Rapper Common, star in SELMA.
Actress Tessa Thompson and Actor/Rapper Common, star in SELMA.

HOLLYWOOD, CA (January 23, 2015) – Paramount Pictures today announced that Google will sponsor a screening of the Academy Award®-nominated and Golden Globe-winning film “SELMA” for students, teachers and administrators at Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) at BAM Rose Cinemas on Friday, January 23rd.

The sponsorship marks the first time since the inception of the nationwide Selma for Students program that a company has provided the funds for an entire school to see the film. Nearly 500 students and staff at the STEM high school in Brooklyn will experience the film due to the contributions of Google and the support of software company Infor and Paramount Pictures.

“As the Founding Principal of P-TECH and as a proud Morehouse College graduate, I am thrilled that our most famous alum, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is at the center of the film ‘Selma,’ and I commend P-TECH teacher Zakiyyah Ali for her efforts in helping to make the ‘Selma’ experience a reality,” said Rashid Ferrod Davis, Founding Principal (P-TECH). “We are grateful for the generosity of Google, Paramount Pictures and the others who are making it possible for our entire student population, faculty and staff to see ‘Selma.’ Our Brooklyn students are pioneering a movement and the collective experience of seeing the film will be powerful and empowering for all of us.”

“It is imperative for me to keep alive the stories about how African-Americans have dealt with struggle and resistance to injustice. It is equally important for my students to see that activism is selfless work. As our students live in an age of activism, ‘SELMA’ and the digital technology used to make the film provide them with a visual blueprint on how generational cooperation works for the good of all people. At one point in time, our pioneers could only record their histories through griots with limited reach. Today, technology allows these heroic stories to be told in ways in which the reach is nearly endless,” said P-TECH history teacher Zakiyyah Ali, whose desire to bring “SELMA” to her students led to the partnership with Google.

Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) is a new type of school (grades 9 through 14) that brings together the best elements of high school, college (New York City College of Technology) and the professional world (IBM). P-TECH enables students to begin their college and professional lives more quickly and with more support than the typical school-to-work pathway. Graduates of P-TECH have the opportunity to earn an associate in applied science degree and leave the school with the skills and knowledge they need in order to continue their studies or step seamlessly into competitive jobs in the Information Technology (IT) industry.

President Obama, Secretary Duncan and other dignitaries visited P-TECH in Fall 2013 in praise of its curriculum and model, which has been replicated. P-TECH offers college-level courses in math and science and offers students a high school diploma and an Associate’s Degree in computer systems or electromechanical engineering.

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