Although “Hidden Figures” (not “Hidden Fences”) got snubbed at the Golden Globes last night, a group of Black businesspeople and organizations are making sure young students get a chance to view the film
African-American business leaders along with 20th Century Fox, Google, Facebook, Infor, and AT&T, have launched an initiative to offer free admission to “Hidden Figures” for more than 25,000 students in New York. New York schools will be the first to benefit from the project, which is similar to a 2015 project to screen Oscar-winner “Selma” which reached 300,000 students nationwide.
“Hidden Figures” tell the story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), three African-American women working at NASA, who were actually the brains behind the launch U.S.space mission to the moon.
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, are spearheading the group of African-American business executives to bring the screenings of “Hidden Figures” to New York school children.
“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 Chenault said in a press statement. “’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.”
So far, the New York Public School System has already signed up for 10,000 “Hidden Figures” screening tickets.
“Dovetailing with this initiative, Google has announced that it will be inviting teenage girls and students to participate in a new online ‘Made With Code’ project. Participants build an interactive graphic capturing the triumphant themes of the ‘Hidden Figures’ movie. In partnership with AMC theatres and local school districts, Google will also be hosting coding workshops along with viewing parties of the movie, where students can watch and discuss the film, and learn introductory coding skills,” according to a press release.
New York City business leaders contributing to the “Hidden Figures” initiative include: Bloomberg Diversity and Inclusion Team, Morgan Stanley African American Partners, business executive and civil rights activist Vernon Jordan, Nickelodeon exec Marva Smalls, Ken and Kathryn Chenault, and BET CEO Debra Lee, among others.