RELEASE: Partners send 300 Winston-Salem school children from low income communities to opening of a Wrinkle in Time Movie

Winston-Salem, NC, March 9, 2016 – With the support of Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay, AMC Theaters, the Anna Julia Cooper Center, Color of Change, the Winston-Salem Urban League and the Winston-Salem Urban League Young Professionals will send 300 children from title one schools and low and moderate income communities to the grand opening of a Wrinkle in Time in an effort dubbed “Give a Child a Universe.”

The science fiction movie, directed by Ava DuVernay, featuring Oprah Winfrey, tells the story of Meg Murray and her younger brother Charles Wallace as they travel through time and space in search of their father. The all-star cast includes Storm Reid as Meg Murray, Oprah Winfrey as Mrs. Which, Reese Witherspoon as Mrs. Whatsit, Chris Pine as Dr. Alex Murray, Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Who and Zach Galifianakis as Happy Medium.

AMC Theaters and Color of Change partnered to make tickets available across the nation. The Anna Julia Cooper Center, Winston-Salem Urban League, and Winston-Salem Urban League Young Professionals coordinated local children to the attend the movie. The Anna Julia Cooper Center is providing snacks and transportation where needed.

Nearly 50 students from Kimberley Park Elementary and almost 100 students from Cook Elementary will attend the 1:15 pm showing at the AMC Hanes 12 at 1501 Sw Hanes Mall Blvd. 35 students from Ashley Elementary School, 10 from the Carver School Road Library Girls with a Purpose Program and as nearly 100 Girl Scouts from Easton Elementary School, Open Arms Community Center and Mount Carmel Baptist Church will attend the 4:00 pm showing at the AMC Hanes 12 at 1501 Sw Hanes Mall Blvd.

All participating children will be invited to participate in a series of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering Math), events in the near future, hosted by the local partners.

Color of Change believes that content matters and that we must support those working to change the rules in Hollywood to ensure accurate, diverse, empathetic and human portrayals of Black people on the screen,” said Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color Of Change. “From Selma to now A Wrinkle In Time, Ava DuVernay has set out to change the rules in Hollywood for Black people and women. By casting Storm Reid – a Black teenage girl – as the heroine at the center of this story, young people will see someone like them embracing their individuality and strength to save the world. We are glad to have the opportunity to partner with AMC to ensure as many people see this film as possible.”

“Representation matters, especially for young audiences” remarked Melissa Harris-Perry founding Director of the Anna Julia Cooper Center. “This film is an unique opportunity for school children in our community to see themselves reflected in a vivid reimagining of a classic heroic tale. We are grateful to Color of Change, Ava Duvernay, Oprah Winfrey, and the Winston-Salem Urban League partners ”

James Perry, Winston-Salem Urban League CEO said, “In reality, girls constantly wrestle life’s trials and rise to the challenge in heroic fashion. Thanks to Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey, hollywood and science-fiction finally caught up with reality ”

Winston-Salem Urban League Young Professionals President April Johnson chimed in, “In today’s world, our children are bombarded with messages and images in social media, and often times at school and home, that they are not enough. I hope this movie ignites their imagination and encourages them to dream big, be brave, exude confidence, and know that through love anything is possible if they believe and go for it.”

Contact:  jperry@wsurban.org

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The Anna Julia Cooper Center is an interdisciplinary center at Wake Forest University with a mission of advancing justice through intersectional scholarship.The AJC Center supports, generates, and communicates innovative research at the intersections of gender, race, and place, sustaining relationships between partners on campus and throughout the nation in order to ask new questions, reframe critical issues, and pursue equitable outcomes. The Center is named for scholar, educator, and author Anna Julia Cooper, whose pioneering scholarship and activism laid the foundation for black American feminism and insisted on the importance of Southern voices in American politics.

Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. As a national online force driven by over one million members, we move decision makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America. We activate our members to take action on crucial issues—from criminal justice to media representations to the social safety net and voter freedom—so that we can build the power necessary to transform the written and unwritten rules of society. Our work – both rapid response and long-term campaigns for change – amplifies the voices of Black folks and our allies, building power and delivering meaningful wins that create consequences for racial injustice and build momentum for implementing solutions that move Black people and all people forward. For more information, go to www.colorofchange.org.

The Winston-Salem Urban League is a near 70 year old civil rights organization that empowers and advocates for African Americans and other disenfranchised communities, and promotes socioeconomic progress and parity through education, training and civic engagement. The Young Professionals are civic minded volunteers, ages 21-49 who support the Urban League’s mission.