In partnership with Google, Facebook, 20th Century Fox, Infor, and AT&T, New York City African-American business leaders  launched an initiative to offer free admission to the critically-acclaimed, Hidden Figures, for over 25,000 students in New York.

This initiative is especially important as there have been movements surrounding young Black students’ exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM), such as #BlackAndSTEM via Twitter.

Similar to the 2015 project screening Oscar-winner, Selma, it’s expected that this initiative will inspire other cities to join in this program as Hidden Figures continue to roll out in theaters nationwide.

“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 Ken Chenault, Chairman and CEO of America Express. “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.”

Margot Lee Shetterly, author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller nonfiction book, Hidden Figures, on which the film is based was touched by the initiative saying, “I’m deeply moved that my work is being used to educate and inspire students in this way. Programs like this are vital to sharpening our collective memories and enlightening young people about their history and exciting them about their future.”

Hidden Figures tells the untold story of Kathering G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) who worked at NASA and served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in American history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. The film is now available in theaters and continuing to span across theaters nationwide.

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Tonja Renée Stidhum is a screenwriter/director with cheeks you want to pinch… but don’t (unless she wants you to). She is made of sugar and spice and everything rice… with the uncanny ability to make a Disney/Pixar reference in the same sentence as a double entendre.

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