Press Release

AFT’s Randi Weingarten, Harvey Weinstein Host LA Students For Screening of ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’

For Release: 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Janet Bass

LOS ANGELES—The American Federation of Teachers and The Weinstein Company are bringing the story of Nelson Mandela's life and his message of social justice, reconciliation and leadership to Los Angeles public high school students with a screening tomorrow of the film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" and a conversation afterward with AFT President Randi Weingarten and Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company.

"The message of this great man and his incredible life should not be lost on this generation. Film can be a phenomenal educational tool, and this film touches on the universal themes of fear, oppression, hope, reconciliation and forgiveness," Weingarten said.

The AFT has posted lesson plans related to the movie on its Share My Lesson website.

Share My Lesson—available at no charge for educators—offers lengthy clips from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" and several Common Core-aligned lesson plans for English language arts and world history classes. "Using engaging curriculum like the Mandela lessons is one way we can reclaim the promise of public education for all children," Weingarten said.

On Thursday, about 350 Los Angeles high school students will attend a screening of the film and then participate in a discussion about the film and its message with the AFT's Weingarten and film company executive Weinstein.  Today, about 2,500 L.A. students screened the film.  A similar event will take place in New York on Nov. 26.

Teachers across the country can enter a Share My Lesson contest to win a package of 30 tickets to the movie for their students. To enter, teachers must register, free of charge, to join Share My Lesson; download any lesson; and then sign up for the contest.

WHAT: Screening of "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" and post-screening conversation

WHERE: Harmony Gold Screening Room, 7655 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 21
12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.—Screening for 3,000 Los Angeles high school students
3:15 p.m. – 3:35 p.m.—Conversation with students, Weingarten and Weinstein (open press)
3:35 p.m. – 4 p.m.—Weingarten and Weinstein available for media interviews

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.