It wasn’t designed by Fred Leighton and couldn’t be measured by carats, but it carried an important message.
Steve McQueen, Director of “12 Years a Slave,” wore the National School Board Association’s (NSBA) red wristband for its “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” campaign as he accepted the Oscar for the Best Picture at the 2014 Academy Awards.
NSBA’s “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” campaign centers on creating strong public schools, governed by school boards, to ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn 21st century skills and are prepared for higher education and the workplace.
NSBA also is partnering with New Regency, Penguin Books, and the filmmakers to distribute “12 Years a Slave” to public high schools. The initiative is coordinated by Montel Williams, who is a celebrity spokesperson for the “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” campaign. NSBA will assist in distributing an edited version of the film, book, and study guide to “12 Years a Slave” nationwide in September 2014. This version will be appropriate for high school classrooms and each school district can decide whether and how to utilize the resources.
In announcing the partnership to distribute the film, McQueen said, “Since first reading ’12 Years a Slave,’ it has been my dream that this book be taught in schools. I am immensely grateful to Montel Williams and the National School Boards Association for making this dream a reality and for sharing Solomon Northup’s story with today’s generation.”
“We are honored that Steve McQueen shared our wristband with the world at the Academy Awards in support of strong public schools,” said NSBA Executive Director Thomas J. Gentzel. “The red wristband sends a powerful message about the importance of standing up for America’s public schools to help every child achieve world-class standards and a brighter future.”
NSBA President David A. Pickler attended the Academy Awards and met McQueen on the red carpet before the event. Pickler gave McQueen the wristband to wish him luck and as a sign of support for the partnership and the film. During the ceremony, Pickler tweeted, “Just met Steve McQueen, director of 12 Years a Slave. Shared a hug in celebration of the @NSBAComm partnership.”
Show your support for public education and get a wristband at www.standup4publicschools.org.