By guest blogger Alyssa Morones
Public schools and Hollywood’s most glamorous party may not be the most likely of pairs. However, K-12 education found a very public spotlight during Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony, when director Steve McQueen accepted the best picture award for 12 Years a Slave.
To celebrate the evening, McQueen, dressed in a black and white tuxedo, also donned a red wristband. The unconventional accessory is part of the National School Boards Association’s “Stand Up 4 Public Schools” red campaign. You can see it just inches away from McQueen’s Oscar in the photo above. (Is it possible to be jealous of a wristband?)
NSBA’s campaign aims to encourage broad support for traditional public schools and access to high-quality public education.
David A. Pickler, president of the NSBA, gave the bracelet to McQueen on the red carpet, according to a press release by the organization.
Coordinated by the campaign’s celebrity spokesperson, Montel Williams, NSBA is partnering with New Regency, Penguin Books, and the filmmakers to distribute an edited version of the best picture winner, copies of the book upon which it was based, and a study guide for teachers to public high schools.
“Since first reading 12 Years a Slave, it has been my dream that this book be taught in schools,” said McQueen, as quoted in the press release.
The movie tells the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man born in New York State. In 1841, was kidnapped, and then sold into slavery.
Photo: Steve McQueen and the cast of “12 Years a Slave” celebrate on stage during the 86th annual Academy Awards on March 2 in Los Angeles—Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/MCT
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.