Los Angeles Lakers and EVERFI Celebrate African-American History Month with Screening of Selma

In celebration of African-American History month, EVERFI and the Los Angeles Lakers teamed up to honor graduates of a new digital course designed to expose students to the empowering stories of African-American history and to help them draw inspiration from the grit, intellect, and determination of the many remarkable women and men who shaped America. The Lakers have partnered with EVERFI to provide this digital learning experience to Compton High School in Los Angeles. More than 300 Compton students have completed the online course to date.

To kick off African-American History Month, the Lakers invited these students to attend a special screening of the film Selma, a chronicle of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights through an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.

The screening took place at Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles and included remarks from current Lakers forward Ed Davis and Lakers legend A.C. Green. The energy in the room was palpable as Green addressed the crowd of more than 150 students and encouraged them to work hard and stay focused on achieving their dreams as they sat down to watch this depiction of civil rights leaders working so hard to make that possible.

A.C. Green and Ed Davis both attended the screening and stayed after the event to take photos and chat with students. The Lakers also provided the school with warm-up shirts that were worn before games during last year’s African-American History Month.

Teachers and students alike from Compton High School were moved by the experience and the message of the movie. Here’s what a few of them had to say:

“I grew up in the 50s and 60s, so I experienced many of these racial issues and tensions,” said Compton High School English Teacher Bobette Phillips. “My students had no clue of the struggle that these people went through at that time. My students are so media focused, so it is great to show them in their preferred medium the truth of what happened.”

Tenth Grade Student Twanna Flowers told EVERFI, “My understanding of racial inequality only included slavery, I didn’t know about the protests and struggles during the civil rights movement. There’s still work to be done, but I’m glad the majority of the fight is over and people have equal rights.”

EverFi’s 306 – African American History course was developed in collaboration with Dr. Clayborne Carson, Professor of History and Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. Through the use of EverFi’s technology and instructional design expertise, historical events in African-American history come to life using engaging digital media, personalized learning simulations, and robust assessment. The course’s capstone activity is a short analytical reflection essay that invites students to examine selected topics from the course.

“During Black History Month I typically have each of my students do a report on one leader from the African-American community, but the 306 course gives students the opportunity to get an in-depth look at so many different figures from government, business, sports, politics, and many other fields, said ROP Teacher Katherine Diggs. “That type of learning is really powerful for my students.”