New feature film highlights EdChoice board member’s school choice story
Miss Virginia screenings begin this weekend in New York and Washington
INDIANAPOLIS—This weekend marks the opening of Miss Virginia, a new feature film starring Uzo Aduba based on the true story of EdChoice board member Virginia Walden Ford, who became a national school choice advocate after struggling to find the right schooling option for her son in Washington, D.C.
“We are immeasurably proud of Virginia and all that she’s accomplished as an advocate for school choice in Washington, D.C., and across the country,” said EdChoice President and CEO Robert Enlow. “This movie captures her story beautifully, and it should serve as a constant reminder that parents have to be the driving force behind educational change.”
As she was raising her three children in Washington, D.C., Walden Ford realized that her youngest son needed a different educational option than he was getting under the traditional model. She overcame tremendous obstacles to find a private school that would work for him—and she was fortunate to find private financial support for that choice.
“Virginia got lucky, but she turned that luck into advocacy because she believed—as we do—that no family should have to rely on luck to gain access to educational opportunity,” Enlow said.
In 1998, Walden Ford took action, forming the grassroots organization D.C. Parents for School Choice, where she joined with other volunteers going door-to-door recruiting and training more parents to get involved.
In 2003, with the support of national education organizations and lawmakers, they found success: Walden Ford’s groups of parent advocates convinced Congress and then-President George W. Bush to enact the nation’s first-ever Opportunity Scholarship Program for low-income children, a program that set into motion a complete overhaul of Washington, D.C.’s educational system.
“In today’s cynical political world, Virginia’s story is a reminder that one person—one motivated mom who knew the system was rigged against her—can change the course of history,” Enlow said.
ABOUT THE MOVIE
Based on a true story, MISS VIRGINIA stars Emmy® winner Uzo Aduba as a struggling single mother who is losing her fifteen-year-old son to the rough streets of Washington, DC. Unwilling to see him drop out and deal drugs, she places him in a private school. But when she can’t afford tuition, she launches a movement to change the system that is destroying him and thousands like him. Attacked and threatened by those who don’t want change—from corrupt politicians to the local drug lord—Virginia must discover depths of strength she never knew she had.
SCREENING DATES AND LOCATIONS
- October 4, 2019 – New York, NY
- October 7, 2019 – Washington, DC
- October 10, 2019 – Philadelphia, PA
- October 14, 2019 – Little Rock, AR
- October 16, 2019 – Bentonville, AR