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Press Release


Participant Media has partnered with Stand for Children, United Way, and the Ford Foundation for its national social action campaign for the documentary film WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN”, a Paramount Vantage and Participant Media presentation in association with Walden Media, which opened in New York and Los Angeles on September 24th and will expand to cities throughout North America throughout October. 

To complement Participant’s online campaign through the Social Action website, (, United Way, as part of United Way’s Campaign for the Common Good, and Stand for Children, with funding from the Ford Foundation, will power the local off-line campaign efforts in approximately 20 cities across the country. The objective of these local campaigns is to mobilize grass-top and grassroots activists in their own communities to pledge to see the movie and take local actions to help improve public education.  Local policy makers and opinion leaders will also be enlisted to join the campaign.  Recognizing that changes in education requires action from every corner of the community and at all levels of government, these local efforts will approach the campaign’s four key themes-- Celebrate Great Teachers, Demand World Class Standards, Ensure Great Schools, Raise Literacy Rates—accordingly.

Specific local campaign goals include:

  • Communicating with local school board members and superintendents about the importance of rewarding great teachers.
  • Pursuing governors and gubernatorial candidates for implementation of Common Core Standards.
  • Getting state and federal elected officials to support innovative school models with proven track records.
  • Recruiting individuals to volunteer to help young school age children learn to read.

 “It’s fantastic that United Way, Stand for Children and the Ford Foundation have made it possible for us to take our Social Action Campaign for WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” into local communities all over the country and to activate off-line engagement to help insure a great education for every child in America,” said Jim Berk, CEO Participant Media.


Stacey Stewart, Executive Vice President of Community Impact at United Way Worldwide said, “We’re proud to be a part of this project because the movie frames the opportunity for individuals, institutions and organizations to give, advocate and volunteer to help improve public education in America.’

 “WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN” will be a catalyst for an urgently needed dialogue about how to improve our nation’s public schools.” We’re thrilled that Stand for Children is playing a leading role in Participant’s campaign to enable audiences to take meaningful actions in order to make a concrete difference for students in their communities,” said Jonah Edelman, CEO, Stand for Children.

“People are looking for practical, concrete ways to improve the schools in their neighborhoods” said Darren Walker, Vice President, Education, Creativity and Freedom of Expression at the Ford Foundation. “We hope this campaign will arm them with the tools they need to do just that.”

About Participant Media

Participant Media is a Los Angeles-based entertainment company that focuses on socially relevant, commercially viable feature films, documentaries and television, as well as publishing and digital media. Participant Media is headed by CEO Jim Berk and was founded in 2004 by philanthropist Jeff Skoll, who serves as Chairman. Ricky Strauss is President.

Participant exists to tell compelling, entertaining stories that bring to the forefront real issues that shape our lives.  For each of its projects, Participant creates extensive social action and advocacy programs, which provide ideas and tools to transform the impact of the media experience into individual and community action. Participant’s films include The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson’s War, Darfur Now, An Inconvenient Truth, Good Night, and Good Luck, Syriana, Standard Operating Procedure, The Visitor, The Soloist, Food, Inc., The Informant!, The Cove, The Crazies, Oceans, Furry Vengeance, CASINO JACK and the United States of Money, Countdown to Zero and WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN”.

About United Way

United Way is a worldwide movement of nearly 1,800 community-based United Ways in 40 countries and territories. We advance the common good, creating opportunities for a better life for all, by focusing on education, income and health. The United Way movement mobilizes millions to action to improve the conditions in which they live.

Unlike other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Ways around the world engage all sectors—public, private and civil society—at the community level, mobilizing individuals so they become the change agents in their own communities to improve the conditions in which they live. By working at the local level, the United Way movement addresses the root cause of issues that affect families and individuals. And with United Way’s worldwide network, we have the depth, breath and reach to quickly scale up with ease and create positive change locally, worldwide.

About Stand for Children

Stand for Children is among the nation’s most influential education advocacy organizations.  With affiliates in seven states (AZ, CO, IL, MA, OR, TN, WA) and members across the country, Stand’s mission is to use the power of grassroots action to help all children get the excellent public education and strong support they need to thrive. Our members, who are mostly parents and educators, believe we need to stand up for our children now - particularly for their education from pre-school through high school - to create a better future for America.

Stand builds effective local and statewide networks of grassroots advocates capable of convincing elected officials to invest in and improve public schools.  In 2010 alone, we played a meaningful role in the passage of education reform legislation in six states that will get more great teachers into our classrooms, result in more great principals in our schools, expand the number of high performing charter schools, turnaround chronically poor performing schools, and institute rigorous high school graduation standards.

About the Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than half a century it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

About Paramount Pictures Corporation

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands.  The company's labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies.  PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studio Group, and Worldwide Television Distribution.


Media Contact

United Way: Bill Meierling 730-836-7112, x283

Stand for Children: Jonah Edelman 503-997-5355

Ford Foundation: Joe Voeller  212-573-4821  j.voeller@fordfoundation