What's it like to have your life story told on the big screen?
The new movie Miss Virginia is based on the unlikely story of Virginia Walden Ford, who, as a single mother in Washington, D.C., in the early 2000s, fought to create a federally-funded private school voucher program that would allow poor kids—including her son—to escape failing public schools. Against long odds and institutional hostility, she succeeded and is played with fiery passion by Orange Is the New Black's Uzo Aduba. Matthew Modine, known for roles in Full Metal Jacket, Weeds, and Stranger Things, co-stars as a sympathetic congressman who helps win congressional authorization for the program.
The movie opens in select theaters and on streaming services on October 18. Go here for more information.
Walden Ford's own backstory as a student is both harrowing and inspirational. She was among the early waves of black kids that integrated public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, an experience that informed her actions as a parent. Her memoir of growing up in the segregated South and becoming a major figure in education reform, School Choice: A Legacy To Keep, will be published on November 21. Go here for more information.