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Celebs back Mississippi theater screening of ‘Just Mercy’

January 31, 2020 GMT
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Lawyer Bryan Stevenson, left, and producer Asher Goldstein, actors Tim Blake Nelson and Rob Morgan accept the award NBR freedom of expression award for "Just Mercy," at the National Board of Review Awards gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
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Lawyer Bryan Stevenson, left, and producer Asher Goldstein, actors Tim Blake Nelson and Rob Morgan accept the award NBR freedom of expression award for "Just Mercy," at the National Board of Review Awards gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West bought all the tickets at a Mississippi movie theater to provide community members with a free showing of the movie “Just Mercy,” a newspaper reported.

The couple are among celebrities that have sponsored screenings of the movie nationwide.

The Daily Mississippian reports that they backed a free screening for 280 people at a theater in Oxford, home of the University of Mississippi.

“Just Mercy” is a legal drama based on attorney Bryan Stevenson’s 2014 memoir “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.” It’s centered on Stevenson’s defense of Walter McMillian, a then 47-year-old black tree cutter who had been falsely accused and swiftly sentenced to death for the murder of an 18-year-old white woman in Monroeville, Alabama.

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The Wests are working with the group Represent Justice on the movie screenings. Represent Justice approached the nationwide campus ministry Cru as a way of getting tickets to college students. When the University of Mississippi’s branch of Cru received the offer, Director of Local Missions Kitty Hurdle took charge of distributing the tickets.

Hurdle then approached Prevail, an organization of campus ministries seeking to start conversations about racial reconciliation from a religious perspective. Prevail divided 280 tickets up among all of its ministry groups to dole out to their respective students in Oxford.