Atsushi Nishijima
April 24, 2015 at 04:45 PM EDT

As part of a “Selma for students” initiative, every high school in America will receive a free DVD of the Oscar-nominated film based on Martin Luther King Jr.’s march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965.

The announcement came from director Ava DuVernay, who spoke at a United Nations event on Thursday. In addition to the free DVDs, companion study guides will also be available. Teachers can find those by visiting

“Our Selma filmmaking journey has had many highlights, but to me, the response from students and educators has been the most magnificent part of the experience,” DuVernay said in a statement from Paramount Home Media. “To think that this triumphant story of dignity and justice will be available to every high school in this country is a realization of many dreams and many hopes. I applaud Paramount on this extraordinary effort, and salute the teachers who will provide classes and context on the work of Dr. King and his comrades to the young minds of our nation.”

Selma, which won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song, is currently available on Digital HD and arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on May 5.

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