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#CaptainMarvelChallenge: Richmond, VA

$1,615 of $18,000 goal

Raised by 50 people in 1 month
Campaign Update: Thank you for checking out our #RVACaptainMarvelChallenge. Rest In Peace Stan Lee.

My name is Lance Cooper (Activist & Youth Program Director) based in Richmond, Virginia. Some people may know me from the recent success of our #SaveFlintChallenge water relief mission for Flint, others might be familiar with my dedication to empowering youth in the Richmond community. 

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News Links:

☆ RVA Mag
Local Youth Activist Raising Funds To Help Girls See #CaptainMarvel https://t.co/30iC6nVU0P

☆ Richmond Times Dispatch
Crowdfunding campaign funds Richmond kids' trips to see 'Black Panther' https://t.co/HDKNNBx0Xs

☆ RVA Mag
Local Activist Launches Black Panther Challenge Campaign in Richmond https://t.co/t7kLBnO06m

Fast Forward

This time it's all about Captain Marvel! The girls I'm raising funds for are students in our youth program, and students in the RVA community. Two unforgettable things happened recently that made me accept the #CaptainMarvelChallenge. First, Brie Larson (who captures the role of Captain Marvel perfectly) supported my campaign for Flint. Her support helped a lot of people get clean water, and showed me she's a true superhero. Then shortly after, one of the donors said to me in a Facebook comment, "Time to work on 'Captain Marvel' for the young ladies to see a heroine save it all!" With 'Captain Marvel' this is another great chance for us to plant creative seeds of empowerment within young girls minds, and ignite limitless possibilities for them to succeed in helping the world.

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My goal is to provide the experience for girls/kids to see this monumental movie in theaters. It is extremely important for girls of "all colors" to see characters that look like them portrayed in strong, empowering ways on the big screen.

Frederick Joseph also mentioned a few other great reasons girls should see 'Captain Marvel':

Why Captain Marvel?


☆ Captain Marvel is Marvel Studio’s first woman led film

☆ She will be the most powerful superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

☆ The story adds new components to open doors for the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe

☆ Unlike many female characters, her story doesn’t rely on romance and other typical woman character arcs

☆ There are multiple female characters in the film that enforce diversity of women in race, careers, and talents

☆ The film is co-directed and scored by women

☆ The film releases on International Woman's Day during Women's History Month

Join the challenge:  https://t.co/uRaikwD4r2

Me personally, I'll always believe it's necessary to promote something heroic & positive for girls, and it will always be our responsibility as adults to help them find their inner superhero.

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The release of the film is March 8th, 2019, and once again I'm inviting local media in Richmond, Virginia to cover our #CaptainMarvelChallenge movie experience. I will be posting video and pictures of our results, and youth reactions in theater upon viewing this film.

How the funds will be used 


Your donations will go to purchasing tickets for children and chaperones, as well as refreshments. We will distribute tickets within the SM Youth Empowerment Program and throughout the Richmond, Virginia area. Being that I am the youth program director & organizer of this RVA event, all donations will be securely directed to our personal account, and withdrawn to purchase the tickets on behalf of 804 Street Media. Our ultimate goal is providing 1,500 girls/students with the opportunity to experience Captain Marvel.

Ticket cost breakdown:

$11.25 per adult ticket

$8.25 per child ticket

☆ The remaining balance of donations after the movie experience is paid for, will go to assisting various organizations & teams for girls in Richmond, Virginia.

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Thank you for joining me in supporting our youth, who need us now more than ever. All donations appreciated. All amounts help reach the goal.

Sincerely,

Lance Cooper (Youth Program Director)
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I've selected the Albert Hill Middle School cheer team to sponsor during our #CaptainMarvelChallenge Richmond, Virginia.

International Women’s Day is March 8th (Captain Marvel also hits theaters). Let's all make a difference in the lives of daughters, sisters and mothers around the world.

Thank you for supporting our #RVACaptainMarvelChallenge. Rough start, but we won't give up. Please keep sharing our campaign.

Sincerely,
Lance
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Funds Being Raised to Help Girls Go See ‘Captain Marvel’ : by Serena Fischer

RICHMOND -- Lance Cooper likes challenges, especially ones where he can use his powers to help local youth. Last year, Cooper took almost 2,000 Richmond children to see “Black Panther,” the first superhero blockbuster with a black director and lead actor, as well as a predominantly black cast and crew. This year, he hopes to do the same for “Captain Marvel,” Marvel Studios’ first female-led superhero film.

Cooper hopes his new campaign can raise $18,000 to cover the cost of tickets and refreshments for 1,500 Richmond students and chaperones with the SM Youth Empowerment Program.

In the movie, actress Brie Larson plays Carol Danvers, an Air Force officer who gains her superpowers after exposure to an alien device. Her film will be the 21st addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and she will likely be the bold leader who moves the Avengers team into the franchise’s next phase -- especially with news that Chris Evans will no longer play Captain America after “Avengers: Endgame.”

“Captain Marvel” flies into theaters on March 8 -- International Women’s Day. That connection isn’t lost on Cooper.

“I’ll always believe it’s necessary to promote something heroic and positive for girls and help them find their inner superhero,” he said.

Cooper established the SM Youth Empowerment Program in 2016, inspired by the outreach his cousin, ex-NBA star Alonzo Mourning, did with children.

“It started as an after-school project to keep kids active, thinking and safe,” Cooper said. “With the help of crowdfunding and many people interested in seeing our youth succeed, we were able to turn it into something bigger.”

Cooper, an avid superhero fan, said it was only natural to use superhero films to connect with and empower the youth he works with on a daily basis. He used the release of “Black Panther” to show his students the importance and influence of black representation in film.

“I witnessed a lot of empowerment with that campaign. We even got recognized by Chadwick Boseman,” Cooper said, citing the film’s star. “It was a huge success.”

Turns out, Boseman isn’t the only Hollywood star to recognize Cooper’s efforts. Larson retweeted a link to his GoFundMe campaign through her Twitter account. Cooper, who described Larson as a “true superhero,” said she also supported his previous fundraiser to provide residents of Flint, Michigan, with clean water.

Frederick Joseph, who launched both initial film fundraising campaigns at the national level, worries the “#CaptainMarvelChallenge” won’t be as successful as the “#BlackPantherChallenge.”

He said the fundraising hasn’t generated as much support this time, and even Larson’s endorsement didn’t seem to jumpstart the donations. Joseph questioned if there is a “larger conversation to be had around how much support women receive and lack thereof."

Because female-led movies are becoming more common,  the public may not understand how this film is a milestone for Marvel Studios, where women commonly have had secondary roles. Two years ago, rival studio Warner Bros., in partnership with DC Entertainment, released the film “Wonder Woman,” carried by female star Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins.

Cooper is focused on just one mission: getting the kids to the movies.

“ It is extremely important for girls of ‘all colors’ to see characters that look like them portrayed in strong, empowering ways on the big screen,” Cooper stated. His campaign is aimed toward girls but will help all the students in the program experience the movie in the theater.  

He started fundraising on Jan. 25 and has raised about $600 so far. Last year, he raised over $24,000 for the “Black Panther” outings. If there are any campaign funds leftover, Cooper said they will go toward various girl-centered organizations in Richmond.


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This story is for subscribers to VCU’s Capital News Service.
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