The entertainment industry is examining its diversity and inclusion efforts as it continues to make inroads in recognizing the business rationale for greater representation on-air, behind the camera and in the C-suites. Future’s CultureX Conversations on Tuesday, March 16, will build on the dialogue through a series of keynotes, fireside chats, panels and awards that celebrate the industry’s inclusion efforts while searching for ways to improve both the mindset and the impact of decision makers to foster a more inclusive industry.
Allen Media Group/Entertainment Studios founder, chairman and CEO Byron Allen will serve as opening keynote speaker of the virtual conference, leading a roster of top industry executives, chief diversity officers, on-air talent and showrunners set to discuss the need for more diversity within all aspects of the industry, while revealing the strategies behind building a successful, diverse workforce. The conference is produced in partnership with The Walter Kaitz Foundation.
Stage 13/Warner Bros. Digital Networks senior VP and general manager Diana Mogollón will headline a panel on the impact of diverse casts on programming acquisition and distribution, while WarnerMedia senior VPs of enterprise inclusion Karen Horne and Samata Narra will share some internal research and insights on implementing the inclusion process within a “merging” corporate culture.
Walter Kaitz Foundation executive director Michelle Ray will host a panel featuring diversity officers such as AMC Networks chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer Aisha Thomas-Petit and Ann Carlsen, founder and CEO of executive search firm Carlsen Resources, discussing their experiences and tips for ensuring equitable results in recruitment practices and hiring procedures.
Regarding on-screen diversity, GLAAD chief communications officer Rich Ferraro will release the organization’s latest report on LGBT characters and storylines on TV (see Viewpoint, page 30), while AARP VP of multicultural leadership Yvette Pena will discuss the impact of content targeting the maturing multicultural audience.
A highlight of the conference is the CultureX Awards, given to individuals, organizations and programs for their outstanding commitment to inspiring cultural inclusion within the television industry. The ceremony is hosted by 2020’s CultureX award recipient, Julio Vaqueiro, the anchor of Noticias Telemundo Edicion Especial.
This year’s award recipients are: Juanjo Duran, head of entertainment & multicultural, Google; Juan Williams, Fox News political analyst and co-host of Fox News Channel’s The Five; Access Hollywood, the entertainment news program known for its diverse cast and coverage of inclusion issues in the industry, with Scott Evans accepting; and Starz, for diverse casts and storylines in series such as Power, P-Valley and Outlander, plus upcoming series Run The World, Blindspotting, Black Mafia Family, Shining Vale, Serpent Queen and Power Book II: Ghost. Starz’s award will be accepted by president and CEO Jeffrey Hirsch.
For more information or to register, go to culturexevents.com.
R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.
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