EVENT SCHEDULE: Day 1
Saturday January 20, 2024
Doors Open at 10:30 am
Panels and Conversations
Event Moderator: Wendy Raquel Robinson, is an American actress and producer best known for her roles as high school principal Regina "Piggy" Grier on The WB comedy sitcom The Steve Harvey Show and as sports agent Tasha Mack on The CW/BET/Paramount+ comedy-drama The Game. Also, a philanthropist, Robinson is the co-founder of the Amazing Grace Conservatory, a school that predominantly serves children from 5 to 18 years old from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds in the fields of the arts and media production.
11:30 am - Creative Latinos in Hollywood: Representation On-screen and Behind the Scenes with moderator Wendy Raquel Robinson
Latino Cinematographer, Eduardo Ramirez will discuss navigating Hollywood and creating impactful representation on-screen. He will share his experiences and the continued challenges faced by Latino creatives telling authentic stories that honor the culture and truthfully reflect the Latino culture.
Panelist: Eduardo Ramirez, is an award-winning Cinematographer from Colombia, based in Los Angeles, Ca. with over 11 years of experience in film and television. Eduardo was recently added to the ARRAY Crew community Created by the Director Ava DuVernay with the intention to expand diversity in Hollywood.
12:30 pm -
The Breakthrough: Betting on
Yourself and Winning as an Independent Filmaker,
Conversation Led by Ericka Nicole Malone
Event host, Ericka Nicole Malone, will speak about her experiences in the entertainment industry, why she felt the need to create the Indie Directors & Creatives Spotlight and host it at the Sundance Film Festival. She will also share exclusive trailers from her latest projects, followed by a Q&A.
Speaker: Ericka Nicole Malone is an award-winning filmmaker, businesswoman, writer, and keynote speaker. She is building her own brand of entertainment in Hollywood while running a successful business.
Early in her career she understood the obstacles faced by female filmmakers, and women of color, so she chose to bet on herself and tells stories that speak to the Black experience in her own unique voice. Not only was she conscious of the lack of female creatives, but also the margin of people of color behind the scenes, below and above the line. For this reason, her productions are staffed with a diverse group of skilled individuals.
Ericka’s latest project, Remember Me: The Mahalia Jackson Story, is a feature film starring Grammy Award winner Ledisi as the iconic Mahalia Jackson, and an all-star cast including Columbus Short, Janet Hubert, Keith Robinson, and Corbin Bleu. The film was nominated for 3 NAACP Image Awards, with Ericka winning, Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Motion Picture) and has garnered 22 award wins and nominations during its film festival run including the African Movie Academy Award (AMMA) for Best Diaspora Feature. In addition, Remember Me is currently available on the Hulu streaming service.
1:15 pm -
Spotlighting Black Excellence in Hollywood: A
Conversation with Television Director, Ken
This intimate conversation will take us into the world of Ken Whittingham, one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed television directors with credits including American Housewife, Gilmore Girls, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Ugly Betty, Still Standing, Community, 30 Rock, Californication, Parks and Recreation, The Middle, Parenthood, The Bernie Mac Show, Scrubs, Everybody Hates Chris, Modern Family, The King of Queens, The Office, My Name Is Earl, Entourage, and the list goes on and on.
Ken will speak openly about his experience as a Black man in Hollywood and how he broke the stereotype of Black creatives only being capable of telling Black stories. His credits highlight a career of storytelling with characters that reflect the rich diverse culture of America from the perspective of a visionary director and producer.
Panelist: Ken Whittingham is an American television director and producer. He has won five NAACP Image Awards for his work on The Office, 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation
2:05 pm - “Designing the Black Experience: A Conversation with Ruth E. Carter”
An intimate conversation with two-time Academy Award
winning film costume designer, Ruth E. Carter, who
is best known for her historical Oscar Costume
Design wins for Black Panther and Black Panther:
With a career that expands over three decades Ruth E. Carter has worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, Samuel L. Jackson, Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, and the late Chadwick Boseman.
In this candid conversation Ruth E. Carter will speak about her expansive career as a “Storyteller” through costume design, her personal journey navigating Hollywood, and the extraordinary strides made by black women in the entertainment industry.
Speaker: Ruth E. Carter is a two-time Academy Award winning American film costume designer. Best known for turning the Black Panther superhero into an African King, Carter makes history as the first Black person to win the Costume Design category and earns Marvel Studios their first Oscar recognition. For BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER, Carter makes history, again, for her outstanding costume design work and becomes the first Black woman to win multiple Academy Awards in any category and the first costume designer to win for the first film and its sequel.
3:10 pm - “Women of Color Breaking Down Barriers Behind the Scenes”
This panel of women who have broken down barriers in Hollywood will explore and celebrate the contributions of women of color who are often overlooked. We will shine a light on the diverse presence of women of color shaping the stories being told in Hollywood behind the scenes -- the writers, directors, show runners, costume designers, camera operators, and producers. As Hollywood continues to push the narrative of all white everything, these women are creating opportunities for women of color to tell complex and rich stories with characters that reflect a diverse world.
These ladies will share their poignant perspectives, provide invaluable words of wisdom, and share their thoughts on the state of women of color in Hollywood today. breaking down barriers and pushing our commonality to the forefront.
By sharing the insider perspectives and triumphant successes of these black women behind the scenes, we hope to encourage even more women of color and women generally to celebrate their self-worth and pursue careers in film, television and media.
We’re at a critical time in history where women are using their strong voices to solidify their integral roles in business, social good, and in their personal lives. Since young girls are exposed to media and digital content constantly, the time is now to highlight and celebrate the women who are making significant contributions to the creative community, especially in the film and television industry.
Panelist: Robi Reed is an American casting director and producer. She has over 50 films and television shows to her credit, including The Best Man, Soul Food, For Colored Girls, Love Jones, Set It Off, In Living Color and Girlfriends. Reed got her start working with writer-director Spike Lee. His 1988 release School Daze was her very first film as a casting director. She later went on to cast Lee’s Malcolm X, Do The Right Thing, Mo' Better Blues, Crooklyn, Clockers and Jungle Fever. Reed is currently the Vice President of Talent and Casting for Original Programming at Black Entertainment Television (BET).
Panelist: Holly Carter is the President and CEO of Relevé Entertainment, leading one of the premier boutique brand partnership and production companies for family and faith inspired content. Under her company umbrella, Carter developed, executive produced and recently wrapped season two of her hit scripted series, "Kingdom Business”, on BET+, as well as wrapping her latest unscripted Fashion Competition Series, she created for HULU/ ABC. Next up is a Hair Competition Format,” Hair to The Throne," with Kim Kimble and Taraji P. Henson that she is developing for NBC Universal.
Panelist: Rose Catherine Pinkney is a versatile, senior level creative executive who has been both a buyer and a seller having worked for networks, studios, and independent production companies. She is currently the Senior Vice President, Scripted Programming at BET/BET+. As head of development for the Original Programming Department, she is charged with developing scripted content for the network and its sister streamer BET+. Her credits include Average Joe, The Ms. Pat Show, The Black Hamptons, The Porter, The X Files, Girlfriends, New York Undercover, and South Central.
The Ericka Nicole Malone Soul Lounge
Guests are invited back to a lively evening of soulful R&B music played by the incomparable, DJ Q Nice, and special guest DJ Spinderella of the Grammy award winning group Salt & Pepa! The evening will boast an exciting live performance by R&B crooner Alfred Jackson and conclude with the legendary award-winning group, SWV.
EVENT SCHEDULE: Day 2
Sunday January 21, 2024
Doors Open at 10:30 am
Panels and Conversations
NAACP Panel Discussions, presented by Ericka
Nicole Malone Entertainment
11:00 am - 12:00 pm – Six Imperatives for Rendering Black Lives in Media
Moderator: Kyle Bowser, Senior Vice President of the NAACP Hollywood Bureau
The relationship between mass media and the Black community demonstrates the tremendous power of storytelling and how it conveys images and messages that conjure perceptions and beliefs that either help or harm. Intentional choices in the depiction of Black life in media have produced psycho-social dynamics that require attention and redress. In this session, the NAACP Hollywood Bureau will explore six imperatives for rendering Black lives in media. The panel will discuss various ways mass media storytelling can illuminate a path toward a healthy, discerning and authentically rendered society, wherein the Black experience is understood, appreciated and celebrated with equitable deference.
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm - Black Women Lead
Moderator: NAACP Communication Executive
"Black Women Lead" is a compelling panel discussion that shines a spotlight on the significant contributions of Black women in the television and film industry. This engaging program brings together esteemed industry professionals, accomplished filmmakers, actors, producers, and advocates to explore the varied and vital roles that Black women have played in shaping the landscape of entertainment. Through meaningful dialogue, personal insights, and thought-provoking discussions, the panel delves into the challenges, triumphs, and evolving opportunities for Black women in the industry, while celebrating their remarkable impact and influence on storytelling, representation, and creative leadership. Join us for an inspiring and enlightening conversation that highlights the power, resilience, and innovation of Black women leading the way in television and film.
3:00 pm - DJ Set, by DJ Qnice
Host: Vanessa Estelle Williams, is an award-winning and Emmy nominated actress, singer, writer, and director. Williams made her film debut as the gun-toting head of security “Keisha” in the urban classic film New Jack City. Other film credits include Thriller (streaming now on Netflix), Raising Izzie, Imagine That, Like Mike, Punks, Mother, Candyman. Current television credits include Fox's 9-1-1, Showtime's The L Word Generation Q, and more.
4:00 pm - 8:15 pm – Live Musical Performances
Kindred the Family Soul
Doors Close 9:30 pm