The BRIC Foundation, dedicated to increasing representation in the entertainment industry, held its second annual BRIC Talent + Innovation Summit on February 21, bringing together a community of thought provokers and disruptors across tech and entertainment to chart a course for meaningful change. The sold-out Summit was packed with inspiring talks, engaging workshops and actionable insights, bringing the power of perspective to attendees who joined from across government, media, tech, gaming and entertainment.
Among the highlights, Julie Ann Crommett, VP Multicultural Engagement at The Walt Disney Studios, called on attendees from across entertainment, media and tech to commit to action: “Representation matters, and the goal is to make sure that every single kid can see themselves on screen and in the workforce.”
During a panel on holding ourselves and businesses accountable, Darnell Moore, Director of Inclusion Strategy for Content & Marketing at Netflix, proclaimed, “Inclusion work is not just for the ‘other.’”
EVP of Creative at Sony Pictures Animation and Oscar-winning producer Karen Toliver (Hair Love) and Effie T. Brown, Gamechanger CEO and Producer (Dear White People), took the stage to discuss the opportunities and challenges that come with Operating in a Woke Universe. “You can’t make something about us, without us,” Brown asserted, “Until we bet on ourselves, no one’s going to bet on us.”
“We need to encourage each other to do better, to acknowledge both our privileges and the gaps in our knowledge, and make a commitment to justice,” said Alison Mann, BRIC Founder and CEO. “We launched the #BRICPledge as a means to make that commitment: pledge to make a difference, persuade others to care, and persevere when change doesn’t happen fast enough.”
In addition to a full day of engaging talks and conversations, the inaugural BRIC Impact Awards recognized individuals, nonprofits and companies that are innovative game-changers when it comes to leading how we creatively think and support diversity initiatives in the entertainment, media and tech industries, among others. Women in Animation also announced the recipients of their annual WIA Scholarships at the Summit.
2020 BRIC Impact Award winners:
- Founders Innovation: King Digital’s Kiki Olofsson and Kristin Adolfsson, who have made it their mission to make significant strides in the area of diversity and inclusion when it comes to games. Together, they created a training program and invented the “Diversity Space Tool” to empower game developers to create more inclusive game characters.
- Large Corporation: Netflix believes that it takes diversity of thought, culture, background and perspective to create a truly global storytelling platform. They are an equal opportunity employer who strives to build balanced teams from all walks of life. Inclusion plays just as much of a role in their success as having a diverse team.
- Small Corporation: Baobab Studios is the leading VR animation studio with the mission to inspire you to dream by bringing out your sense of wonder. They immerse their audience in fantastical worlds, introduce characters to fall in love with, and are champions of diversity and diverse talent in all of their projects.
- Large Non-Profit: The LA Promise Fund’s mission is to prepare Los Angeles students for success in college, career and life. Working through a network of high-performing, community-based schools and a portfolio of programs that reach students throughout LA County, the LA Promise Fund creates vibrant community hubs and partnerships that foster motivated, engaged, and directed students poised for academic, professional and personal success.
- Small Non-Profit: Inner-City Arts offers a safe, creative space where students are invited to explore. Widely regarded as one of the nation’s most effective arts education providers, Inner-City Arts is an oasis of learning, achievement, and creativity in the heart of Skid Row, working to create a safer, healthier Los Angeles.
- Educator: Kimberly Ponce from Compton Early College is a 12-year veteran social science teacher who began teaching at Compton High School. She teaches AP Human Geography, AP United States History and Leadership and is the proud Girls Build LA advisor who was named the CEC Teacher of the Year in 2019.
- Individual: Since 2011, attorney Sandra Cuneo has advised the president and members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on annual grant-giving of approximately $5 million dollars. She has served as an advocate before local, state and federal entities, and has organized numerous grassroots efforts, public-private partnerships, and other coalitions to advance their interests.
- Student: ArtCenter College of Design student Madeleine “Maddie” Wu, who serves as a representative for Student Government and the Diversity Council, working in the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as the Lead Student Worker, “Creativist.”
“A huge congrats to the many incredible individuals and organizations who are already taking meaningful action and leading the way in diversity initiatives in their respective fields,” added Mann.
BRIC (Break, Reinvent, Impact, Change) was created with the mission of creating new access points for women and members of underrepresented groups to excel at creative leadership and to enable cultural change through engaging and empowering talent. The BRIC Foundation was founded in 2018 by entertainment industry heavyweights Alison Mann, VP Creative/Strategy Sony Pictures Animation, and Producers Jill Gilbert and Nicole Hendrix.
www.bricfoundation.org | IG @bricfoundation