GLAAD has introduced its inaugural cohort of 10 creatives for its newly launched Equity in Media and Entertainment Initiative.

Alexander King, Brandon Nicholas, Brit Fryer, Ish Brown, LaQuann Dawson, Michael Donte, Nyala Moon, Olivia Peace, Riley Wilson and Whitney Skauge will take part in the three-yr program targeted on creating and elevating the work and storytelling of Black LGBTQ+ creatives.

Created and led by DaShawn Usher, the director of GLAAD’s Communities of Color and Media division, together with affiliate director Julian J. Walker and junior affiliate Kayla Thompson, the initiative — which can be supported by Gilead Sciences — is designed as a pipeline program to assist deal with, and start to resolve, the present hole in equitable illustration onscreen and behind the scenes in Hollywood.

Each taking part inventive will likely be granted $10,000 to fund a present or new inventive mission to be produced throughout their time with the initiative in an effort to assist produce extra genuine Black queer tales. In addition to the funding, this system will work to strengthen creatives’ skilled networks whereas advancing their entry to government management and areas that present insider information and assets.

“While we know we are not at a deficit of Black LGBTQ+ storytellers, creatives and content producers, we still do not have the same equity or access in telling our own stories in entertainment and media. We are excited to launch EMEI during a time that is pivotal in telling Black queer stories that are fully supported financially, creatively and professionally,” Usher mentioned in a press release. “This year’s cohort of visionaries and advisors are the pinnacle of what Black LGBTQ+ creatives can do when we join together to amplify our work.”


Each yr will assist a special group of Black LGBTQ+ creatives throughout numerous disciplines, with the primary yr’s cohort made up of brief type filmmakers, adopted by writers for tv, theater and books as a part of the second yr. Music artists, songwriters, producers and choreographers spherical out this system as a part of its third-yr inventive cohort.

An advisory board of Black LGBTQ+ inventive professionals will assist every year’s cohort, shaping their expertise with EMEI by means of suggestions, business insights, community constructing and useful resource sharing.

Among that board is Tony-winning producer and stage supervisor Cody Renard Richard; Director of Corporate Giving at Gilead, Darwin Thompson; Dennis Williams, svp, Corporate Affairs & Corporate Social Responsibility at WarnerMedia; hairstylist and studio hair division head Derek J.; filmmaker Elegance Bratton; Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at Nike Jarvis Sam; Jasmine J. Smith, MS, supervisor of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Universal Music Group; supervisor of Multicultural Publicity and Community Projects at Netflix Kevin Stuckey; costume and set designer Kwame Waters; co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Revry, Inc. LaShawn McGhee; and creator, showrunner, government producer and TV drama author Rasheed Newson.

The cohort will meet nearly on a month-to-month foundation to debate their initiatives in addition to having quarterly conferences with the advisory board. Both teams will make suggestions for quarterly occasions that assist helps the cohort’s skilled improvement.