Realscreen is unveiling a multi-year, multi-faceted initiative designed to make meaningful and lasting change in the area of racial and ethnic diversity across the international non-fiction and unscripted landscape.
DIALOG, announced in advance of of the “How to Make Your Team Diverse and Why It Matters” session at the Realscreen Summit today (Feb. 3), is an acronym for diversity, inclusion, accountability, learning, opportunity and growth, and will focus on two key areas. The first effort will offer a broad, free-access, industry-wide program to educate and encourage organizations in the unscripted entertainment industry on how to dismantle institutional legacies that limit access and promotion to professionals who are Black, Indigenous and people of color, with a focus on middle-management.
In addition Realscreen is offering an extensive application-based mentorship program tailored to mid-career BIPOC managers, focused on career advancement .
A+E Networks has signed on as the founding patron sponsor of the initiative, and Discovery Inc. is on board as a founding partner. Both companies are committed to a three year term, signalling their commitment to the endeavor.
“A+E Networks and Discovery Inc. have been amazing partners of Realscreen for many years,” said Claire Macdonald, vice president and publisher of Realscreen. “I am truly grateful for their support of DIALOG. With their help we are going to be able to provide career-altering mentorship and access to at least 10 deserving people each year, as well as fulfil our obligation as a media leader to inform and educate.”
The DIALOG advisory board played a significant role in the development of the program, with sustainability and accountability being core to the mandate. The board includes Sylvia Bugg, chief programming officer, PBS; David Cornwall, managing director, Scorpion TV; Jill Dickerson, unscripted originals, Snap; Kevin Hill, head, television and digital development, Seven Bucks; Robyn Lattaker-Johnson, head of unscripted development, programming and specials, OWN; Ryann Lauckner, president and chief strategy officer, Asylum Entertainment Group; Bree Legendre-Frank, VP, physical production, unscripted at Hello Sunshine; Flavio Morales, EVP Endemol Shine’s Latino U.S. initiatives, Endemol Shine North America and Amir Shahkhalili, partner at WME. “My gratitude to this group of talented and focused group of individuals is real,” said Macdonald. “With their guidance I am confident that this program will be a success.”
Applications for the DIALOG mentorship program are open now until March 26, 2021. For more information, click here.