Hollywood is filled with a variety of events that celebrate a wide range of topics across all genres of the industry. Certain events celebrate the accomplishments of individuals that may not otherwise be recognized in their industry.
Film, television and music producers gathered at Milk Studios in Hollywood on Tuesday April 30, 2019 for the inaugural Empowerment in Entertainment event to celebrate and speak up about empowering the next generation to succeed in the entertainment industry. Hosted by Ciara, the event featured speeches by Kumail Nanjiani, Selena Gomez, Alicia Keys and Don Lemon.
Showered with love for all of her accomplishments, media queen Oprah Winfrey received the first Empowerment in Entertainment Award during The Hollywood Reporter’s inaugural Empowerment in Entertainment luncheon. The award was created to honor people of color, women, members of the LGBTQ community and other voices making a stand in the industry.
The event also launched a scholarship program for students in the L.A. area. Originally inspired by a discussion by entertainment companies and industry leaders, The Hollywood Reporter also launched the Young Executives Fellowship during the luncheon. The fellowship was created for local L.A. high school students to get a start in the entertainment industry. They are partnered with industry mentors, internships and college scholarships to University of Southern California, Howard University and Emerson College to create a bounty of future leaders in the entertainment industry. The fellowship allows partnerships with the six top media companies, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, and Compton and Inglewood school districts.
The two-year program kicks off with a three-week long summer course at USC film school and continues on during their junior and senior year of high school where they will get individual mentors, SAT tutoring, attend a boot camp run by Emerson college and have the opportunity to participate in paid summer internships.
The Empowerment in Entertainment event is one of the first of its kind and helps bring awareness to the contributions made by people of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ community. The success of this event can serve as the starting point for future events highlighting underrepresented individuals in the entertainment industry.