The NAACP and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA)announced a five-year collaborative partnership, joining forces in an effort to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion across the global entertainment industry.
Each year the HFPA and the NAACP Hollywood Bureau will collaborate on, fund, and support a series of trailblazing initiatives, with the overall goals of:
- Ensuring visibility of projects from artists of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds;
- Increasing diverse representation in the industry;
- Building pathways to inclusion for young artists and journalists of color.
The founding partners have named their effort the “Reimagine Coalition” and intend to recruit industry-wide support for the mission.
“We have not only worked to reimagine our structure at the HFPA, but also our role as an association – using our platform to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry,” said Helen Hoehne, President of the HFPA. “This collaboration is so much more than reform; this is an opportunity to make a long-lasting change on a global scale. We’re honored that NAACP Hollywood shares this long-term vision with us, and we encourage all of our partners in the industry to join us in tackling these issues head-on.”
The new, first of its kind, partnership takes a multi-pronged approach in tackling racial disparities throughout Hollywood, including:
- Supporting scholarships, fellowships, internships, and mentorship programs for creatives of color interested in pursuing careers in journalism and the motion picture and television industry;
- Committing to the creation of employment opportunities for scholarship recipients and other qualified creatives of color;
- Committing to a series of roundtable discussions, in partnership with the NAACP and other advocacy organizations, around various topics such as increasing diversity and visibility in film and television and building pathways to inclusion for young artists – both in front of and behind the camera;
- Working with the NAACP on restoring, preserving, and digitizing Black films, as well as historically significant NAACP footage throughout the course of the organization’s 112-year history; and
- Fostering connections with the Nigerian film industry and African diaspora cinema, as well as elevating cinema from diverse groups around the world through film festivals.
“The NAACP applauds our advocacy allies for pressing HFPA to commit to internal reforms, and we now welcome HFPA as a partner in the larger agenda to realize equity and inclusion throughout Hollywood,” said Kyle Bowser, Senior Vice President of the NAACP Hollywood Bureau. “The emerging spirit of racial reckoning must move beyond the convenience of condemning individual transgressors, toward a collective will to redesign the ecosystem that has nurtured a legacy of systemic discrimination and oppression. We must be mindful that scapegoats are typically bred by the herd. NAACP and HFPA invite all industry institutions to join our Reimagine Coalition effort by reconciling bold proclamations of reform with actionable plans for accountability and allyship.”
Today’s announcement was the result of months of conversations between the NAACP and the HFPA around not just the HFPA’s plans for reform but building systemic solutions to the systemic problems of the entertainment industry. The result was a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in September, establishing a long-term framework that provides a springboard for lasting progress.
“This partnership – over five years – is a signal to the industry that we’re not interested in short-term fixes – we’re committed to changing the narrative and tackling disparities in the industry from every angle,” said Derrick Johnson, President, and CEO of the NAACP. “Over the next several years through this partnership, we can build pathways to inclusion to support future generations of Black artists and artists of color. We can’t wait to get to work.”