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Center for Cultural Power Wants to Disrupt Hollywood Inequality With New Diversity Initiative

Exclusive: The Disruptors Fellowship will offer a five-month mentorship program for 10 artists of color who identify as trans, non-binary, disabled, or undocumented now or formerly.

Center for Cultural Power

Center for Cultural Power/screenshot

On the heels of an Academy Awards ceremony that found South Korea breaking into the Oscars for the first time with the history-making “Parasite,” and at a critical moment for diversity in the entertainment community, the Center for Cultural Power wants to disrupt Hollywood inequality with a new initiative for artists of color. In partnership with the Time’s Up-inspired movement 5050×2020, the Oakland-based Center for Cultural Power has announced the first-ever The Disruptors Fellowship, a five-month program that will be awarded to 10 artists of color who identify as trans and/or non-binary, disabled, undocumented and/or formerly undocumented immigrants. Head to the fellowship’s website for information on how to apply here. The deadline to apply is March 23, 2020, and while the fellowship takes place in Los Angeles, non-LA residents are welcome.

Unfolding beginning in May through August of this year, the fellowship will feature master classes, one-on-one coaching and feedback, and peer support, culminating in an industry reading of a pilot excerpt. The program also comes with a $5,000 stipend for participants. Mentors and panelists will include diverse writers and creators both fresh and veteran from among the industry, such as Rafael Agustin (“Jane the Virgin”), Katherine Beattie (“NCIS”), Shantira Jackson (the “Saved by the Bell” reboot), Thomas Page McBee (“The L Word,” “Tales of the City”), Jill Soloway (“Transparent”), Ryan O’Connell (creator, writer, and star on Netflix’s “Special”), Jenny Yang (“Last Man Standing”), and Trey Callaway (“CSI: NY”).

“With 91% of TV show creators being white and 78% being men, it is crucial to empower and provide the right tools to storytellers who can speak to different perspectives,” said Favianna Rodriguez, President of the Center for Cultural Power. “It is of the utmost importance to diversify the voices in Hollywood, and one of the best ways to do that is to provide opportunities for these writers to get a chance to be in the writers’ room.”

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The submissions will be juried by a panel that includes Nick Adams, Director of Transgender Media & Representation at GLAAD, along with Christine Bruno (chair of the NY SAG-AFTRA Performers with Disabilities), and select staff from the Center for Cultural Power and 5050by2020. The program will announce its fellows in April, once fellows are notified on April 10.

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