PRESIDENT'S CALL TO ACTION!
“Who owns the story controls reality, the social fabric, and also who wins and loses.”
– Tiffany Norwood, Advisory Board Member
“Media Diversity is not just a Hollywood problem. The negative societal impacts from the economic concentration, stifling of diverse voices and perpetuation of divisive cultural narratives makes it a national problem that must be addressed. We salute the myriad of individuals and organizations who have been working tirelessly on this issue and believe strongly that their work should be highlighted and supported. However, we believe real change will not happen until the body politic gets Washington to join the fight and start treating media and tech diversity as a top priority. The Multicultural Media Correspondents Association is working to make that happen, but we need your help.”
“Together we can move the needle on media diversity.
Join our call to action”
The demand for multicultural news and entertainment is soaring and multicultural media stakeholders have clearly demonstrated the ability to create, control and distribute profitable and culturally sensitive content. However, this strong demand, demonstrated ability and increasing size and buying power of people of color has so far not resulted in increased media diversity. Instead, the convergence of rapid consolidation, technology transformation and rushed policy changes continue to threaten the survival of multicultural media stakeholders and is creating insurmountable barriers for new entrants.
New media platforms have eliminated the barriers that existed on traditional platforms – print, radio, broadcast, cable – for diverse stakeholders to create, curate and distribute entertainment and news programming that can now be easily accessed by the more than half of American households with internet service. Similarly, new media offers a platform for wider participation in public debate. However, these new media platforms will do little to sustain increased media diversity and inclusion unless additional efforts are taken to create a more favorable environment and to help these new entrants develop viable business models. New media start-ups may face a fairly smooth path to getting online, but a tougher path to being discovered by an audience and to profitability.
WHERE WE BEGAN
We marshaled the Multicultural Media Correspondents Dinner (MMCD™) in May 2016 to highlight this troubling reality and ignite a call to action. Specifically, we brought together policymakers, political influencers and media stakeholders to affirm, elucidate and connect media diversity advocates and stakeholders committed to moving the needle on media diversity. The event was a huge success and the spark was lit.
YEAR 2 AMPLIFICATION
Our call to action picked up even more steam in year two. Additional elected officials, media companies and media advocacy organizations, including the National Association of Black Journalist, the Asian American Journalist Association, the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the Hispanic Telecommunication and Technology Partnership and the Multicultural Media and Internet Technology Council, joined as partners for the 2nd Annual MMCD™.
WHAT WE HAVE BECOME!
After our second successful MMCD™, we formed the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association (MMCA) to harness the energy from our call to action to drive tangible change. This effort is being driven by the collaborative efforts of our Members and Strategic Partners.
- Members: We are a community of like-minded multicultural media stakeholders who have answered MMCA’s call to action. We journalists, correspondents, creators, directors, producers, programmers, distributors, executives, and behind the camera and on-air personalities are committed to working together and with like-minded tech and media decision-makers, policymakers and other thought leaders and influencers to advance our individual careers and business interest, while also moving the needle on media diversity.
- Strategic Partners: We are like-minded media and tech decision makers, policymakers and other thought leaders who have also answered MMCA’s call to action. We are committed to working with the MMCA to provide thought leadership, resource and information sharing, and strategic engagement. We are similarly committed to leveraging the MMCA platform to develop and implement recommendations for policy prescriptions and industry practices that will move the needle on media diversity.
MMCA’s strategic objective is to leverage our growing platform to:
- One: Generate greater public and political awareness that proactive efforts are needed to ensure diversity and inclusion in the new media environment—both in terms of job opportunities in the industry and production of content
- Two: Create a common ground environment and become a trusted convener for media companies, policymakers, and multicultural media stakeholders to come together to undertake these proactive efforts
- Three: Help diverse creators, curators, and distributors develop and sustain viable business models in this new media economy
WHAT WE DO!
- Raise the alarm that we see a media diversity crisis with serious economic, social and political implications that is not being adequately addressed in the new media environment
- Highlight the contributions made and the challenges faced by multicultural journalist and other media stakeholders in the rapidly changing new media economy
- Facilitate increased information sharing, strategic engagement and a stronger link of mutual support between media companies, multicultural media stakeholders and policy influencers
- Convening all of the key stakeholders critical to addressing the media diversity crisis at our annual May Multicultural Media Correspondents Dinner MMCDTM and Summit, SxSW Festival Activations, Congressional Legislative Caucuses, and other regional events throughout the year
- Getting Congress to adopt a media diversity resolution that reaffirms its commitment to media diversity and to designate the month of May as Media Diversity Month
- Serving as a trusted bridge for all stakeholders to come together to develop and scale innovative solutions anchored by our Annual Media Diversity Solutions Summit
- Maintaining a platform that links multicultural media stakeholders to information and resources, and also business, job and other “Big Break” opportunities
- Creating internship opportunities for a student of color interested in tech and media careers
- Supporting and amplifying policy and industry efforts to increase media diversity – across all platforms
MMCA ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
- Aaron Manaigo, Principal at GPS International & Co-Founder MMCA
- Antonio Williams, Sr. Director Government and External Affairs, Comcast NBC
- Cary Grant, CEO Premo Network
- Carole Munroe, Senior Director Portfolio, Loyalty and Content Brand Communications, Hilton Hotel and Resorts
- Greg Saphier, VP External Affairs, Motion Picture Association of America
- Helen Zia, Author and former Executive Editor Ms. Magazine
- John Burns, Co-Founder, Icon Talks
- Maurita Coley, Acting President Multicultural Media Telecom and Internet Council
- Michelle Vessell, Marketing Executive Radio One
- Nicol E. Turner Lee, Fellow, Brookings Institution
- Praveen Singh, Chief Marketing Officer TYT
- Raul Danny Vargas, VARcom Solutions
- Rory E. Verrett, Managing Partner, Protegè Search
- Sam Geduldig, Principal CGCN Group
- Theresa Vargas Wyatt, VP Corporate and Brand Development, El Rey Network
- Tirrell Whitley, CEO Liquid Soul
David Morgan, MMCA President
Who owns the story controls reality, the social fabric, and also who wins and loses. As such, we see a media diversity crisis with serious economic, social and political implications that is not being adequately addressed in the new media ecosystem.
- Though over 40% of the population, People-of-Color have no significant ownership in an industry that represents 20% of the economy and where barriers to a sustainable business model remain insurmountable;
- Media bias and stereotyping is still fanning the fire of hatred and division and fueling culture wars;
- Dying local and diverse news outlets is crippling civic engagement;
- And worse of all, not seeing positive stories about their community is stifling the dreams and aspirations of Black and Brown children across this nation.
Our call to action is built on three pillars:
- highlighting the work of individuals and organizations that have been tirelessly engaged in and leading the fight for media diversity,
- creating a platform that brings these heroes together with a larger audience of multicultural media stakeholders, media decision makers, policy makers and thought leaders to amplify awareness and magnify support for their efforts, and
- leveraging our platform to (i) facilitate stakeholders coming together to collaborate on developing and scaling innovative solution to increase media diversity, and (ii) provide tangible value-add to media stakeholders, strategic partners, policy makers and advocates. We are resolved to move the needle on media diversity!