WASHINGTON, D.C. — Multicultural millenial-focused FUSION TV has joined with more than 60 other leading companies, public interest groups and associations in launching a non-profit organization focused on breaking down barriers of entry for underrepresented content creators and those working behind the scenes in media and entertainment.
The Creative Thread Foundation was formally unveiled at an event in the Nation’s Capital today that included the attendance of Congressional Multicultural Media Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.).
Henry Louis Gates Jr. will serve as the Chair of the new foundation. Gates is Chairman and co-founder of The Root, a news site for African-Americans that is owned by Gizmodo Media Group, controlled by Univision, the parent of Fusion Media Group. Gates also serves as the Chair of FUSION TV’s Creative Board.
“We are committed to moving the dial when it comes to ensuring we see more accurate representation and diversity across the media and entertainment industries, but we know that it takes more than one company to make a difference,” Gates said. “We are thrilled to be working with like-minded companies and nonprofits to educate policymakers on this important issue, while also amplifying the efforts of those focused on making diversity and inclusion not just a priority but the norm.”
The foundation seeks to foster talent pipelines and mentorship opportunities for uncovering and promoting talent and projects that reflect “the new American reality.” It also seeks the development of coalitions of corporations, industry associations, universities, and public interest groups committed to providing better opportunities for underrepresented creative talent.
In addition, the foundation says it will facilitate opportunities for sharing best practices to allow for better recruitment, retention and awareness of diverse content creators.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network (NAN), delivered a message to kickoff attendees today. He said, “Part of NAN’s basic principles include diversity, how people are projected, and who makes the decisions. Being a part of this venture with FUSION helps NAN to address and empower our community.”
Jose Antonio Tijerino, President/CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, added, “As underrepresented communities, it is critical that we are involved in telling our stories across media and entertainment. With a soon-to-be majority minority in the US, it is more important than ever that we content creators are not just consumers. The Hispanic Heritage Foundation has developed creative programs to address this issue as have other organizations, which is why Fusion’s leadership in bringing like-minded organizations together is critical.”
Signing on as founding partners and supporters are a host of universities and industry giants, including 21st Century Fox, Amazon, AT&T, CBS Corp., Nielsen, Pandora, Viacom and Entravision Communications. It also has the backing of the NAB and the Motion Picture Association of America.
Creative Thread Foundation Board Members, as well as an Executive Director, will be announced at a later date.