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Five months ago, THR ran a story about Black Women Who Brunch (BWB), a group created by writer-producers Lena Waithe (The Chi), Erika L. Johnson (Queen Sugar) and Nkechi Okoro Carroll (Bones) to help advance their underrepresented peers. "It's been unbelievable," says Carroll of the article's ripple effects. "I'm hearing from people that 'BWB inspired me.' I've had producers and presidents of networks reach out, 'Do you know if anyone in your group is looking to staff and at what level?''"
With streaming services spiking the need for creators and a rising imperative to reach undertapped demographics, people who might have felt like they were competing for the same few jobs are now more inclined to refer peers to projects and mentor assistants, often via networking groups. “It’s a relationship-based industry," says Nithya Raman, executive director of Time’s Up Entertainment, which helps raise the profile of people of color and LGBTQ talent through get-togethers. She adds: "Your next job depends on maintaining relationships.” Adds April Reign, the activist who created #OscarsSoWhite and who has hosted meetups herself: “This is a great way for artists and creatives to get together and find a sense of community."
Most clubs vet membership (Facebook groups are the best way to make contact) and meet once a month or quarterly at members' houses or restaurants. THR gets the scoop on 14 notable groups.
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