BRIC Foundation’s Third Annual Summit Includes Global Talent + Innovation Day Free to the Public (Exclusive)

BRIC Foundation
Kendra Minadeo

The organization dedicated to increasing representation in the entertainment industry is going virtual for its 2021 event.

The BRIC Foundation — an organization founded in 2018 to Break, Reinvent, Impact and Change representation in the entertainment industry — has announced details for its third annual summit.

Like many other events over the past year, the 2021 edition of the BRIC Summit will be virtual. And for the first time, a second day has been added that will be free to the public.

"This past year has marked an unprecedented time in our history, and we want to continue the dialogue surrounding the industry initiatives that have been launched. The theme for this year’s summit is sustainability—sustainability around activism, and the continued strategy for building and maintaining a healthy employment pipeline and inclusive culture," BRIC Foundation founder and CEO Alison Mann, who also is a Sony Pictures Animation vice president creative/strategy, said in a statement. "I'm thrilled that we are able to open our doors to the public for the first time. It’s important that we have these pivotal conversations at a global scale. We’ll be spotlighting creators and real-life case studies from all around the world, including Asia, Europe, Latin America and South Africa."

Netflix director of inclusion strategy Darnell L. Moore will deliver the opening keynote for the invite-only industry day on March 5, whose speakers also include UCLA’s annual Hollywood Diversity Report authors Dr. Darnell Hunt and Dr. Ana-Christina Ramon as well as Time’s Up head of entertainment Ngoc Nguyen, producer Arnon Manor (Netflix’s animated short Cops and Robbers) and artist-activist Nikkolas Smith.

The industry day will focus on addressing four key questions:

• How will 2020’s events evolve diversity strategies, and what is intersectionality’s role in front of the camera and behind the scenes?
• How can organizations go beyond the hiring step to build systems and practices to grow and retain talent?
• How can companies and individuals maintain the momentum to sustain their activism?
• How can the entertainment and tech industries create new pipelines to attract and engage emerging diverse talent?

The Global Talent + Innovation Day on March 6 will be free and open to all. Speakers including Sony Pictures Animation senior vice president creative Karen Toliver, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier showrunner Malcolm Spellman and Star Trek: Discovery co-executive producer Anne Cofell Saunders will discuss such topics as:

• How will the industry bounce back and heal from the impacts of the pandemic?
• How can the industry empower diverse points of view in front of the camera and behind the scenes?
• How can workplaces be reimagined as global and inclusive?
• How can comedy be inclusive?

This year’s BRIC Summit sponsors include ArtCenter College of Design, Cartoon Network Studios, ArtStation, Catalyst, DreamWorks Animation, Netflix, Scholar, Skydance Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, Illumination, Bonfire, BRC Imagination Arts, Supercell, West Studio, Weta Digital, Wildbrain, Bento Box Entertainment, Gnomon School of Visual Effects, Hello Sunshine, Stage 32, VES and Women in Animation.

In addition to the summit, the BRIC Foundation also operates the Creative Academy, which taps studios and other companies to provide high schoolers with real-world experience on careers in entertainment and tech. "We started BRIC because we realized that if we don’t step up and start engaging individuals early on in their education journey, then there won’t be the evolution equality in entertainment we all are aiming for," said executive director and producer Nicole Hendrix, who co-founded the foundation alongside Mann and producer Jill Gilbert, in a statement.