Roddenberry Foundation Launches $100K Roddenberry Impact Awards (Exclusive)

In partnership with A Day of Unreasonable Conversation, the grants will be given to projects and ideas that promote positive social change in television.

The Roddenberry Foundation has teamed up with the ideas program A Day of Unreasonable Conversation to launch the Roddenberry Impact Awards, which will hand out $100,000 in grants to projects and ideas that promote positive social change in television.

“The world would be more inclusive and fair if everyone saw themselves in it,” Roddenberry Foundation board member Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry said in a statement. “If we change who we place in stories and how we tell them, we can change the way we experience the world, and ultimately we change the story of our future.”

Ten grants of $10,000 each will be awarded to creators who are committed to storytelling that advances the principles of a more progressive, inclusive and harmonious society — the mission of the foundation and the vision of Roddenberry’s father, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. Winning submissions can be pitches for actual content but can also be proposals for mechanisms that support such projects (such as resource guides and training programs) and should pertain to one of three areas outlined by the Impact Awards: Inclusive Futures, Authentic Content Creation and Increased Representation.

All active members of the WGA West, WGA East, PGA, DGA and SAG-AFTRA are welcome to submit from now through May 8 via the awards’ webpage. Grant recipients will be announced June 9 and selected by a panel of creatives whose own work has demonstrated these ideals: Daniel Dae Kim (The Good Doctor), Gloria Calderon Kellett (One Day at a Time), Sara Gilbert (Roseanne), Jaime Davila (Netflix's Selena), Sameer Gardezi (Break the Room) and Tanya Saracho (Vida). “We need ideas that help us imagine a more equitable future,” Kim said in a statement. “One where diverse, authentic voices and content creators help make it a reality.”

The new competition was originally scheduled to be unveiled March 30 at the second annual A Day of Unreasonable Conversation, which was canceled because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. “While we were disappointed to postpone the event, the actual work — leveraging diverse stories and character to build empathy and understanding — feels more important than ever,” A Day of Unreasonable Conversation founder Greg Propper, whose social impact agency Propper Daley presents the event, said in a statement. “As we ‘return to normal,’ we have a chance to redefine what normal looks like and to create a more just and equitable future.”