Variety Sets Speakers for Changemakers Summit

Pharrell Williams, H.E.R. and Opal Lee are set to speak at Variety‘s virtual Changemakers Summit, which will feature keynote and panel conversations highlighting individuals who are advancing equality and elevating underrepresented voices within the entertainment industry. The two-day event will take place June 17-18.

The summit will be kicked off with a keynote conversation featuring H.E.R., whose song “Fight For You” from Shaka King’s “Judas and the Black Messiah” won best original song at this year’s Academy Awards. In anticipation of her upcoming album “Back of My Mind,” the artist will share how her experiences have shaped her creative direction as a musician and an activist. Jazz Tangcay, Variety’s senior artisans editor, will moderate.

A conversation between Williams and social impact leader Lee, who is known as the Grandmother of Juneteenth, will headline the second and final day of programming. The pair will discuss Lee’s campaign to make Juneteenth a national holiday in the United States. Angelique Jackson, Variety‘s film and media reporter, will moderate.

Other panels include “Amplifying Underrepresented Voices in Entertainment Storytelling,” which will explore the ways creators are advocating for underrepresented communities in film and TV; “Journalists of Color and Allies Covering Racial Inequality and Violence,” which will uncover how journalists are feeling personally invested in covering hate crimes, systemic racism, police brutality and other social justice issues; “Elevating Diverse Abilities in Entertainment Production,” which will promote opportunities for the disability and neuro-diverse communities in film and TV; “Anti-Stereotyping Indigenous Cultures in Media & Entertainment,” which will ask if filmmakers and creative talent are being supported with the right resources to tell anti-stereotypical stories about the indigenous community; and “Entrepreneurship Roundtable,” a look at experiences entrepreneurs of color and their allies are having in founding and building their own companies.

The cast and creators of FX’s “Pose,” OWN’s “David Makes Man” and Amazon’s “Small Axe” will also headline their own panels during the program. Cris Abrego, chairman of Banijay Americas and president and CEO of Endemol Shine Holdings, will have a conversation with Steven Shapiro, senior VP of the entertainment division at City National Bank. Additionally, Facebook will host a panel to promote their SEEN initiative.

City National Bank and Facebook are premier sponsors of the events. Official sponsors include Amazon Studios, AMC, OWN, FX and Yappa.

Registration is free and required for access: changemakers.splashthat.com

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