Diahann Carroll is the consummate entertainer. So varied and dynamic are her gifts that she continually astounds fans and critics alike with her versatility and magnetism. She is one of America’s major performing talents appearing in nightclubs, the Broadway stage, a Las Vegas headliner, in motion pictures and television. Diahann Carroll is a Tony Award winner, an Emmy and Grammy nominee, a Golden Globe winner and a Best Actress Oscar nominee.
Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd is a Hollywood Casting Director, Producer, and Owner of In The Twink Of an Eye Productions. During her 24 years in the industry, she has collaborated with major studios including Fox Searchlight, Sony/Screen Gems, Lifetime TV, BET, CodeBlack/LionsGate and I.M. Global.
LisaGay Hamilton is an American director, and film, television, and theater actress known for her role as attorney Rebecca Washington on the ABC legal drama The Practice. Her theater credits include Measure for Measure (Isabella), Henry IV Parts I & II (Lady Hotspur), Athol Fugard’s, Valley Song and The Ohio State Murders. Hamilton was also an original cast member in the Broadway productions of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson and Gem of the Ocean.
Tonya Pinkins is an American television, film and theater actress and author known for her portrayal of Livia Frye on the soap opera All My Children and for her roles on Broadway. She has been nominated for three Tony Awards, and has won the Obie, 2 Lortel Awards, the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, AUDLECO, Garland, L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent and NAACP Theater Awards. She has been nominated for the Olivier, Helen Hayes, Noel, Joseph Jefferson, NAACP Image, Soap Opera Digest and Ovation awards. She won the Tony for Jelly's Last Jam.
Gina Prince-Bythewood is an American film director and screenwriter. She is known for directing and producing the films Disappearing Acts, Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees, and Beyond the Lights.
April Reign is a lawyer and the Managing Editor of Broadway Black. As the Creator of the viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, April Reign challenges the lack of representation of marginalized communities in Hollywood and beyond. Reign sustains a movement that has resulted in the most systemic change ever seen in the over 80-year history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Kristen Warner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Telecommunication and Film at The University of Alabama. Her research interests are centered at the juxtaposition of televisual racial representation and its place within the media industries, particularly within the practice of casting. Warner’s work can be found in Television and New Media and Camera Obscura. She is also the author of the forthcoming book entitled The Cultural Politics of Colorblind TV Casting (Routledge, Summer 2015).