By Pamela Rodi

June 20, 2020 – Los Angeles, CA  The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 brought forth a flood of protests across America, its power fueled by decades of inequality and suffering that with no end in sight.  Human beings throughout history have proved they will only tolerate oppression for so long without rebelling. 

But how to initiate change, how to educate others, how to listen, how to go beyond talk is the challenge that motivated Kimberly J. Ogletree, GreenLight Women Board Member and Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, to create the Town Hall Series, a forum to examine and discuss the specific problems of systemic and institutionalized racism from the perspective of the entertainment industry.   The objective is to identify areas where action can be taken that will make a difference.

Ogletree, a television producer and professor at the New York Film Academy, has produced a number of events for GreenLight Women, including the 2018 and 2019 Black History Month Champagne Brunches, honoring, respectively, director Kasi Lemmons and Shari Belafonte

Calling the premiere Town Hall Series event,  “I See You, I Hear You”,  Ogletree invited filmmakers Julie Dash and Neema Barnette as the first guest speakers.  Live via Zoom on June 20, 2020 – Juneteenth – from 6pm – 8pm, Ogletree moderated along with DEI members Redelia Shaw and Stacy Fouche.

The response to the invitation was overwhelming – over 125 people signed up to participate. The lively and often emotional discussion included personal experiences from Dash and Barnette and there was a unanimous vote for continued Town Hall Series events.

For more information about GreenLight Women’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and upcoming activities, click here.

Pamela Rodi is an entertainment industry and non-profit marketing, creative and branding consultant, who recently worked with Sony Pictures International on Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. She sidelines as a website editor, digital ad designer and content writer.

Nina Barnette

Julie Dash

Kim Ogletree