WASHINGTON, DC – A+E Networks and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) will be honored at the 33rd Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner on Wednesday, September 21, 2016, in New York City.
John Martin, Chairman & CEO, Turner Broadcasting System, and Thomas Rutledge, Chairman & CEO, Charter Communications, are the dinner co-chairs. Other industry executives joining them on the dinner committee include: Jeffrey DeMond, President & CEO, Vyve Broadband; Ken Lowe, Chairman, President & CEO Scripps Networks Interactive; Pat McAdaragh, President & CEO, Midco; and Neil Smit, President & CEO, Comcast Cable, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation.
Diversity Champion: A+E Networks
A+E Networks will be honored as the Diversity Champion, an award given to organizations that act as catalysts for diversity throughout the cable industry. These organizations motivate the industry to embrace and value diversity by serving as role models, inspiring and encouraging excellence, removing barriers that hinder progress, and empowering others with opportunities.
Through rich programming content, mentorship programs, partnerships and volunteer activities, A+E Networks connects with and celebrates people from all walks of life via their worldwide brands. On all of the company’s platforms, they reflect the diversity of people and cultures in the United States and throughout the world.
- A&E created Born This Way, a show following young adults with Down Syndrome as they navigate life, romantic relationships, friendships, and work. In conjunction with the program, A+E Networks worked with organizations that help people with intellectual disabilities gain meaningful employment and connect with mentors.
- Viceland, one of the newest additions to A+E Networks, features programs such as Gaycation which follows actress Ellen Page and her friend Ian Daniel as they explore what it means to be LGBT around the world.
- A+E Networks reimagined the ground-breaking series Roots with new scholarship and historical details to bring to life Kunta Kinte’s legacy in a modern-day retelling. To accompany the program, the network reached out to key influencers in the African-American community, held screenings at historically black colleges and universities, had a special screening at The White House, and held events with the Congressional Black Caucus.
A+E Networks has built and sustained a diverse workforce through an inclusive culture which elevates the profile of women leaders, actively mentors employees, and advocates for veterans and military families.
- A significant percentage of leadership roles at A+E Networks are held by women by a ratio of 56 percent female, whereas the industry standard is 34 percent. Over the past three years, people of color have grown by 23 percent and the current staff representing people of color is at 32 percent.
- A+E created a Multicultural Insights Team which was designed by, and is comprised of, diverse employees throughout the organization. Employees serve as internal advisors on programming content and ideation and multicultural research and insights.
A+E Networks’ commitment to corporate social responsibility is evidenced by its various campaigns and varied community outreach efforts.
- After the tragic shootings at the A.M.E. Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston in 2015, A+E Networks organized Shining A Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America and The Fund for Progress on Race in America. The Fund awards grants to organizations making progress on issues of racism and bias.
- The Mission to Honor initiative celebrates the contribution of veterans from all backgrounds, including those of women and people of color in the U.S. armed forces. Partnerships with a range of non-profits and agencies such as Team Rubicon all the way to the White House’s Joining Forces raise awareness of the diversity of those who have served and continue to serve.
- A+E Networks has a long-standing commitment to providing free educational resources to classrooms and communities. These resources include Spanish language guides about Latino heritage, commemorations of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and Women’s History Month lesson plans.
- A+E Networks has many partnerships with organizations that help young people build career readiness skills. Employees serve as mentors to high school and college students through office visits, internships and other mentorship activities.
Diversity Advocate: The National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)
The National Association of Latino Independent Producers will be honored as the Diversity Advocate. This award is presented annually to an individual or organization outside of the cable industry that has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to diversity. Through visionary leadership, this individual or organization has directly or indirectly fostered a more embracing and inclusive diversity environment for the cable industry.
As a national membership organization, NALIP addresses the professional needs of Latino content creators. They stand as the premiere Latino media organization, addressing the most underrepresented and the largest ethnic minority in the United States. Founded in 1999, NALIP’s mission and organizational guiding principles are to promote, advance, and advocate for Latino content creators across media.
NALIP’s reach is national and regional in scope and is dedicated to improving the skills, projects and relationships of its membership as they advance their documentary, film narrative, digital, television and tech arts projects from development, production to incubation and distribution. This is achieved through its varied programmatic activities. Some of NALIP’s initiatives and programs include:
- NALIP’s annual Media Summit is considered the largest annual gathering of Latinos in media nationwide. The summit highlights the convergence of media, the unity of Latino content creators, and the promise of multiple platforms.
- In its 11th year, the annual Latino Media Market™ designed to bring funders, studio executives, distributors, dealmakers, agents, mentors and employers together with NALIP members and their projects.
- The Latino Lens Incubator is an exclusive incubation and media content production program as well as a distribution model of Latino media screenings, festivals, and speaker showcases designed to develop, nurture, and produce a series of Latino creators’ and filmmakers’ projects.
- The Latino Lens Mentorship Series matches participants with a mentor who consults with them on finalizing a fundraising pitch for their creative projects.
- NALIP’s Diverse Women in Media Initiative seeks to empower, inspire and advance women of diverse backgrounds to influential positions in media to improve diverse representation on and behind the camera.
Ticket Sales and Sponsorships
The Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner is the cable industry’s most prestigious fundraising event. Each year, the dinner typically raises more than $1 million to fund diversity-oriented programs and initiatives for three industry-based diversity organizations: Emma L. Bowen Foundation, National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC); and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT).
Ticket sales for the dinner are now under way. For information on sponsorship opportunities or for other questions about the dinner, contact the Walter Kaitz Foundation, at 202-222-2490, or email Michelle Ray, Deputy Executive Director for the Walter Kaitz Foundation, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about the dinner can be found at http://www.walterkaitz.org.