Global Institute for Black Girls in Film & Media 

The Global Institute for Black Girls in Film & Media (“The Institute”) is a collaborative designed to explore the ways in which scholars, artists, filmmakers, and visual storytellers understand the ways Black girls are valued across mediums. In 2021, ArtCenter invited Lisa Covington to conduct a scholarly presentation on her research on Black girls in film. 

As a result of understanding the dearth of scholarship on Black girls in film Chief Officer of Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Dr. Aaron Bruce, took the initiative to call upon the expertise of Dr.Lisa Covington, Elizabeth Gray-Bayne, and Ricky Weaver to form the Founding Advisory Board for The Institute. The Center for Diversity Equity and Inclusion at ArtCenter is grateful to take a supportive role in creating a space in which scholars, filmmakers, animators, artists, industry professionals, students, and community members engage with the understanding and development of Black girls as characters, content creators and future industry professionals. This Institute is designed by Black Girls to center Black Girls and honor the nuance of their varying experiences on and off the screen.

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Mission & Goals

The Institute is committed to interdisciplinary educational excellence in media; promoting an understanding of the representations of Black girls in coursework; incorporating public engagement as essential to the campus-community collaborative; engaging productively with local, regional, national and international organizations to advance respect for centering Black girls across media, audiences and industry professionalization.   

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Learning Objectives

By examining films, including but not limited to the production processes and narratives, we can interrogate the systems at play when framing Black girlhood. 

  • Reinforce the importance of accurate representation by understanding the power of myths and storytelling.

  • Call into question existing notions of black girlhood and trace their origins and trajectories.

  • Imagine new possibilities for how we engage with narratives of Black girlhood in cinema, advertising and media.

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Pillars of Excellence

Professional Development 

Hosting seminars and workshops that guide industry leaders, educators and community stakeholders to make informed, inclusive and strategic decisions about Black girl representation, diverse identities, media, messaging, and stories. 

Think Tank

The Institute facilitates a membership based “Think Tank” which convenes college students, scholars, designers, artists, industry professionals and community members who value Black girls in film and in the creative production process. 

Youth Empowerment & Community Engagement 

Facilitating workshops and community-based activities designed to empower Black girls, their families and communities globally. 

Meet the Advisory Board

Lead Visual Consultant, Artist in Residence, (Specializing in Image, Photography and Fine Art)

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Coordinator, Center for Diversity Equity, and Inclusion, ArtCenter College of Design 

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Associate Production Executive, Dreamworks 

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Award-winning Animator and artist 

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VP, Diverse Insights & Partnerships Nielsen 

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Accomplished actor, director and filmmaker 

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Award-winning illustrator, screenwriter, playwright, and filmmaker 

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Audio producer, editor, sound designer, executive producer, head of production, and project manager 

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Author and Poet in Residence

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Emmy award winning Filmmaker, Associate Professor of Film and Television at Howard University

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Director of the Graduate Film Program, Howard University, Founding director of Parallel Film Collective and founding partner of ARRAY

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Licensed therapist and Founder of FEM Scholar

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COO of Animation TV Network and Small Town Animation Studios

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Director - Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Business Partner at DreamWorks Animation 

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