Presented in partnership with NAMIC-Denver
Despite a slightly more diverse list of nominees and winners for the 2018 award season, lack of racial and cultural diversity and complexity in entertainment continues to dictate character casting, storytelling and overall long-term media success. The Denver Chapter of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity In Communications (NAMIC), is shining the spotlight on diversity inclusion as more than just casting. This panel will focus on the diversity pendulum swing in Hollywood and TV, and discuss how creators can represent history objectively and our society accurately as it relates to diversity.
MorningStar Angeline (Actress: Yellowstone, Longmire)
Bentley Kyle Evans (Producer)
Craig Ross, Jr. ( Producer)
Caryn Ward Ross (Actress)
Moderator: Ali LeRoi (Director and Producer, Survivor’s Remorse, Everybody Hates Chris)
MorningStar Angeline, born as MorningStar Angeline Wilson-Chippewa Freeland, was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico to Rita Rose Wilson and Ethan Sean Chippewa. She was later adopted by Daniel Harold Freeland and was raised in Gallup, NM. She is Navajo, Chippewa Cree, Blackfeet and Mexican.
A member of SAG-AFTRA, Angeline has acted in numerous different formats including film, shorts and television. Her recent television appearances include Yellowstone and Longmire. In February 2018, the New Mexico Film & Television Hall of Fame nominated Angeline for the 'Rising Star' award. Later, she was chosen for the Sundance 2018 Native Filmmaker's Lab for her short film 'Ahéhee’ Shizhé'é'.
Writer-Producer-Director, Bentley Kyle Evans, began his writing and producing career serving a five-year tenure at the Fox Network’s (HBO Independent Production) smash hit Martin starring Martin Lawrence. He quickly moved up the ranks to show runner after just three seasons. Evans simultaneously moved into the feature film world where he co-wrote Lawrence’s film A Thin Line Between Love and Hate. The movie opened at #1 in the domestic market.
Evans teamed up with Oscar Winner Jamie Foxx and together they Co-created the hit TV sitcom The Jamie Foxx Show for the WB Network. Evans found himself in the unique position of show running both shows simultaneously.
In 2009, Evans created an independently produced sitcom (Love That Girl). He was also the series director that stars Tatyana Ali. Sixty-five episodes of Love That Girl have been produced and are currently running on the TV One network. In 2012, Evans teamed up with the Bounce TV network to write, produce, and direct two new hit shows Family Time and In The Cut
Actress Caryn Ward Ross’ television credits include guest starring and recurring roles on such hit shows as The Game, Entourage, Jane The Virgin, and Lucifer on FOX. Caryn is a series regular on Bounce TV’s Grown Folks from creator Bentley Kyle Evans, and recurred on the comedy series Fameless from executive producer David Spades.
Currently, Ward Ross is the Executive Producer of the drama series, Craig Ross Jr’s Monogamy, of which she also stars, on UMC.tv.
Craig Ross, Jr. born was born in Boston, Massachusets he graduated NYU's Tisch School of the Arts - Film School and shortly established his company Asiatic Incorporated. (ASI) Craig then wrote, directed and produced, Blue Hill Avenue. The film was released theatrically by Lion’s Gate Entertainment. After that film, Craig went on to direct a number of high profile television shows, helming such prime time hits as NCIS, Prison Break, Numb3rs, Colde Case, Bones, et. Craig's NCIS episode "Freedom" was the highest rated episode in it's eight-year run at the time, and his Bones episode "Aliens In a Spaceship" is the top ranked Bones episode on ranker.com. Recently, Craig has completed work on his limited series, Craig Ross Jr’s Monogamy, which debuted on UMC.tv in May and is currently the number #1 watched show on the network.
Ali LeRoi is an Emmy Award-winning writer/director/producer best known for his work on the critically acclaimed series, Everybody Hates Chris, and Survivor’s Remorse. Ali has been nominated for five Emmy’s, a Golden Globe, as well as winning two NAACP Image Awards.
Most recently he’s partnered with CBS Studios in lucrative two-year overall deal to create and produce content for broadcast as well as cable and streaming outlets. Ali has also served on the Board of the Producer’s Guild of America, as well as holding the current chair as President of The Humanitas Prize, a non-profit organization that awards and promotes the craft of television and film writers.