Conversation with film co-directors Whitney Dow and Erika Alexander (The Big Payback) and Yoruba Richen and Johanna Hamilton (The Rebellious Life of Mrs Rosa Parks). Topics to include reparations, filmmaking as a tool for policy change, Black/white co-directing teams. Moderated by Blackhouse Foundation founder Brickson Diamond.
The Blackhouse Foundation was founded in 2007 to expand career opportunities for Black multi-platform content creators and executives within film, television, digital, and emerging platforms.
This year TriBeca is working with the Blackhouse Foundation to provide space for POC storytelling and have thought provoking conversations with creators in the Indeed Lounge.
Whitney Dow is an award-winning filmmaker and an educator who has been producing and directing films and interactive projects that explore race and identity for almost two decades. His directorial credits include: Two Towns of Jasper, I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, Unfinished Country, When the Drum is Beating, and The Big Payback. His producer credits include: Freedom Summer; Banished: How Whites Drove Blacks Out of Town in America, The Undocumented, Toots and Among the Believers. He is the creator of Whiteness Project, a multi-platform interactive public media project. His work has been exhibited at dozens of international film festivals and institutions including Sundance, Tribeca, IDFA the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, and the Smithsonian Institution. He teaches narrative theory at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Preservation and Planning.
Yoruba Richen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has been featured in on multiple outlets including Netflix, MSNBC, FX, HULU, New York Times Op Doc, Frontline, The Atlantic and Field of Vision. Her recent films are the Emmy nominated How It Feels to Be Free which premiered on PBS’s American Masters and the Peabody and Emmy nominated The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show which is streaming on Peacock. Her film The New York Times Presents: The Killing of Breonna Taylor won an NAACP Image Award and is streaming on HULU. Yoruba’s film, The Green Book: Guide to Freedom was broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel and was also nominated for an Emmy. Her previous films, The New Black and Promised Land won multiple festival awards before airing on PBS's Independent Lens and P.O.V. Yoruba is a recipient of the Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker Award, a Guggenheim and a Fulbright fellowship . She is the founding director of the Documentary Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.
Johanna Hamilton is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her previous work includes 1971, which chronicled the break-in at an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania that revealed the existence of COINTELPRO; Wrong Man, a Starz series on wrongful convictions; Parched, a National Geographic Channel series about the politics of water; and Pray the Devil Back to Hell, which profiled a group of visionary women who demanded peace for Liberia. She is also the director of The Trial (Mountainfilm 2019).
Erika Alexander is beloved for her iconic acting roles as “Maxine Shaw” (Living Single; garnering two NAACP Image Awards for “Outstanding Actress/Comedy Series”), “Detective Latoya” (Get Out), “Cousin Pam” (The Cosby Show) and “Perenna” (Black Lightning). Recent roles include “Linda Diggs” (Wu-Tang: An American Saga), “Barb Ballard” (Run The World; nominated for NAACP “Best Guest Actor”), “Meredith Lockhart” in (Swimming with Sharks), and “Abby Keegan (Shining Girls) in the critically acclaimed Apple+ series starring Elisabeth Moss. Erika wears many hats; actress, trailblazing activist, entrepreneur, creator, producer and director -- and is one of the country’s boldest, most daring, and powerful voices. As a creator, she recognizes the power of storytelling. And she believes that though content must be entertaining, when carefully constructed, stories have tremendous capacity to create impact and meaningful social change. As co-founder of Color Farm Media, she is on a mission to bring greater equity, inclusion, and diverse representation to both media and electoral politics. Erika has boldly stepped into the arena of film director, with her debut film The Big Payback co-directed with Whitney Dow. The documentary chronicles the story of the first reparations bill in American history for African Americans. A critical thought leader on racial and gender equity and leadership, Erika’s work in content reflects her deep commitment to social activism. She serves as a board member for One Fair Wage and Exponent and is highly involved with many other social and racial justice orgs, including: The Poor People's Campaign, Color of Change, NAACP, UNCF, and others.
Brickson Diamond is a partner in the Technology, Media, Telecommunications and Services practice of the leadership advisory firm, Spencer Stuart. He has a specific focus on supporting media clients and advising across the firm’s Americas region on client-facing diversity equity and inclusion efforts. Brickson also serves on the board of Gentreo, an early-stage private company that provides technology-enabled solutions for estate planning sold to businesses as a benefit to employees, members and affiliated individuals. Prior to joining Spencer Stuart in late 2021, Brickson was CEO of Big Answers, LLC, an independent human capital advisory firm focused on helping leaders evolve enterprises by setting diversity strategy, sourcing senior-level diverse talent and instituting governance excellence in the fields of entertainment, technology, investment management and philanthropy. He previously served for five years as COO of The Executive Leadership Council, the preeminent member organization of Black executives in the Fortune 1000. Brickson began his career and spent 15 years as a marketing and client services executive with The Capital Group Companies, a $2.6 trillion global asset management firm. Brickson is a founding board member and chair of The Blackhouse Foundation, which provides pathways for Black multi-platform content creators into career opportunities within film, television, digital and emerging platforms. Brickson is a trustee of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the Middlesex School and Tides. He serves on the investment committee of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, is an advisor to VC Include, a platform that was created to accelerate investment into diverse emerging managers, and Smashcut, an online education platform for the visual arts. Brickson is a graduate of Brown University and the Harvard Business School.