Holiday Soul
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2017 AWARDEES

HOLIDAY SOUL’S

2017

INCLUSION AWARD WINNERS

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lenna waithe

Actor, Writer, Producer

Emmy Award winner, Lena Waithe, is one of Hollywood’s most promising up-and-coming talents, who continues to grow her body of work with diversity, charisma and comedy. One of HOLLYWOOD REPORTER’s “TV Breakouts,” Waithe expertly taps into emerging cultural sensibilities with a sharp wit, speaking to myriad experiences from her unique perspective and challenging audiences to think outside of conventional norms. She made history in 2017 as the first African-American woman to be nominated – and win – the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series, for the poignant "Thanksgiving" episode of "Master of None." The episode chronicles Denise’s coming out to herself and her family, through the lens of the Thanksgiving holiday over 3 decades. Directed by Melina Matsoukas, the episode is largely based on Waithe’s personal experience.

Waithe first made headlines in front of the camera as Denise, friend to Dev (Aziz Ansari) in the critically acclaimed Netflix series “Master of None,” whose second season premiered in May 2017. In a role that was originally intended for a straight, Caucasian female, Waithe has made Denise’s experience as a queer black woman uniquely her own.

She will next be seen on the big screen in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, which Warner Brothers will release in the Spring of 2018. The film, which is based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 science fiction and dystopian novel, follows the players of virtual reality simulator OASIS, who are pitted against each other in the search of fame and fortune that will save them from their declining world. Waithe will appear alongside Ty Sheridan and Olivia Cooke.

Waithe’s additional acting credits include Amazon’s “Transparent” and HBO’s “The Comeback."

As a writer, Waithe is serving as Creator and Executive Producer of “The Chi,” a relevant, timely, and distinctive coming-of-age story that follows six interrelated characters in Chicago’s South Side. Showtime will premiere the show early 2018, which was penned for Fox 21 Television Studios. Common will produce with Rick Famuyiwa directing. “The Chi” will star Jason Mitchell, Sonja Sohn, Jacob Latimore, and others yet to be announced.

As a producer, Waithe’s credits include the upcoming film Step Sisters, a comedic dance film that follows a black sorority girl who agrees to teach the art of Greek stepping to a house of white, party-obsessed sorority girls. She was also a producer on the Sundance darling Dear White People, and Tiffany Johnson’s short film Ladylike, which can be found on YouTube.

Currently in development is the television series, “Twenties,” for which Waithe serves as writer and producer. The project is loosely based on her turbulent twenties and how she navigated her first 10 years of Los Angeles living.

One of VARIETY’s “Top 10 Comics to Watch” in 2014, Waithe was born and raised in Chicago and currently resides in Los Angeles.


julie ann crommett

Vice President of Multicultural Audience Engagement at Disney Studios

Crommett joined The Walt Disney Studios on February 6th as Vice President, Multicultural Audience Engagement. She was most recently Google's Entertainment Industry Educator in Chief leading their efforts to shift and diversify on-screen perceptions of computer science through storytelling (a position she created). Previously she worked at NBCUniversal managing behind-the-camera diversity programs including “Writers on the Verge” and the “Directing Fellowship.” Her journey is coming full-circle at Disney where she began her career as a Pixar Animation Studios' production intern working on the Wall-E DVD and Up promos. Most recently, she was named to The Hollywood Reporter's prestigious "Next Gen: 35 under 35" and serves on the boards of NALIP (Natl Association of Latino Independent Producers) and Women in Animation. Of Cuban and Puerto Rican heritage, Julie Ann was raised in Atlanta, GA and earned her BA in English at Harvard University.

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mickeyberman

Partner, Television Literary Department

Partner & Television Literary Agent at United Talent Agency

Mickey Berman joined leading Hollywood talent and literary agency, United Talent Agency, in 2011 after working at ICM and the Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann Agency. Originally from Palo Alto, California, Berman graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Philosophy.

Berman represents the creators or showrunners on such shows as “The Walking Dead”, “How To Get Away With Murder”, “Superstore”, “One Day at a Time”, and “The Carmichael Show”, amongst others.


Daraiha Green

Head of Multicultural Engagement for the Computer Science in Media team at Google.


Greene advocates for underrepresented groups as she strives to positively shift the narrative of computer science through mainstream media. Because of her artistic background as a professional dancer, actor, and singer, Daraiha began Google’s ‘CS+X’ series, which highlights the intersections between computer science and other artistic industries, including music, dance, fashion, sports, and theatre. She brought Google’s first scripted web series, GODCOMPLX, to fruition to showcase inclusive portrayals of computer scientists and leads a partnership with Campus MovieFest, which yielded 6 computer science-themed shorts targeting various demographics to date. Daraiha graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. degree in Sociology and a minor in Theatre.

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