Telling Our Own Stories

Photography: Mark Wyville

Diversity, equity, and inclusion in media and the performing arts is something that’s been talked about for years, and while we’ve seen an increase in diversity in the arts more recently with blockbusters like Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians, and Broadway’s Hamilton beginning to change the landscape, there’s still a long way to go and a whole lot more work to do.

This summer, Pace University announced the launch of a new program, “Writing for Diversity and Equity in Theater and Media Arts Fellows Program,” supported by a three-year $585,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The program will create opportunities for students from historically underrepresented communities to break into writers’ rooms and sustain careers in the industry, enabling diverse and inclusive voices to depict and reflect their own experiences, rather than having their experiences interpreted and presented by other people.

“In my own career, I have seen a lack of diversity in the sciences, and in the media and entertainment industries,” said Vanya Quiñones, PhD, Pace’s provost. “With the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this new program will help develop diverse voices by providing students with the necessary training to tell their own stories on our country’s screens and stages.”