Fellows from left are Sue-Ellen Chitunya, Jessica L. Funches, Moira Griffin, Dahéli Hall, and Trevite Willis. (Courtesy photo)

When it comes to making positive change happen, The Blackhouse Foundation has always been about their business. Their goal is to expand opportunities for Black multi-platform content creators and executives by providing pathways into career opportunities within film, television, and digital and emerging platforms.

To further highlight the facts of the matter, The Blackhouse Foundation has just announced on April 22, its latest producers’ fellowship in collaboration with STARZ #TakeTheLead. This groundbreaking initiative continues a legacy, which highlights and celebrates accomplished Black female content creators. Deadline made the exclusive announcement.

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The fellowship is designed to offer educational workshops, personal and professional mentorship and coaching, and a series of industry meetings with key stakeholders to support the mid-career producer community.

Five female-identifying episodic producer fellows have been selected from The Blackhouse Foundation’s alumni pipeline to convene this weekend during a three-day intensive in Los Angeles.  They are Sue-Ellen Chitunya, Jessica L. Funches, Moira Griffin, Dahéli Hall, and Trevite Willis.

“We are excited to partner with The Blackhouse Foundation to help cultivate new talent and drive an increase in Black female producers, which is essential to our business as a network focused on women and underrepresented audiences,” said Kathryn Busby, president, Original Programming, STARZ.

“Our continued commitment to nurturing diverse voices and creating a more inclusive television landscape has resulted in industry-leading representation in front of and behind the camera and throughout our company.”

Facilitator Darrien Gipson (Courtesy photo)

The Blackhouse Foundation’s Executive Director Jenean Glover, states, “We’re thrilled to have found a partner in STARZ that allows us to reimagine the year-long programs we’ve done in the past and streamline the experience with a smaller cohort. The goal of the three-day intensive is to deliver personalized feedback and noteworthy direction, combined with the expertise of our facilitator, Darrien Gipson, to prepare these candidates to enter an episodic room as non-writing or writing producers in the near future.”

Additionally, the fellowship will create a new mentor/alumni engagement process to support each participant.

Glover goes on to say, “We are truly excited to ignite our alumni engagement at The Blackhouse Foundation in service of Black storytellers. Having served over 150 fellows, we are thrilled to announce this new, impactful program with our strategic partner, STARZ #TakeTheLead.”

Be on the lookout for more announcements as The Blackhouse Foundation continues to celebrate and empower Black creative voices.

#TakeTheLead is STARZ’s commitment to amplifying narratives by, about, and for women and underrepresented audiences. STARZ hopes that by taking the lead and remaining fiercely dedicated to inclusion on and off-screen, and throughout the company, as well as their commitment to bold, unapologetic stories and characters, will inspire others across the industry.

Founded at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007, their vision is to elevate and protect Black narratives in all spaces, in all ways, and across all platforms so that Black culture can thrive, and Black voices can flourish. Their mission is to build connection, capacity, and coalition for the Black media ecosystem and to constantly reimagine and innovate in a way that perpetually pushes the apex of Black culture.



Board of Directors