(Photo Credit: Erik Umphery for the Blackhouse Foundation; Pictured from left: Judge Victoria Pratt,
Karl Mcdonnell, Winner Donald Dankwa Brooks, Nicole Cattell, Aaliyah Williams, Brickson Diamond)

The Blackhouse Foundation just launched at The Sundance Film Festival 2020 and has already changed five lives.

On Friday, after opening with the Inaugural Blackhouse Black Entertainment Critics Kickoff Breakfast, The Blackhouse Foundation joined Strayer Studios for ScriptED: Bring Learning to Life, the culmination of a nationwide competition to discover a talented, up-and-coming scriptwriter who can help bring real perspectives to Strayer’s Criminal Justice program. In an exciting and surprising twist, Karl McDonnell, CEO of Strategic Education, Inc. (SEI), the parent company of Strayer University, increased the prize awarded to scriptwriter contest winner Donald Dankwa Brooks from $10,000 to $25,000 and offered the remaining four finalists $10, 000 each.

The Blackhouse also hosted Normalizing Injustice alongside Color of Change, Short Cuts to the Future: Content, and Platform & Black Story 2020 presented by Facebook. In the evening, guests enjoyed a Meet the Filmmakers Party sponsored by WarnerMedia and The Blackhouse Foundation’s own Opening Chill night.

(Photo Credit: Erik Umphery)

With festivities underway, check out a photo re-cap of select highlights from a day marked by enlightened discussion, unparalleled positivity, endless enthusiasm, and uncontainable energy. Celebrity and notable guests included William Catlett (Charm City Kings), Kendrick Sampson (Miss Juneteenth), Amin Joseph (Snowfall), Lodric D. Collins (Tyler Perry’s The Oval), and Jamal Truelove (Last Man in San Francisco) and more!

On deck for Sunday, January 26, The Blackhouse Foundation will host Thinking Great – Life Beyond Entertainment — a panel addressing how those in the entertainment arena can plan and aspire to look beyond daily struggles and find their power to be agents of change. Featured speakers are political and social activists – Filmmakers Deon and Roxanne Taylor, producers Baron Jay Littleton and T. Bankole of the Baron Jay Foundation, Seitu Jenel Hart, CEO of Will and Jada Smith’s CIE Initiative and Lolita Morrow of Showtime and recent author.