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Entertainment Publicity and Inclusion


July 30, 2020 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm


Governors Steve Spignese and Nicole Marostica, along with the Public Relations Peer Group Executive Committee, invite members to

Entertainment Publicity and Inclusion

With the fight for social justice continuing every day, Hollywood has been called upon to make changes that address systemic racism and a lack of diversity. Entertainment publicists have the ability to address these important topics and help groups who are underrepresented in media. Join us for an important discussion that will focus on different ways publicists can be allies to marginalized groups and promote needed change.

Panelists to include:*

  • Maya Brooks, Director of Publicity, Netflix
  • Latasha Gillespie, Head of Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Amazon Studios
  • April McDaniel, Founder, Crown & Conquer
  • Ngoc Nguyen, Head of Entertainment, Time's Up
  • Dr. Katherine Pieper, USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative

Moderated by:

  • Kelley L. Carter, Senior Entertainment Writer, The Undefeated

*Panelists subject to change

If you have any questions for the panel, please submit them in advance to

Reminder: Peer group events like this one accept registrations on a first-come, first-served basis. If the event reaches capacity, members who register will be placed on the Waiting List. As space opens up, members on the Waiting List may be promoted to a registration up to 24 hours before the event. For more information, check Frequently Asked Questions.

Kelley L. Carter

Kelley L. Carter is an Emmy-winning journalist who currently hosts celebrity interview series Another Act for ESPN's Undefeated. The Michigan State University graduate's expertise on music, film, television, and celebrity topics has led to regular appearances on several TV networks. CNN, HLN, E!, Fox News, MSNBC and the TV Guide Channel are among outlets that have regularly tapped Carter to deliver commentary on entertainment and provide breaking entertainment news updates. Carter has interviewed many of music's and Hollywood's elite, including Jada Pinkett Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Mark Wahlberg, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Taraji P. Henson, Ben Stiller, Courteney Cox, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Aniston, Ryan Reynolds, Terrence Howard, Oprah Winfrey, Mary J. Blige and more.

Maya Brooks

As Director of Series Publicity, Maya Brooks is responsible for supervising the development and execution of publicity campaigns across Netflix's original slate of series. Since joining the company in December 2018, she has shepherded campaigns for the critically acclaimed series' Never Have I Ever, You and Unorthodox.

Before joining Netflix, Brooks was Vice President of Publicity at AMC and SundanceTV, where she led the west coast publicity and awards team. She has also worked in various publicity roles at Hulu, and WarnerMedia Entertainment (formerly Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.).

She is a graduate of Spelman College and resides in Los Angeles.

Latasha Gillespie

Latasha Gillespie is the Executive Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Amazon Studios. Her role is to build mechanisms to improve the diversity and inclusion of content, creatives and the ecosystem across Amazon Studios. Latasha's scope is global, and she shares inspirational messages of leadership and inclusion based on her 20+ years of experience. Prior to this role, Latasha led the Global Diversity and Inclusion Organization across Amazon Corporate. She is credited for the company's participation in the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) Partnership Challenge and leading the creation of Amazon's first Conversations on Race and Ethnicity (CORE) conference.

April McDaniel

Beginning her career in events and hospitality management, April spent over 12 years at Strategic Group a part of the team responsible for opening several of the nation's top nightlife venues including Las Vegas' Tao & Tao Beach, LAVO and Marquee Nightclub & Day Club at the Cosmopolitan. Gaining a wealth of experience in operations and execution, she also excelled in her role as Director of Events for numerous blue chip brands at SG including Coca Cola, Sprite, Moët Hennessy, Heineken and Nike.

In her next position, April took on a much larger leadership role as Director of Operations for Game Seven Marketing, where she helped drive a cross-country expansion from NYC to Los Angeles. There, she was also responsible for managing and overseeing experiential and influencer strategy for the company's Beats by Dre account.

In 2016, ready to embark on her own entrepreneurial journey, April launched Crown + Conquer, one of very few woman, minority-led agencies specializing in experiential, brand strategy and influencer marketing. At Crown + Conquer, excellence is the status quo and creativity and authenticity cannot be compromised. Dedicated to bringing that same energy to everything they touch, the team challenges brands to operate in nothing less than their full truth.

In three short years, April has scaled the agency to 15+ diverse employees and partnered with over 20 global brands on activations and strategy initiatives that have shifted industry standards.

April's extensive list of industry relationships coupled with an outstanding reputation for delivering exceptional results have been a driving force behind the company's accelerated success. The team has since become the agency of record for Amazon Studios, Sprite and Patrón and continues to develop innovative programs for clients such as YouTube, Spotify and Uninterrupted.

With storytelling, creativity and authenticity of utmost importance, the Crown + Conquer team remains steadfast in the belief that 'Moments of Truth' are achieved when brands become an interaction with culture, not a reflection of it.

Ngoc Nguyen

Ngoc oversees all entertainment strategy, talent relations, and entertainment industry programming for TIME'S UP. With a background that spans across entertainment, sports, and philanthropy, Ngoc is a strategist who uniquely merges expertise as a publicist and experience as an independent producer, to impact culture through creative storytelling. Ngoc worked for over a decade in publicity at Miramax Films, Creative Artists Agency, and Paramount Pictures in addition to TEDx, US Open, XPRIZE, Bad Robot, and Google. As an independent filmmaker, Ngoc produces film, television, and online content that champions women-focused narratives.

Katherine Pieper, PhD

Katherine Pieper, PhD is a Research Scientist at the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, where her work spans multiple areas. This research includes analyzing employment patterns in film and television with a particular focus on key production roles. Dr. Pieper has contributed to and co-authored studies examining the barriers and opportunities facing women and people of color behind the camera in film, the animation industry, and the music business. Additionally, her work with the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative has included quantitative and qualitative investigations into the prevalence and portrayal of girls, older adults, and mental health across film and TV.


July 30, 2020 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm


This event will be presented online. Details will be emailed to registered attendees prior to the event.

Produced By

This event is presented and hosted
by the Television Academy.

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