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GLAAD Launches Inaugural Black Queer Creative Summit, Applicants to Receive Free Trip to LA

Updated: May 23, 2023

Exclusive | Entertainment News | Interview

GLAAD, the largest LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization, has officially announced its Black Queer Creative Summit. Organized under GLAAD’s Communities of Color and Media Department, the summit aims to empower, educate, and train 150 emerging Black, LGBTQ+ creatives across five areas of the entertainment industry: 1) Executives 2) Creators 3) Behind the Scenes 4) On Screen Talent, and 5) Music Supervision.

The inaugural event is a two-day and three-night event that will take place in Los Angeles, CA from Thursday, September 14th through Sunday, September 17th, 2023.

The Black Queer Creative Summit is the first of its kind, featuring keynote speakers and top industry professionals to shed light on the multitude of career opportunities in the entertainment industry, increase professional development, and foster a professional network for Black creatives. Special guests will include writers, musicians, directors, producers, personalities, artists, filmmakers, photographers, and other leading professionals who will serve as guest speakers and lead workshops during the summit.

The summit will begin with a welcome reception on Thursday, September 14th. Day 1 and 2 of the summit will take place from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. PT on September 15-16th, accompanied by evening socials, and conclude on September 17th.

All Black Queer creatives nationwide are encouraged to apply. Registration, lodging, and transportation for the summit will be covered by GLAAD.

Continue Reading for Application Info!

GLAAD’s Director of Communities of Color and Media DaShawn Usher, shared exclusive insight with Gaye Magazine on the inception of the Black Queer Creative Summit and how interested applicants can increase their chances of being selected to attend.

Read his responses below!

GLAAD’s Director of Communities of Color and Media DaShawn Usher
GLAAD’s Director of Communities of Color and Media DaShawn Usher

Please kindly share with us specific details on the inception of this idea. What sparked you to bring this summit to life? Was there an epiphany? If so, where were you? Any challenges you had to overcome?

"The Black Queer Creative Summit was a goal of mine that I wanted to bring to life once I started at GLAAD in 2019. I knew before I could have a successful summit, I needed to have certain things in place, funding, resources, a team, and to do more work with gaining trust and visibility in the Black entertainment industry," said Usher.

"COVID happened and we know the world essentially stopped, however, that was my prime planning time for the summit and the journey towards the launch. I was able to get early support from the Gilead Sciences for the core support of creating an event that advanced Black queer and people living with HIV storylines. The summit was able to grow from that early support in 2022."

What are the top 3 qualities a successful applicant must have?

"For the Black Queer Creative Summit, we are looking for emerging creatives across multiple sectors of entertainment and media. I would say the top three qualities are:

1) Unsung Heroes: people that are doing the work that hasn't received the recognition as some of their colleagues.

2) Black LGBTQ+ Storyline Contributors: people that have experience creating projects that center Black and/or LGBTQ+ storylines, ideally, but also open to folks that have more broader experience too that wish to tell more stories for Black LGBTQ+ communities.

3) Emerging Professionals Looking for a Network: people that are looking to gain a professional network across industries that they are able to contribute and also learn from their peers."

What continued support will there be for the accepted attendees following the Black Creative Summit?

"The biggest support attendees of the summit can expect is a newfound professional network of other Black LGBTQ+ creatives. I believe attendees will be able to get so much more from the summit by attending and building their network which will expand their awareness of possibilities. In addition, the summit will feature keynote speakers, plenaries, and breakout sessions from top industry professionals to illuminate various career opportunities in the entertainment industry and increase professional development."

Continue Reading for Application Info!

Applications to register for the Black Queer Creative Summit are now open from May 1, 2023 until June 12, 2023 at Applicants will be selected based on experience in one of the five sectors: 1) Executives, 2) Creators, 3) Behind the Scenes, 4) On Screen Talent, and 5) Music Supervision.

Applicants will receive notifications of attendance no later than July 2023.

GLAAD hopes to gather creatives who are emerging artists in an active effort to boost their works while offering access to networking opportunities to engage, grow, and learn amongst ambitious peers.

If you are a Black Queer creative please do not hesitate to apply to this game-changing opportunity!


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