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#OscarsSoWhite Founder Launches Initiative To Help POC Get Jobs

Remember the #OscarsSoWhite movement?

Creator April Reign started the hashtag back in 2016, in order to bring awareness to the lack of diversity and inclusion in the year’s Oscars nominations. The viral movement gained a lot of attention, prompting major changes to the Academy roster and voting process. But that was only the beginning of Reign’s initiative to change the work force. She is reportedly launching a new project that will help other people of color get jobs in entertainment.

Reign is reportedly launching an initiative called Akuarel, which will provide a solution to the lack of diversity. The site will reportedly be a “centralized directory” for those who identify in the minority categories of race, sexual orientation, and disability, to find jobs with in the entertainment industry.

Creatives will be able access the site (although Reign has not provide a link of any sort at this time) for free and search for open positions, both in front and behind the camera. The directory also welcomes studios, networks, theater companies, and media outlets to subscribe to it. Reign has reportedly partnered with CBS, Comcast, and A&E Networks.

“#OscarsSoWhite illuminated the lack of inclusion in media industries and made clear the need to amplify voices from marginalized communities throughout news and entertainment. The challenge, in part, is to access qualified talent from within these communities,” Reign wrote in a statement on Twitter on Mar. 1. “Akuarel provides the solution: a centralized directory in which those who work on both sides of the camera or curtain and those who hold a pen, a computer, or a microphone can self-identify in the same.”

Reign continued her thread by discussing the national impact of media diversity or the lack thereof. “Media diversity is not just a Hollywood problem,” Reign wrote on Twitter. The negative societal impacts from the economic concentration, stifling of diverse voices, and perpetuation of divisive cultural narratives makes it a national problem that must be addressed,” she added.

Reign’s announcement comes on the heels of the 2018 Oscars. This year includes far more POC actors, directors, and film creators. Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya and Jordan Peele are both nominated for awards, alongside Mary J. Blige and Denzel Washington.

The Academy Awards premieres on Mar. 4.

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