Like many businesses, we recently announced our continued support for the Black Lives Matter movement and BIPOC. And like many businesses, we’ve received some incredible feedback since then. One interaction in particular stood out. It came from freelance photographer and writer Gonzalo Guzman, who challenged us with the following question: If Grey House is doing everything it can to value BIPOC, how can we as a company avoid tokenism?
It’s an incredibly important topic, and it planted the seed for a much bigger conversation. So, we’re inviting others to join us. Inspired by Gonzalo’s ask, we’ve been working on producing a virtual workshop surrounding gatekeeping and the need for racial equity — the idea that certain individuals may have limited access to opportunities in the industry due to implicit bias surrounding race. Titled “Breaking Barriers + Building Careers for BIPOC Crew + Creatives,” the event will take place early next year, hosted by Grey House’s communications arm, Harbor Media. RSVP here.
Designed specifically to address issues in the production industry, the “Breaking Barriers + Building Careers for BIPOC Creatives” event will be structured as a panel to open the event with break-out groups for smaller discussions. Attendees will be encouraged to engage with their small groups, answer writing prompts, and speak up about their experiences. Yes, there will be some hard conversations. But the hope is that if we talk through our issues together, we’re not alone. Going beyond just identifying the issues at hand we want to arm attendees with an increased awareness of their role in the bigger system.
Our mission for this event
To challenge people making hiring decisions with actionable steps that help BIPOC creatives + crew establish and grow their careers within the industry.
Participation is encouraged across the industry: photographers, studio managers, agents, agency reps, art buyers, and of course vendors and stylists, it is for everyone who makes hiring decisions on set.
We’re assembling an incredible panel of people to talk about their own experiences, and the important questions and actionable steps that attendees should examine thereafter.
Here are just a few topics we’re planning to explore
- For those in charge of hiring, do you recognize gatekeeping at your workplace? How aware are you of your own platform to make a positive impact?
- In general, how transparent are you about your compensation? Do you promote a climate of collaboration, or competition?
- How are you fostering the continued professional development of BIPOC crew once they get their foot in the door? Including leveraging existing resources (e.g., studio space, your time, etc)?
Beyond serving as a sounding board for gatekeeping in our industry, “Breaking Barriers + Building Careers for BIPOC Crew + Creatives” will kickstart a collection of shareable resources that dismantle harmful hiring practices within the industry: rate sheets, apprenticeship opportunities, digital media, and more. This event isn’t just about fostering internships and mentorships. This is about building careers. We hope to see you there.