Jamia is a feminist activist, writer, and speaker. She joined Random House as vice president and executive editor in 2021. As the former director of the Feminist Press at the City University of New York and the former VP of programs at the Women’s Media Center, Jamia has been a leading voice on women’s rights issues for over a decade. Her work has appeared in numerous outlets, including the New York Times, the Today Show, CNN, Elle, BBC, Rookie, Refinery 29, Glamour, Teen Vogue, and The Washington Post. She is the author of Young, Gifted, and Black, the introduction and oral history in Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard Around the World, Step Into Your Power: 23 Lessons on How to Live Your Best Life, Big Ideas for Young Thinkers, ABC's of AOC, and the co-author of Roadmap for Revolutionaries: Resistance, Advocacy, and Activism for All.
Elizabeth Méndez Berry
Vice President and Executive Editor
Elizabeth Méndez Berry is Vice President and Executive Editor of One World, an imprint of Random House in New York. Before joining One World, she worked in social justice philanthropy, where she invested in the arts, journalism and freedom of speech in roles at the Ford Foundation, the Surdna Foundation and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.
She co-founded several philanthropic initiatives, including Critical Minded, which supports cultural critics of color, and the Unicorn Fund, which offers resources to artists and others who have been targeted for speaking out. In her role at the Nathan Cummings Foundation, she also programmed exhibitions including “Dandy Lion,” curated by Shantrelle P. Lewis, “Pasado y Presente: Art After the Young Lords,” curated by Yasmin Ramirez, and “Like the Waters, We Rise: Climate Justice in Print,” curated by Raquel de Anda.
In addition to her work in philanthropy, she is an award-winning writer and editor who writes about culture, gender, criminal justice and politics. She started her U.S. career at Vibe Magazine, and “Love Hurts,” her landmark investigative article on domestic violence in the hip-hop industry, won ASCAP’s Deems Taylor award for music reporting and was included in Da Capo’s Best Music Writing anthology. In his book Decoded, Jay-Z cited one of her essays as an inspiration for his song “Public Service Announcement.” And her Spanish-language oped on street harassment, which appeared in New York’s El Diario, helped spark the country’s first ever city council hearing on street harassment.
Elizabeth’s work can be found on syllabi around the country, and she has spoken at Fordham University, Harvard and Jackson State, among others.
She is on the boards of A Long Walk Home in Chicago and Hedgebrook in Seattle.
Writer/director Alanna Brown has been named to the Black List, the Hit List, and the Young & Hungry List, and has finaled in the Tracking Board Launch Pad Features Competition and the Breaking Through the Lens Cannes Financing Initiative with her body of work. Her directorial and screenwriting debut feature, TREES OF PEACE, premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival where it won the top jury prize—the Panavision Spirit Award for Independent Cinema—as well as the ADL Stand Up Award. Alanna was recently tapped by New Line to write a feature adaptation of the novel THE FORGETTING TIME. Before that, she completed a feature rewrite on GRAVE HILL for CJ Entertainment. In television, she’s a writer for the STARZ spinoff of the critically acclaimed film BLINDSPOTTING; and she also recently wrote alongside Helen Hunt for a comedy in development at FX.
Co-Creator, Showrunner, Executive Producer
Rafael Casal is a critically acclaimed writer, producer, actor and poet. He made his feature film debut in Blindspotting, which he wrote, produced and starred. The celebrated film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and Lionsgate won a major bidding war. Rafael is currently in production as the showrunner for the series adaptation for STARZ. He recently acted opposite Hugh Jackman in the Emmy®-winning HBO film “Bad Education” and Ethan Hawke in Showtime's “The Good Lord Bird.” He wrote music for the Apple series “Central Park” and is writing and composing for season two. Casal is also well-known to audiences for his work on HBO's “Def Poetry.” His digital content and music albums have garnered millions of views and listens. His Theatre-in-Verse Works have been presented at venues across the country and his music has been featured on MTV and Showtime series as well as at SXSW and Sundance. Casal is the co-founder and the artistic director of the landmark Bars Workshop at the famed New York City’s Public Theater. He founded and served as the creative director for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s First Wave Undergraduate Arts Program and Scholarship, which was their first Four-Year Contemporary Performing Arts Program.
Co-Creator and Executive Producer
Tony® and Grammy® Award-winning actor, rapper and producer Daveed Diggs is widely known for playing Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the Broadway sensation “HAMILTON.” Diggs currently stars in the hit TNT series “Snowpiercer” opposite Jennifer Connelly. He recently starred in Showtime’s “The Good Lord Bird” opposite Ethan Hawke. Diggs will voice the character of Sebastian in the upcoming “The Little Mermaid” live-action remake. He has also worked on such projects as SOUL, “Central Park,” “Bob’s Burgers," “Bojack Horseman,” “black-ish,” WONDER and more. He is currently in production on his television series “Blindspotting,” where he serves as the co-creator, executive producer and writer.
Director of inclusion and Equity
Writers Guild of America West (WGAW)
Tery Lopez is an inclusion strategist, thought leader, change agent and film and television producer.
As head of the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) Inclusion and Equity Department, Tery works with producers, studio and network executives, and writers to advance diverse representation. Under Tery’s leadership, her department works closely with the WGW Board appointed Inclusion and Equity Group (IEG), co-chaired by showrunners, Glen Mazzara and Shonda Rhimes.
Prior to joining the WGAW, Tery was the Conference Director for the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP). She began her career working for producers, Moctesuma Esparza and Robert Katz (Selena, Gettysburg, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge). Tery quickly advanced to development executive, producing film and tv, and served as Post Production Coordinator on the HBO film, Walkout. She also co-produced Innocent Voices, Mexico’s official Oscar entry for the International Feature Film in 2005.
Tery serves on the advisory board of the Latino Communications Institute (LCI) at Cal State Fullerton and was recently appointed chair of the Entertainment & Arts Alumni Network for Cal State Los Angeles. She is also a founding member of NALIP’s Diverse Women in Media Initiative (DWIMI).
Tery received her Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunications and Film from the California State University at Los Angeles and received the Outstanding Alumni of the year award from the TV, Film and Media Studies department.
amber stevens west
Run the World
Amber was most recently seen in CBS’s comedy “Happy Together” where she co-starred alongside Damon Wayans Jr. Previously she starred on FOX’s supernatural sitcom “Ghosted” opposite Adam Scott and Craig Robinson. Immediately prior to landing the lead female role on “Ghosted,” Amber played Jerrod Carmichael’s on-screen love interest on NBC’s sitcom “The Carmichael Show.” Amber also recently starred in the feature Love Jacked directed by Alfons Adetuyi as well as co-starring alongside Mike Tyson in Lionsgate’s Janoskians comedy Public Disturbance. Previously she starred opposite Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in the 2014 hit comedy 22 Jump Street for Sony and directors Chris Lord and Phil Miller. Amber has recurred on “New Girl” at FOX and “Criminal Minds” at CBS. For four years, Amber starred on ABC Family’s hit series “Greek” and also co-starred in Jessabelle for Lionsgate and opposite Laura Prepon and Bryan Greenberg in the independent film The Kitchen.
Amber was raised in Los Angeles and is married to fellow actor Andrew West.
Starz #TakeTheLead Transparency Talks:
Authentic and Inclusive Storytelling
June 17th, 2021
Starz President & CEO Jeffrey Hirsch, in partnership with Alliance of Women Directors, welcomes five inspiring women who are taking the lead in breaking down barriers for women and underrepresented groups to kick off Starz’s #TakeTheLead “Transparency Talks” series. The discussion will include a look at findings from Starz’s inclusion study with UCLA’s Center for Scholars & Storytellers which revealed that 49.3% of its directors are people of color, 43.7% are women and over 18.31% are women of color; and examine the important measures that need to be taken to continue increasing access and opportunity for more women and people of color to direct.
In Partnership With:
This Transparency Talk focused on authentic and inclusive storytelling where panelists discussed the need for better representation and increased opportunities for women and diverse writers across media.
In Partnership With:
Alliance of Women Directors
Former FCC Commissioner,
Diversity Champion and
Lionsgate Board Member
Jeffrey A. Hirsch
President and CEO
Liz Hilton Segel
McKinsey & Company
Actress, Director and Acting Coach
Run The World
President, Domestic Networks
Run the World
Yalda T. Uhls,
Founder of the Center for Scholars & Storytellers
Run The World
Amber Stevens West
Run The World
Elizabeth Méndez Berry
Vice President and
Director of Inclusion
Writers Guild of America West