Commemorating Black History Month (US) at DNEG
Black History Month (US) is a time to reflect on the progress that has been made in creating a more inclusive and diverse world, as well as the work that still needs to be done. As part of this year’s celebrations, DNEG hosted an internal panel titled ‘Blackout: Navigating Barriers to our Identity in the Workplace’.
Organised by our DNEG Black Voices Group, the panel was moderated by Agapi Gessesse, award-winning, influential and fearless changemaker named 2020 Top Black Woman to Watch in Canada, and Executive Director of the Center Education Empowerment in Toronto.
The panel featured DNEG’s own Corey Turner (Executive Producer, DNEG Los Angeles), Denis-Jose Francois (DFX Supervisor, DNEG Animation) Doe Sebanakitta (User Experience Researcher, DNEG Vancouver), Victoria Adeyeri (Software Developer, Infrastructure, DNEG London) and Luis Placid (Head of Real-time Technologies, DNEG Vancouver).
During the panel, our speakers discussed their personal career journeys and experiences breaking into the film & television industry, while also emphasising the need for increased representation of Black communities in the field.
Another important theme that emerged during the panel was the importance of Black perspectives and representation in emerging technologies and research, and how tools like Unreal Engine are helping to democratise storytelling and dismantling barriers of access, leading to a more diverse and inclusive industry.
In addition to recognizing Black excellence and celebrating Black History, our speakers reflected on their personal and professional experiences that have helped to move the needle for Black representation and empowerment in the industry, as well as future ‘Black History-making’ moments that we can all build towards in order to create a more inclusive and empowering world.
We wish to extend a huge and heartfelt thank you to Agapi Gessesse for joining us, and for her excellent moderation of this insightful session.
Finally, a warm thank you to Corey, Denis-Jose, Doe, Victoria and Luis for taking the time to share their experiences and insights.