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SAG October Diversity MonthOn Friday, October 1, 2010 Screen Actors Guild announced in a press release that for the second year, Screen Actors Guild will celebrate Diversity Awareness Month during the month of October with a slate of programs and activities exhibiting the value of diversity and equal employment of diverse actors in film, television and other recorded media.

From a Diversity Careers in Focus conference at national headquarters to SAG’s Dare to Be Diverse screening series, an inclusive and abundant lineup awaits. (See the complete calendar below.)

“SAG’s Diversity Awareness Month celebration is a mission that is close to my heart and one to which I am personally dedicated, and have been for more than 40 years,” said SAG National President Ken Howard. “Our union, our industry and our culture are made stronger and more powerful when everyone has equal access to work opportunities. It’s time to swing wide the door of opportunity that has remained closed to so many for so long.”

The Guild has, since its inception, been an advocate for diversity and equal employment in the workplace and entertainment industry. In addition to protecting all members against discrimination and harassment, SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity works closely with members who are LGBT, performers of color, performers with disabilities, senior performers and women to increase employment opportunities for these underemployed and underrepresented groups.

“SAG has chosen October to highlight our everyday advocacy and initiatives,” said Rebecca Yee, national director of SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity, “but it is a 24/7, year-round effort to shift our media landscape toward desiring and developing more accurate and diverse portrayals of the American Scene in film and television.”


Friday, October 1 — National Disability Employment Awareness Month
This year’s theme — Talent Has No Boundaries: Workforce Diversity Includes Workers With Disabilities — is acutely aligned with the mission of SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity to improve and increase equal employment opportunities for actors with disabilities. This year’s theme also proves auspicious as the Tri-Union AEA/AFTRA/SAG I AM PWD (IAMPWD.org) Campaign released an inaugural analysis of characters with disabilities on primetime television for the 2010/11 season. Click here for the report.

Tuesday, October 5 – Los Angeles, CA
SAG Dare to Be Diverse screening of Holy Rollers, presented by SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity and hosted by Writers Guild of America, West Latino Writers Committee in the James Cagney Board Room of SAG National Headquarters in Los Angeles at 7 p.m. Free admission. Click here for RSVP information.

Tuesday, October 5 – New York, NY
The Blackhouse Foundation’s 2011 Film Festival Season Kick Off Event. SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity and SAGIndie are proud sponsors of this event, which celebrates diverse films at Sundance, Tribeca and LA Film Festivals. Visit http://theblackhouse.org for more information about the foundation’s upcoming festival season.

Friday, October 8 – Los Angeles, CA
26th Media Access Awards Press Breakfast, Beverly Hills. SAG National Performers with Disabilities (PWD) Committee and SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity, along with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, AFTRA, CSA, PGA, WGAW, Friends of Californians with Disabilities, the Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and the RJ Mitte Diversity Award, honor industry professionals “for promoting awareness of the disability experience, accessibility for people with disabilities and the accurate depiction of characters with disabilities.”

The Media Access Awards 2010 SAG Harold Russell Award recipient is actor Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld; Death to Smoochy).

Thursday, October 14 – Los Angeles, CA
Diamond in the Raw Foundation will host SAG “Know Your Rights!” Workshop. Presented by SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity, a select group of stuntwomen will participate in a specialized seminar about what members should know to protect themselves in the entertainment industry. Visit http://diamondintheraw.com for more information about the Diamond in the Raw Foundation.

Friday, October 15 – Los Angeles, CA
SAG Dare to be Diverse screening of Night Catches Us at the La Femme Film Festival, sponsored by SAG National Women’s Committee and SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity, at the Renberg Theatre in Hollywood at 7 p.m.  Q&A with filmmaker, cast and NAACP following the film. Free admission for SAG members. YOU MUST RSVP to http://www.lafemme.org/sag/ and type “sag” for username and “member” for password – lower case only. Visit http://www.lafemme.org/ for schedule and more information about La Femme Film Festival.

Saturday, October 16 – Los Angeles, CA
SAG Diversity “Get Your ACT Together” Careers in Focus Conference at SAG National Headquarters from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  A one-of-a-kind opportunity for actors and entertainment industry professionals to network and learn from each other under one roof.  Sponsored by SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity, in conjunction with SAG National Spanish Language Media Task Force and SAG President’s National Task Force for American Indians, this day-long conference features multiple career and talent development workshops and seminars presented byBack Stage, Casting Society of America, iActor, SAG New Media and more! Click here for schedule and more information.

Sunday, October 17 – Los Angeles, CA
Diamond in the Raw Foundation Awards. SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity and SAG National Women’s Committee celebrate achievements of Hollywood’s stuntwomen at this annual luncheon at the Skirball Cultural Center. SAG members receive a discount to attend the luncheon. Click here for details.

Monday, October 18 – Los Angeles, CA
19th Annual Access Award Luncheon.  SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity celebrate with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities at their annual awards luncheon that recognizes those who have made a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.  Click here for details.

Monday, October 18 – New York, NY
HOLA Awards. SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity marks the occasion of Hispanic Heritage Month as a proud sponsor of the 11th Annual Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA) Awards, and congratulates this year’s awardees including HOLA Lifetime Achievement Award honoree Rita Moreno. Visit www.hellohola.org for more information about HOLA.

Tuesday, November 2 – Los Angeles, CA
SAG Dare to Be Diverse screening of Taqwacores, presented by SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity and hosted by the Arab Film Festival in the James Cagney Board Room of SAG National Headquarters in Los Angeles at 7 p.m. Free admission.  RSVP information forthcoming.  Visit forhttp://arabfilmfestival.org/ for more information about the Arab Film Fest.

November 4-11 – Los Angeles, CA
AFI Film Festival. As part of the SAG Dare To Be Diverse screening series, SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity is a proud community sponsor of the AFI Film Festival presented by Audi, and will present a free screening for SAG members. Additional information forthcoming. Click herefor more information about AFI.

Friday, November 5–7 – San Francisco, CA
New Media Film Festival. SAG National LGBT Actors Committee and SAG New Media are proud sponsors of the New Media Film Festival.  The LGBT Actors Committee will conduct a panel focused on LGBT projects in the new media landscape. SAG members may attend the panel for free and can secure a discount pass to the festival. Check back for discount details. Click here for more information about the New Media Film Festival.

Saturday, November 13 – New York, NY
Pride in Our Union. SAG National LGBT Actors Committee and SAG Affirmative Action & Diversity will participate in the Empire State Pride Agenda’s Pride and Solidarity in Action Forum for New York City Union Members, and present a panel discussion on workplace issues facing LGBT performers. SAG members are encouraged to attend. Click here for more information.

Saturday, November 20 – Los Angeles, CA
LA Skins Fest. As a part of this Native American film festival, SAG President’s National Task Force for American Indians will present a premiere screening event of its new educational video and a special screening of Reel Injun at the James Cagney Board Room at SAG National Headquarters. RSVP information and additional details forthcoming.

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About SAG
Screen Actors Guild is the nation’s largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists’ rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 Branches nationwide, SAG represents more than 125,000 actors who work in film and digital motion pictures and television programs, commercials, video games, industrials, Internet and all new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors’ working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists’ rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at SAG.org.

Editor’s Note: Information source and Photos Courtesy of SAG.

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