Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon, co-founders of JuVee Productions
Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon, co-founders of JuVee Productions

During the Univision Communications Inc. (UCI) annual Upfront presentation today, FUSION TV announced that it is bringing together a cross-section of marquee talent—actors, filmmakers, academics, and musicians—to form the FUSION TV Creative Board which will work to identify the next generation of creators and build a pipeline of diverse talent the network can tap into (see video announcement below).

Members of the Board will also play a role in FUSION TV’s content development process, helping to curate the best untold stories that connect with the passions and values of the country’s diverse youth.

Founding members of the FUSION TV Creative Board collectively have been recognized with 7 Academy Awards, 5 Emmys, and 25 Grammy Awards among other prestigious honors. Members include:

— Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon. JuVee is the young production company Davis and Tennon founded.
— Ezra Edelman, Oscar-winning documentary producer and director who won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for directing “O.J.: Made in America” this year.
— Jodie Foster, the Oscar-winning actress and filmmaker who has had a tremendous impact within the LGBT community.
— Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist, cultural critic, and institution builder, Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Chair).
— Meryl Streep, one of the most recognized actresses in the world with 20 Academy Awards nominations, more than any other actor or actress.
— Residente (aka René Perez Joglar), Puerto Rican rapper, writer, producer and the co-founder of alternative rap duo Calle 13. He also is the recipient of a Nobel Peace Summit Award and 25 Latin Grammys – the most ever awarded to a Latin artist.

“To start addressing the challenges the media industry faces when it comes to the diversity gap, we need to bring together people who are champions of genuine change. People who, in terms of diversity and access to the media, are committed to transforming what is, and are inspired by what could be,” said Henry Louis Gates Jr., who will lead the Creative Board. “The individuals who have committed to serving on the FUSION TV Creative Board are unafraid to color outside the lines or think beyond the script, so together we have an incredible opportunity to find and affirm the next generation of creative talent who will truly represent today’s America. We hope the rest of the industry will support and join us in our efforts.”

A central part of FUSION TV’s mission is to provide resources and a platform to creators—those who span different ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, genders and religions—to tell authentic stories that represent the shared values and passions of America’s diverse youth.

“Whether we are talking about pop culture or politics, technology or sports, we are in the business of representing and amplifying the voices of multicultural communities in the United States. The group who will lead our Creative Board understands the need for greater diversity in media, often from firsthand experience, and are passionate about doing something about it,” said Daniel Eilemberg, President of FUSION TV. “We look forward to collaborating with them to ensure that the stories we tell on our network and platforms resonate with our audience because they are representative of who they are as individuals.”

And we certainly look forward to seeing what kind of diverse content comes from this new Creative Board.