Black Women Animate and Cartoon Network have joined forces to launch the inaugural Black in Animation Awards show. This event will highlight Black people in the animation industry who are breaking barriers for those to follow in their footsteps.

Hosted by Grammy Award-winning artist and Steven Universe star Estelle, the Black in Animation Awards will be the closing event for the third annual BWA Studios Boot Camp training event.

Three years into our start-up, we are continually dismayed at the lack of knowledge people have about Black legends in animation,” BWA Studios Founder and CEO Taylor K. Shaw and Founding and Managing Partner JLove Calderón said in an official statement. “Prior to this show, there was no place to really honor and acknowledge the incredible role that Black folx have had in the animation industry. Keeping to our motto: if you don’t see it, create it! Thus, the first-ever Black in Animation Award Show was established.”

The inaugural honorees include Vanessa Morrison, President of Streaming at Walt Disney Studios (Trailblazer Award); Bruce Smith, EP & Director at Disney Television Animation (Narrative Creator Award); Dr. Ayoka Chenzira, TV Director and Experimental Filmmaker (Cultural Innovator Award); Tina Obo, Director (Rising Star Award); Latoya Raveneau, Director at Disney Television Animation (Next Gen Award), and Carole Holliday, Animator and Story Artist (Lifetime Achievement Award).

Honorees were selected by the Awards Show Nomination Committee inclusive of industry veterans and community leaders: Camille Eden (VP of Recruiting and Talent Development, Nickelodeon), Nicole Rivera (Vice President, Original Series Development, Cartoon Network), Lynne Southerland (Director/Showrunner), Sidney Clifton (EP, Jim Henson & Deluxe Animation, Supervising Producer, BWA Studios), Carl Reed (President, Lion Forge Animation), Jinko Gotoh (Producer, Netflix ), and Marlon West (Head of Effects, Disney).

The Black In Animation Awards Show will take place on Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. PST / 8:00 p.m. EST.

Attendees can attend the Black in Animation Awards show virtually and can register to watch the show and participate in the BWA Studios Boot Camp here.


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Photos provided by Cartoon Network / BWA