NYWIFT Talks: Celebrating Black Women in Media


Embrace the richness of Black History Month with NYWIFT! Join us for an enlightening journey as we pay tribute to the incredible accomplishments of Black women in media.

In an engaging and candid conversation with Latasha Gillespie, Christina Norman, and Alicin Reidy Williamson we’ll delve into the profound influence Black women have wielded across the industry, exploring the depths of their contributions and the profound mark they’ve left. From groundbreaking achievements to innovative storytelling, we’ll shine a spotlight on their unique perspectives and visionary leadership.

Moderated by NYWIFT Board President & Executive Director of Black Public Media Leslie Fields-Cruz.

Date: Monday, February 12, 2024

Time: 5:00 pm ET

Location: Zoom (link will be provided in confirmation email)

Price: Free




Latasha Gillespie is the Head of Global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) for Amazon MGM Studios, Prime Video and Freevee. Under her leadership, Amazon MGM Studios created the entertainment industry’s first Inclusion Policy and Playbook, and standardized DEIA into its greenlight process. Latasha is a celebrated speaker, host, and moderator who has appeared on stages around the world, including CES, Essence Festival, Cannes, AFRIFF, the Recording Academy, the Television Academy, Rio2C, AdColor, Sundance and more. She has been featured on Variety’s 2021 Women’s Impact Report and 2022 Inclusion Impact Report, was honored as a 2022 Multichannel News Wonder Woman and received the Black Women Film Network 2023 Beacon Award. In 2021, the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce named Latasha Executive of the Year and she graced the cover of Inclusion magazine. Black Enterprise named her one of the 2019 Most Powerful Women in Corporate Diversity and she is a 2018 Ebony Power 100 Honoree.

Christina Norman is an accomplished creative and business leader with a successful track record building and managing world-class media brands, distinguished by her talent as an executive who inspires creativity, builds collaborative partnerships, and delivers strong business results. Most recently, she served as Head of Content for THINK450, the Innovation Engine of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), creating opportunities for the world’s most influential athletes to deepen their connections to audiences through storytelling. Christina created and Produced the documentary, Game Change Game, which chronicled the NBA Players fight for justice in the face of the pandemic and a social uprising, and which was an official selection of the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival. She has held leadership positions across the media industry, including CEO of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and President of both MTV and VH1. Christina has been recognized with a variety of industry honors including Multichannel News’ “Wonder Women,” named to Cable Fax’s Most Powerful Women and Influential Minorities lists and has been included in The Hollywood Reporter “Power100 Women in Entertainment,” and a Governors Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for MTV’s “Fight For Rights” campaign. Christina is on the Board of BRIC Arts Media Brooklyn, and Village Roadshow Entertainment Group.

Alicin Reidy Williamson is a global diversity and strategy executive. Her experience includes being a Managing Principal at strategic policy firm, The Raben Group, SVP of Public Affairs and Corporate Responsibility for MTV Networks and Viacom, Chief Inclusion Officer at Endeavor and she now serves as Chief Diversity and Culture Officer at Yahoo!. In her current role, Alicin leads global diversity and inclusion, employee engagement and culture for the company. In her partnerships, she’s developing the external relationships that will increase Yahoo’s diversity footprint as a thought leader in this space. Alicin currently sits as a board member of The Dalton School, She Should Run, March on Washington Film Festival and is an advisor for the Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges and chairs a joint collaboration of veteran service organizations, Hire Heroes and Operation Homefront. 

Leslie Fields-Cruz (Moderator) started at Black Public Media, formerly National Black Programming Consortium, in 2001 managing grant making activities that supported the production and development of documentary programs for PBS. By 2005, she was the Director of Programming, leading the distribution of all funded programs to public television. In 2008, with six independent titles in need of a public television broadcast, Fields-Cruz launched AfroPoP: The Ultimately Cultural Exchange, a documentary series highlighting the variety and depth of the global black experience. AfroPoP has garnered several awards and is the only national public television series focused solely on stories from the black experience. In the fall of 2014, Fields-Cruz became BPM’s third Executive Director. Though she keeps the pulse on the development of program content and its distribution across public media platforms, she is focused on growing BPM’s resources to enable it to support more stories about the Black experience.

February 12 @ 5:00pm
5:00 pm — 6:00 pm (1h)

This program will take place virtually as a webinar via Zoom. Please register in advance, and all registrants will receive a link to attend the webinar the day of the event.

We encourage you to download Zoom in advance.

Free event.



Join the conversation on social media:
#nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.