CAA is launching a new event this year that the agency plans to host annually called Amplify, an invitation-only convention of innovators and free-thinking multi-cultural artists and leaders from entertainment, sports, media, corporate brand marketing, and technology. The idea behind the gathering is “to inform, inspire, and connect multicultural leaders to accelerate the growth, value, and visibility of diversity in business,” the agency said. Amplify will kick-off the two-day event on June 20, 2017 in Laguna Beach, CA.
Although there will be more speakers announced in the coming weeks, the schedule already includes Warner Bros. Chairman/CEO Kevin Tsujihara, Executive Director of the ACLU Anthony Romero, actor/producer Kerry Washington, and director, writer, and producer J.J. Abrams.
This comes not long after the agency hosted a Take Action Day, which was a day-long non-partisan summit that included such speakers as U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy as well as speakers from Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the Muslim Public Affairs Council to the Human Rights Campaign.
CAA’s previous socially-conscious programs have included one in 2005 when the agency said it began recruiting African-Americans, Latinos and women from top-tier colleges/universities which resulted in “a significant change to the pipeline of young staff hired by CAA.” They say that within the past five years, roughly 43% of the interns in CAA’s global internship program have been ethnically diverse and nearly 50% have been women.
“We have always believed that diverse voices and backgrounds make CAA stronger, and, years ago, implemented a strategy to address the issues of diversity in our industry,” said Richard Lovett, President, CAA in a statement. “We developed and executed programs to ensure a more diversified workplace, and launched a series of industry events to support and advance underrepresented voices in Hollywood. A natural next step in our continued promotion of inclusion, Amplify will convene influential and impactful multicultural leaders, who, together, will create opportunities to move our businesses forward.”
Ten years later, it launched The Writers’ Boot Camp, an annual workshop designed for emerging television writers to help them move more quickly through the writers’ room and rise through the ranks, where they can eventually have more creative control of a show. Another initiative was You’re Up, a networking and educational event to foster the development of multi-cultural future industry leaders.
CAA also noted that in its February 2017 study Inclusion in the Director’s Chair?, USC found that among agencies, CAA represented the largest share of female and African-American directors.