Watch: George Takei Announces New Roddenberry Foundation Impact Awards For Diversity In Television

The Roddenberry Foundation and A Day of Unreasonable Conversation have just announced the “Roddenberry Impact Awards,” which will be granted to television content creators committed to telling stories that “better represent the diversity of people, thought, and expression throughout society.” The Impact Awards are the latest grants from the foundation created by Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s son Rod Roddenberry. According to its mission statement, the foundation “strives to move closer to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a more progressive, inclusive and harmonious society.”

You can watch Takei’s Roddenberry Foundation announcement below.

More details, including how to make a submission, can be found at the official website and in the press release below.

 

Press Release

THE RODDENBERRY FOUNDATION AND

A DAY OF UNREASONABLE CONVERSATION

LAUNCH $100,000 “RODDENBERY IMPACT AWARDS” FOR TELEVISION CONTENT CREATORS 

Funding Stories – and Storytellers – to Shape a More Inclusive, Equitable Future 

Awards Open For Submissions Now Through May 8th, 2020

(Los Angeles, CA) April 6, 2020 – The Roddenberry Foundation and A Day of Unreasonable Conversation, a program of the social impact agency Propper Daley, announced today the new Roddenberry Impact Awards to accelerate and inspire positive social change through storytelling.

Ten Roddenberry Impact Awards of $10,000 each will be granted to television content creators who are committed to – and have innovative ideas and approaches for – reimagining the processes for writing and telling stories that better represent the diversity of people, thought, and expression throughout society.
The awards were originally slated to be announced at A Day of Unreasonable Conversation in March 2020, but the event was postponed due to the global spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“While we were disappointed to postpone the event, the actual work – leveraging diverse stories and characters to build empathy and understanding – feels more important than ever. As we ‘return to normal’ we have a chance to re-define what normal looks like and to create a more just and equitable future.” said Greg Propper, President of Propper Daley and Founder of A Day of Unreasonable Conversation.

“The world would be more inclusive and fair if everyone saw themselves in it. If we change who we place in stories and how we tell them, we change the way we experience the world, and ultimately we change the story of our future.” said Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, The Roddenberry Foundation board member and Star Trek creator Gene Roddeneberry’s son.

The Roddenberry Impact Awards submissions will be judged by industry leaders who have driven significant positive change through their own storytelling and leadership in the business. The esteemed panel of judges includes Daniel Dae Kim, Gloria Calderón Kellett, Sara Gilbert, Jaime Dávila, Sameer Gardezi, and Tanya Saracho.

“We need stories that help us imagine a more equitable future. One where diverse, authentic voices and content creators help make it a reality,” said Daniel Dae Kim, Roddenberry Impact Awards judge.

A Day of Unreasonable Conversation launched in 2019 and brings together creators of popular culture with nonprofit leaders, advocates, and more for a series of conversations to help content creators better understand and develop nuanced characters and storylines to inspire a more empathic, tolerant, and informed public in the year ahead. The goal of the event – which has featured speakers like John Legend, Andrew Sullivan, Stacey Abrams, Valerie Jarrett, Dr. Joy Buolamwini, Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross and many others – is to unlock social progress through the power of stories.

The Award application period is open today and closes May 8, 2020 at 5pm PT. Following review by the judges, winners will be announced on June 9, 2020. Applications and criteria can be found at The Roddenberry Foundation’s awards website: HERE

The awards are open for submission to all Writers Guild of America West, Writers Guild of America, East, Producers Guild of America, Directors Guild of America, and SAG-AFTRA members in active status.

A Day of Unreasonable Conversation will return in 2021.

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Boze

Why are those extremist Hollywood wackos acting as if there was US-wide apartheid until 2015? Diversity has been an organic part of entertainment since at least early 1980s. They aren’t changing things to be more equal… it already WAS equal, now they’re skewing it in the opposite direction.

German Trekkie

No.

Okay, I’m going to regret this, but…would you care to offer up some data that actually supports that argument?

Faze Ninja

What is wrong with you

Bozo, I think you misspelled your name.

Jack

It breaks my heart that someone could have watched decades of Star Trek and actually believe that.

Nachum

Well, he could have been watching Star Trek as far back as the 1960’s and he would have seen, in the main cast alone:

-Three Jewish actors, one of them Canadian, none playing Jews, of course, because that’s one form of “diversity” Star Trek Can Never Have, but one playing a half-alien, one playing a Russian, and one playing a Midwesterner.

-A Southern actor playing a Southerner.

-Another Canadian actor playing a Scot.

-A Japanese-American playing an Asian/Asian-American.

-An African-American actress playing an African woman.

In any normal world, that would be pretty darn “diverse”- except as I wrote, that word has come to mean its exact opposite.

And I haven’t even started on the movies, the whole TNG era, or beyond. Discovery has exactly *zero* non-, um “diverse” main characters.

And don’t get me wrong- that’s cool. I *like* the new series, and the old. But as Confucius said, we should at least call things by the right names.

Palizia

Michael Burnham will heal your hateful heart.

Les Bian Romulan

This was never about diversity, and it never will be. The Left are the Borg, and we’re some of the last ones resisting assimilation.

Jack

Assimilation to what? Reality?

Why are equal rights, equal opportunity and justice so scary?

AllenWrench

It’s about ego, Jack. No need to bother with logic when they can inflate their own self-importance to the size of, well, a Borg cube.

Les Bian Romulan

Homosexuality is a benign defect. Just because people who identify that way are mostly good people doesn’t make it any less true. It makes zero sense from a scientific viewpoint since it does nothing to propagate the species by advancing a genetic advantage, which is how evolution works.

Matt

That’s not strictly true – have you read the Gay Uncle Theory?

German Trekkie

Boze, i hope for you, that someday you won’t feel to be a victim of modern society. I hope you can feel that things got better, not only for you, but for everyone. I really hope that for you.

Nachum

Well said.

Truly it has been said that the word “diversity,” as currently used, means nothing of the sort, but…well, you can guess what it means.

John Bigbootee

Nicely done, Roddenberry Foundation: putting your money where your mouth is. Keep up the good work! 👍

I agree. 👏

But I’m wondering if the award value is big enough to make an impact.

Sometimes, when an award has a small monetary value, the prestige value becomes more important, but it also means that creatives who aren’t already well funded don’t have much of a chance to win.

I’d really welcome the views of some of the folks on this board who are closer to the business.

Faze Ninja

Diversity and multiculturalism is the number one thing to unite America in these uncertain times.

Nicely done and keep it up!

Les Bian Romulan

Bull

navamske

Oh my.

Faze Ninja

Diversity is the golden rule in television and entertainment especially in the times we are in.

The Roddenberry Foundation encourages diversity in all its many forms. Keep up the good work! 👍👏

Cmd.Bremmon

I applaud the effort but they should have held off post COVID 19. Now’s the time to be fundraising to help disadvantaged and diverse families that might starve to death not being able to pay the rent due to COVID-19 due to the quarantine lock downs.

German Trekkie

This is a common augmentative tactic, I hear and read this all the time – and I don’t necessarily agree. For instance, when Gay Marriage was legalized in Germany two years ago, there where people saying “I don’t care. Why are we even talking about this, most people don’t care – don’t we have bigger problems the state should attend to? Why is a minority more important than other, bigger problems of the majority? Please better spent that money for poor starving children”.

My answer (to both that notion and your post) is: Different People and different organizations can fight agains different problems all at once. The notion that we (all od humanity or even all people in one nation) could attend to one major problem of humanity at a time is not only ineffective, but also not feasible – I am sure you will agree.

If we think your argument trough, it should at ALL times be NOT the time to e.g. raise money for movie projects on Kickstarter etc. – I mean, isn`t the money people give to projects of mere “entertainment” taken away from starving children?
This is an argumentative road no-one wants to go down I think … (even if its a valid one if you think about it).
More low key, what about people who give money to their local cultural institutions at the moment to help them survive the “lock down” crisis (I donated 100 Euros to my local theatre here in South Germany yesterday – call me a virtue signaller, I don’t care ;)?
Isn’t that equally misdirected? Should I’ve given the money to a COVID-19 fundraiser? Am I misdirected here?

IDK, but there will always be a multitude of problems, the most of them are even intertwined (climate change and the mass extinction of animal species is directly intertwined with pandemics like Corona even, not to mention refugee movements and so on).

So, a short question to you (which is not meant as aggressive as is may sonund ;) Who are you to say, which problem should be left out of the picture or at any given moment or that it is not the time for some particular fundraiser at any given time?

Cmd.Bremmon

Yes, I think that you are misdirecting funds if you are putting capital into a theater instead of the crisis at hand. You might be fine able to stay at home but millions of people around the world, especially diverse and disadvantaged demographics, have no path to pay their bills. If this goes too long they are going to end up starving. People need to park their privilege and help these people survive because no one knows what the end game is yet.

Rich

You are nothing more than your skin color, gender, and sexual orientation. Your individuality will be labeled and placed in one of the categories of identity politics. Wrong thinking will be punished and right thinking will be as quickly rewarded. Resistance is futile. This message is approved by Landru, the Keeper, the Borg, and the blue states.

Jack

So Uhura and Sulu shouldn’t have been on the bridge of the Enterprise?

What’s wrong with showing the world a little more likevit actually is?

What’s wrong letting more kids who feel alone see someone like them on screen?

What’s wrong with actors of colour getting more work, closer-to-equal pay and better roles than just Gang Member Number Three?

Without resorting to name calling, conspiracy theories and snark, why, specifically, do you think an award like this, or the idea of diversity in casting, is a problem?

Jack

“You are nothing more than your skin color, gender, and sexual orientation.”

By the way, this is what minorities have been told for decades. That’s why inclusion and representation are important – to show that we all belong here.

Faze Ninja

Diversity is more important now than ever. Don’t make it a political issue. It is about the human condition.

German Trekkie

There is a thing called systemic violence. It is there. It is almost logical. There are dynamics like tribalism. And its almost a law of nature there will always be backlash.

Les Bian Romulan

Rich is right. The rest of you are just too brainwashed to admit it.

Nachum

Hear, hear.

edwet

The diversity message has become so prominent in nuTrek that the science fiction aspect of ‘Trek is pushed behind these days.

Jack

Again, have you been watching Star Trek all these years? Diversity has always been key. I’m so confused by this. When did diversity, human rights and justice become bad things?

Nachum

Actually, human diversity has always been pretty bad. We have thousands of years of history backing that up.

It is indeed *nice* and desired to treat everyone equally. In practice, it doesnt really work.

Faze Ninja

Diversity is nothing new in Star Trek. It always has been there from the start. Justice, freedom, liberty, and human rights is what Star Trek stands for.

German Trekkie

The right wing talking points have become so prominent in the Trek Fandoms that the”optimism and embracing the fight for equality” aspect of Trek is pushed behind these days.

German Trekkie

If you are one of those who will jump at this article and scream “Oh I had it with this diversity bs!” maybe you should get yourself informed about phenomena like systemic violence, like tribalism and so on. If you are really honest with yourself you can find all kinds od “-isms” and “phobias” within yourself. I find plenty in myself. Things that where planted there by society. Reactions you might declare “common sense”, but are in fact more of reflexes. Try to not act on reflexes for once. I really recommend some INTROSPECTION. You may feel so wrongly accused if someone calls you out to have said somethings “politically incorrect”. And I agree, is is not a good feeling if someone points out that we may be flawed. But we all are, and we can try to get over that!

We can debate about social justice, but don’t just brush it of as if everything is okay everywhere and for everyone and people are just complaining and “whining” because they are bored millennials or something. That’s just ignorant. … but aren’t we all ignorant sometimes. I`ll give you folks that, we all have those tendencies (I know what I am talking about, I’ve been to some places emotionally …), and we need to identify them within ourselves, reflect them. And get better together.

Nachum

Well, a “German Trekkie” would know, I guess.

I apologize in advance for that remark, but you can understand my sensitivity.

Jack

These kinds of comments happen every time Trekmovie has the word diversity in the headlines.

It’s triggering for some folks, I guess, but I really don’t understand why.

Gosh, the idea of diversity was baked into the series from pretty much Day One.

IDIC?

Palizia

Diversity is great until you encounter a viewpoint different from yours, eh Jack?

Nachum

Ha!

The original series was *actually* diverse. Alas, that’s not what the word means today.

flaming photon torpedo of truth

oh myyyy its George takeiiiii (said in george takei voice)