Culture

#OscarsSoWhite Creator Launches Site To Help People Of Color Land Jobs In Hollywood

#OscarsSoWhite Creator Launches Site To Help People Of Color Land Jobs In Hollywood

Photo credit: Andre Chung 

In January 2015, April Reign created #OscarsSoWhite as a call for Hollywood to increase diversity and inclusion in front of the camera and behind it. While some progress has been made since Reign's viral hashtag, there is still more work to be done. That's why the activist has recently launched Akuarel, which is a digital database for people from marginalized communities to find work in creative industries.

“Akuarel opens up new worlds to film studios, TV networks, theater companies and media outlets by yielding opportunities that have never before been possible,” Reign tweeted. "It provides a richer ecosystem to inform and entertain."

During an interview with Mic, Reign says that Akuarel will answer the concerns of any entertainment executive who says they have a hard time finding diverse talent.

“This answers one of the issues raised by #OscarsSoWhite of studios saying, ‘We want to work with people from marginalized communities, but we just don’t know where to find them,' she said. "This is going to drop them right in their lap.”

Professionals of color who want to have a career in film, television or journalism will be able to use the database for free. In addition to being able to identify themselves by race, users will also be able to identify themselves by sexual orientation, gender, age, location and level of experience.

While this year's Oscar awards included a few more people of color who were recognized with nominations, including "Get Out" director Jordan Peele who made history as the first African American to win best original screenplay, the Academy still has a long way to go with being more inclusive of everyone.

"Media diversity is not just a Hollywood problem,” says Reign. “The negative societal impacts from the economic concentration, stifling of diverse voices, and perpetuation of divisive cultural narratives makes it a national problem that must be addressed."