A-List Speaker Series Supports Youth in their Entertainment Career Aspirations

Chicago, IL (September 2018) – The A-List Speaker Series strives to support youth as they pursue careers in the competitive $735 billion media industry. This program provides teens and young adults with a practical roadmap to achieve their entertainment dreams. In two years, this series has touched more than 1000 young people in Chicago, bringing them in contact with movers and shakers in the entertainment industry. This year’s event, free and open to the public, will take place at noon on Saturday, October 20 at the Thorne Auditorium of Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law.


Geared towards minority young adults, ages 14 to 21, the A-List Speaker Series brings successful entertainment professionals to Chicago for intimate conversations about breaking barriers, climbing the corporate ladder, and giving back. Students and young professionals learn strategies through practical panel discussions focused on topics including personal branding, industry challenges, entrepreneurship, diversification, acquisition of education, and real-life experiences.


The A-List Speaker Series is the vision of executive director, Imani Khayyuh, and her desire to bring young people of color from across Chicago face-to-face with true models of success. “We want our youth who are interested in achieving success in the entertainment business to not only see black and brown people who are movers and shakers, but also to connect with their road to success,” says Khayyuh.


Philip Lewis, front-page editor of #1 digital outlet, Huffington Post, will serve as the MC and panel moderator of this year’s event. Participants include the following: Rodney Williams (President and CEO of Belvedere Vodka Moët Hennessy); Nikkolas Smith (Artist and theme park designer for Walt Disney Imagineering); Arabel Alva Rosales (Co-Founder of Latino Fashion Week and President and CEO of AAR Associates Ltd.); James T. Alford (Theater and television actor who has worked with Steppenwolf Theatre and appeared in Empire); Deanna Morales (CEO of Witegold Management and PR); Heather Anderson (Principal Counsel at The Walt Disney Company). Participants will offer youth candid advice while sharing details about their unique paths to successful TV and film careers. The event will conclude with an engaging Q&A session with the audience.


“I never knew people of color held these types of positions. Please continue to do this every year it was awesome,” says Jessica Barksdale, a student at Butler College Prep who attended last year’s event.


Sponsors for the 2018 program include Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, Northwestern University Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Embarc Chicago and Independent Network.


For more information, visit: www.alistspeakerseries.com.


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