On the Anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act,

OWN and the Association of National Advertisers’ SeeHer Movement

Discuss Ways the Advertising Community Can More Authentically Represent Black Women in Media

Conversation Features Insights From Influential Creatives Including Array Filmworks Head of Physical Production Paul Garnes, Actress Tina Lifford, Showrunner/Executive Producer Dee Harris-Lawrence and Actress/Comedian Kym Whitley; Moderated by SeeHer Executive Advisor, Dr. Knatokie Ford

Los Angeles, CA – OWN, the leading network for Black women, and the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) SeeHer initiative, founded to increase authentic portrayals of women and girls in marketing, media, advertising and entertainment, today hosted a virtual conversation “Reflecting Black Women in 2020 and Beyond.”

Aimed to guide the industry with ways to reflect Black women more accurately in media in this critical moment and beyond, the conversation features producers and actors from OWN’s family of programming in dialogue with SeeHer executive advisor Dr. Knatokie Ford. Panelists include Paul Garnes (head of physical production for Array Filmworks and executive producer of “Queen Sugar” and “Cherish the Day”), Dee Harris-Lawrence (showrunner/executive producer of the Peabody-winning “David Makes Man”), Tina Lifford (actress “Queen Sugar”) and Kym Whitley (actress/comedian “Raising Whitley” and “Girlfriends Check In”).

In the spotlight conversation, the panel of creatives provides key insights to help guide leading marketers to ensure accurate reflections of Black women by investing in Black female talent at every level both in front of and behind the camera and by supporting nuanced depictions of Black women in media, eliminating stereotypes.

“The stories we tell matter. Media matters, and it will be a vital component of our collective healing process as we move forward towards a more proactively anti-racist society. We have started creating tools and sharing insight with marketers, but today’s conversation takes us to the next level of activation,” said Nadine Karp McHugh, president, ANA’s SeeHer. “The urgency and imperative of doing more to address the unique challenges that Black women face, which is related to how they are portrayed in advertising and media, has grown exponentially since the partnership was announced last November.”

“Against many odds, Black women have remained powerfully resilient, innovative, excellent, and downright magical,” added Dr. Knatokie Ford.  “Every piece of content created is an opportunity to properly honor and serve the needs of Black women by sharing the fullness and the richness of their stories so that the world can truly see her clearly and with 20/20 vision.”

“The present moment has heightened the urgency of doing more to address the unique challenges that Black women face and now more than ever, it is critical for content to authentically reflect the people it serves, especially women and marginalized groups who have been hit hardest by both the COVID-19 crisis and the pervasive racism that is deeply embedded in American culture and institutions,” said Sheereen Russell, group vice president, ad sales/client partnerships/inclusive engagement, OWN. “OWN is committed to working with SeeHer to help the advertising community create the important change we need to see in our industry, and we are grateful to our panelists who provided deep insight on how it can be done.”

Key SeeHer and OWN executives Jennifer Giddens, head of marketing, OWN; Sheereen Russell, group vice president ad sales/client partnerships/inclusive engagement, OWN; and Nadine Karp McHugh, president, SeeHer share actionable steps for leading marketers to help shape their creative campaigns.

The dialogue will also help inform the SeeHer #WriteHerRight Tip Sheet for storytellers which helps to facilitate conversation about gender equality with showrunners, actors, and network executives by bringing effective, story-building language and tools into the writers’ rooms.

About OWN + SeeHer

In 2019, OWN announced a partnership with SeeHer to encourage brands to apply an intersectional lens in ads, media and entertainment and help more Black women see themselves authentically reflected in content. Among the partnership’s goals are the creation of custom content, collaboration on industry events, and development of tools to drive change.  Brands have an urgent social responsibility to see and reflect the experiences of all consumers, and OWN and SeeHer encourage adding a new objective to all campaigns, leveraging brand power to rewrite and reimagine the American story—where Black life is portrayed with deep humanity and care.

About the OWN + SeeHer Virtual Conversation

The OWN + SeeHer Conversation explores how we can create impact in key aspects of the storytelling process by developing authentic Black female characters, empowering talent who bring these characters to life, and listening to the insights of key production experts.

SeeHer & OWN Creators Conversation moderated by Dr. Knatokie Ford, SeeHer executive director, with:

  • Paul Garnes, head of physical production – Array Filmworks & executive producer of “Queen Sugar” and “Cherish The Day”
  • Dee Harris-Lawrence, showrunner and executive Producer – “David Makes Man”
  • Tina Lifford, actress – “Queen Sugar”
  • Kym Whitley, actress and Comedian – “Girlfriends Check In”

SeeHer Mission and overview:

  • Dr. Knatokie Ford, Nadine Karp McHugh, president, SeeHer | ANA

OWN Marketer Panel moderated by Dr. Knatokie Ford with:

  • Jennifer Giddens, head of marketing, OWN
  • Sheereen Russell, group vice president ad sales/client partnerships/inclusive engagement, OWN & Oprah.com
  • Nadine Karp McHugh, president, SeeHer | ANA

Please go to https://www.seeher.com/ to learn more.

Social Media:

SeeHer: @SeeHer2020 (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network: @OWNTV (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)

About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for a premium scripted and unscripted programming from today’s most innovative storytellers. The network’s robust lineup features five of the Top 15 original scripted cable series for African American women including popular dramas “Queen Sugar,” “Greenleaf,” “The Haves and the Have Nots,” “David Makes Man” and “Cherish the Day.” OWN is also #1 on Saturday nights for unscripted programming including “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” “Ready to Love,” “Love & Marriage: Huntsville,” “Family or Fiancé,” “Black Women OWN the Conversation,” “Girlfriends Check In” and “Black Love.” OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. Access OWN anytime on WatchOWN.tv or across mobile devices and connected TVs.

About SeeHer

Despite strides made in recent years to accurately portray women and girls in media, unconscious bias persists throughout advertising and entertainment. The average age, race, and body type of women depicted in media today still represent only a small fraction of the female population. A division of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the SeeHer movement is a collective of 2000+ brands committed to creating advertising, marketing and supporting content that portrays women and girls as they really are. It launched in June 2016 in partnership with The Female Quotient (The FQ) in Washington, D.C. at the United State of Women. To help marketers benchmark success, the group developed Gender Equality Measure™, (GEM™), the first research methodology that quantifies gender bias in ads and programming. GEM shows that content portraying women accurately dramatically increases purchase intent and brand reputation, increasing return on investment by as much as 30%. GEM won the prestigious 2017 ESOMAR Research Effectiveness Award, and the methodology became the industry standard, which led to a global rollout in 2018. Also in 2018 SeeHer launched #WriteHerRight to support storytellers’ efforts to integrate more authentic depictions of women into their work. As part of the outreach, SeeHer produced a tip sheet for storytellers to facilitate conversation about gender equality with showrunners, actors, and network executives by bringing effective, story-building language and tools into the writers’ rooms. In 2019 the movement expanded into new verticals, including sports (#SeeHerInSports) and music (#SeeHerHearHer.) Visit SeeHer.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. @SeeHer2020.

About Association of National Advertisers

The ANA (Association of National Advertisers)’s mission is to drive growth for marketing professionals, for brands and businesses, and for the industry. Growth is foundational for all participants in the ecosystem. The ANA seeks to align those interests by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed and embraced by the ANA Board of Directors and the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA’s membership consists of nearly1,600 domestic and international companies, including almost 1,000 client-side marketers and nonprofit fundraisers and 600 marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). Collectively, ANA member companies represent 20,000 brands, engage 50,000 industry professionals, and invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.