RESEARCH | DISCUSSION | COLLABORATION | SOLUTIONS

to promote greater diversity in Pittsburgh's film & digital media industry.

  Steeltown’s Diversity Initiative aims to enrich and diversify the film and digital media industry in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. We want our industry to welcome and embrace all individuals regardless of race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation. We’re pushing our local entertainment industry to provide everyone with equal opportunities to work, learn, and grow their craft.

Our Roundtable Series

We are proud to be hosting a series of filmed roundtable discussions that will shine a light on the level of diversity in film and digital media industry on both a local and national level. These are closed discussions; however, we will be creating a series of videos to prompt a wider discussion on diversity, equality, and inclusion, as well as, potential solutions.  These discussions will lead directly into a public panel discussion at the Steeltown Entertainment Summit in the fall.

The series aims to give ourselves and other organizations the tools to implement practices that actively increase diversity and build a more equitable, inclusive film and digital media industry.

 

 

African American Roundtable

Snaps from the Roundtable

Meet the Moderator:

Michelyn Hood

Bio:

Michelyn (Mike-Lynn) Tinor (Ten- ‘OR) is the founder and host of The Pittsburgh Spot. PghSpot.com is a popular video web show that showcases the leaders, small business owners, and creative innovators in Pittsburgh. PghSpot.com averages over 50,000 views per episode and is partnered with Local Magazine as a content partner and Steeltown Entertainment as its charitable partner.

Michelyn is a member of the Talent Group Agency and has been featured in various TV productions in Pittsburgh. Recently, Michelyn has received Pittsburgh magazines ‘40 under 40’ award, the New Pittsburgh Couriers ‘Fab 40’ award and Whirl Magazine ‘50 finest’ award.

Michelyn works at Visit Pittsburgh as their National Sales Director, where she is responsible for bringing large conventions to Pittsburgh. Michelyn also recently served for 3 years as the “Mount TV” spokesperson at Mount Ararat Baptist church. Most recently, she served as the moderator for the 2017 PUMP Mayoral Debate.

She is married to Pastor Marco A. Tinor making her the first lady of the Saint Paul Baptist church in Point Breeze.

The Pittsburgh Spot

 

Meet Our Panelists:

Alisyn Blackwell

Alisyn Blackwell

After graduating from Point Park University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, Alisyn found her way to Mister Roger’s Neighborhood; community staple WQED. Since starting as a Production Assistant 6 years ago, the North Side native has worked her way through the company, producing, shooting and editing stories for air and for web, including the web-series WQED Sessions and the delicious Pittsburgh Eats.

Why she’s a part of the roundtable series:

I’ve watched many townhall meeting style conversations on the “state” of black Pittsburgh and where African Americans stand as it relates to overall quality of life here in our city. This is a city that I love and I really just want to see it become a city that people of every background, especially African Americans, see as somewhere they’d want to live. And for myself, I know that if I don’t see myself represented in the media of an area or underrepresented, I am much less likely to want to go there.

Check Out Alisyn’s Work:

Pittsburgh Eats

WQED Sessions

Rita Gregory

Rita Gregory

After graduating from Point Park University, Rita Gregory from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has been a member of the performing art community for more than 30 years. She has appeared in numerous television commercials. On stage, she’s earned awards for her portrayal as Rose in August Wilson’s Fences and the one woman show, No Child, portraying 16 characters.

Other credits in film and television include Rehabilitation of the Hill, Abduction, Sonny Days, My Bloody Valentine, Those Who Kill, Three Rivers, and Cleveland Abduction: The Michelle Knight Story. She will soon travel to Columbus, Ohio to begin work on a new film, Apartment 304. A retired International Flight Attendant of 33 years, she celebrates 16 years as a breast cancer survivor.

Why she’s a part of the roundtable series:

I am always interested in open dialogue about what affects my life as well as the lives of others. In my profession, networking is key to establishing relationships, getting jobs and learning and growing as an artist.  When asked if I would like to be a part of this Roundtable on Diversity, I immediately said yes.  What an amazing opportunity to talk openly with others about my thoughts and concerns as an African-American Actress as I listen to others sharing their thoughts and concerns. 

Check Out Rita’s Work:

IMDB

Ian McIntosh

Ian McIntosh

After years filled with racial tension, Ian writes to provide gender/racial prospectives within the country. He strongly believes that these hardships was a gift that provided a powerful lens to write stories with. 
 
Ian is a screenwriter and professionally performs stand up/comedy improv and sketch throughout Pittsburgh and New York City. Recently, Ian was the Associate Producer on a feature length movie called “Rehabilitation of the Hill”, a movie set in his hometown, The Hill District. He has experience in various film departments such as Director of Photography, Editor, and writing. 

Why he’s a part of the roundtable series:

My whole career has had programs that “strived” for diversity however the same pitfalls repeat: lack of black interest in these film opportunities, forced assimilation from the white society and double consciousness blacks feel the need to have to be successful within their film career. Another solution is needed, otherwise we lose authenticity, creativity, and individuality. The current nature of “Diversity” only fills a checklist, rather than arming minorities with the courage to stand strong against these racial issues. We must rethink what diversity is massaging into the culture of black filmmakers as this medium moves towards the future. 

Njaimeh Njie

Njaimeh Njie

Njaimeh Njie is a Pittsburgh based photographer, filmmaker, and multimedia producer. Working across photo, video, writing, and curating, her work is rooted in social justice and cultural enrichment. Njaimeh is the Founder/Lead Producer of Eleven Stanley Productions—a production company dedicated to creating story based branded and original content. As the creator of the multimedia series Power(ed) by Grace, her work has earned coverage from outlets such as the Huffington Post, the Carnegie Museum of Art blog, and Blavity. Beyond her creative work Njaimeh is an experienced educator and an avid traveler. A Pittsburgh native, Njaimeh earned a B.A. in Film and Media Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and an M.Ed in Secondary Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Why she’s a part of the roundtable series:

I’m joining the African-American roundtable because it’s important to acknowledge that black people are working behind the camera in film and media. When I was growing up I was interested in film but the barriers to entry felt so high; I didn’t know anyone working in the industry, let alone anyone who looked like me. We’re in a time that’s both very exciting and very challenging to be creating media as a black person. I’m looking forward to having a conversation about the ways black people in Pittsburgh have found a way to work and sustain themselves in film careers.

Check Out Njaimeh’s Work:

Eleven Stanley Productions

Personal Website

Jordan Taylor

Jordan Taylor

Jordan Taylor is a local artist ,film maker and musician. A graduated of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a B.S in digital media production , he has done audio visual work for such clients as PNC Bank , Carnival Cruise Lines and the Pittsburgh Steelers. These days he is half of Pittsburgh dj duo Tracksploitation as well as director of productions for Steeltown’s ” Reel Teens Pittsburgh”. With 9 years of mentoring and teaching artist experience he is passionate about helping young people expressive themselves though art and multi media. 

Why she’s a part of the roundtable series:

I think its important that we have these types of discussions and I hope to see more diversity in creative fields in Pittsburgh then there currently is.  

UPCOMING ROUNDTABLE SCHEDULE

WOMEN

July

PEOPLE OF COLOR

August

LGBTQ COMMUNITY

September 

PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

October

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