The awards gala is Wednesday, March 31 from 7:30-9 p.m. EDT with MSNBC anchors Alicia Menendez and Richard Lui as hosts. Comedian Gina Brillon is the evening's entertainment. Advocates for media diversity in Congress like Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., are scheduled to give remarks.
The MMCA typically has an annual dinner where they honor individuals in different media categories including broadcast, radio, print, and ownership, but had to shift course due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That shift led to a new way for the organization to highlight media diversity champions. "All the major media advocacy organizations are currently led by amazingly powerful women that most people don't know about," said MMCA co-founder and president David Morgan. "Wouldn't it be an awesome thing for us to highlight and celebrate these women at the end of Women's [History] Month?"
Morgan said he's particularly interested in hearing from the recipients on the front lines of media diversity. "What we're excited about is the conversation that we are curating with these women around their perspective on the current racial and diversity reckoning of media right now," he said. "We just think in this moment it is so important to hear their voices."
The MMCA plans to stay active after this awards gala. The organization plans to launch its Big Break Media Program to help media corporations hire mid-level BIPOC talent. The MMCA also intends to announce their BIPOC media incubator that features Elevate Dayton as its first participant.
Julie Burton — President, Women’s Media Center
Heather Cohen — Chair, Alliance for Women in Media and Foundation
Francine Compton — President, Native American Journalists Association
Michelle Lee — President, Asian American Journalists Association
Nora López — President, National Association of Hispanic Journalists
Lisa Matthews — President, National Press Club
Dorothy Tucker — President, National Association of Black Journalists