In only a few hours, Kollaboration will once kick off its conference dedicated to giving aspiring Asian Americans in arts, entertainment, and new media the opportunity to learn from the community's inspiring professionals. Running on Saturday, May 22, from 10 am to 2 pm PT (1 pm to 5 pm ET) here, EMPOWERD 2021: A Virtual Conference to Inspire Asian-American Creatives is a free virtual event consisting of notable artists, actors, writers, directors, community leaders, and more gathering virtually to educate Asian-American creative professionals. Over the course of four hours, EMPOWERD will present a series of panel discussions on a number of timely topics, including freelancing, industry changes, sustaining diverse narratives, and the importance of empowerment through entertainment.
The line-up of this year's speakers includes Ella Jay Basco (actor, Birds of Prey) Desmond Chiam (actor, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), Lena Khan (director, Flora and Ulysses), Ruby Ibarra (rapper), Kato on the Track (5-time Billboard-charting producer), CB Lee (author, Sidekick Squad), Bao Nguyen (director/producer, Be Water), Prathi Srnivasan (writer, Hulu's upcoming Plan B), Fawzia Mirza (actor/director, Signature Move), Naia Cucukov (EVP, Walden Media) and more. The virtual conference features three panels and performances by G Yamazawa, Milck, and Sung Beats that will be streaming on Youtube and Facebook. In addition, the conference will also feature special guest appearances by award-winning journalist Lisa Ling and In the Heights director Jon M. Chu, a previous speaker at the EMPOWER conference.
"I moved to the US because I knew that the wave for Asian creatives in the diaspora was starting to crest. And Kollaboration was already a name in my head as a wee actor moving out cold from Australia – they've been working from the beginning to bring visibility to the Asian American experience, and continue to do so as our wave rushes towards the shore," revealed Chiam. "Don't miss out on EMPOWERD, and all the associated momentum of Asian creatives coming together in this time!" For Basco, the event represents a generation that is looking to have the conversations that need to be had- saying, "I'm so happy and proud that I am a part of a very proactive generation that will gladly support any community in need. I'm also grateful that there are role models, like myself and other amazing young AAPI women who are leading the way for a more diverse, just, and kind society."
Made available through sponsorships from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Hulu, Comcast NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., and Nielsen, EMPOWERD asks that those looking for more information and register for the event visit the main event site here.