America | Sikh Group SALDEF Works With Media To Advance Diversity

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Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) recently met with CBS Entertainment President Glenn Geller to continue their mutual interest to advance diversity in broadcast television. The meeting was the latest in a series of high-level discussions with the major television networks as part of SALDEF’s work with the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC).

“We take to heart Alan Yang’s message at the recent Emmy Awards that Asian Americans have a long way to go but we can get there,” said SALDEF Board Member Kavneet Singh. “We are making progress but we can’t get complacent. It is critical that we emphasize talent development within the community while we collaborate with the industry to increase diversity.”

The meeting took place as part of APAMC agreements with ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC to increase diversity both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes. Over the past few months, SALDEF and the APAMC have also met with Channing Dungey (President of ABC broadcasting) and Craig Robinson (Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for NBCUniversal).

Attendees at the meetings—which also included executives in charge of content, communication, and talent—reviewed both on-screen and program development diversity metrics. The organizations also discussed opportunities to further advance these goals. Their focus includes: expanding the partnership to include talent development; identifying pipelines for actors and directors; and conducting outreach to community talent showcases.

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“Although SALDEF is the newest member of the Coalition, it has already proven to be a critical voice in our discussions with the networks,” said Daniel M. Mayeda, Chair of APAMC. “We look forward to continue working with SALDEF to advance our mutual goals of ensuring that Sikh Americans, and all other Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans, are included and fairly depicted in mainstream media.”

APAMC members include the Asian American Justice Center, East West Players, Japanese American Citizens League, Media Action Network for Asian Americans, National Federation of Filipino American Associations, and OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates.

Since 1996, SALDEF has advocated for an accurate portrayal of the full spectrum of the Sikh American experience.