#OSCARSSOWHITE - The Beginning
When the 2015 Academy Awards nominees were announced, the lack of people of color nominated inspired April - a movie fanatic herself - to create the hashtag, which became a movement, and many say a revolution. Today, April leverages the name recognition of the hashtag to advocate for ALL marginalized communities, including race, gender identity, LGBTQ+, disability, age and more, in the arts and beyond.
Significantly, April’s efforts compelled the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to make a permanent change in the composition and diversity of its voting body:
Indeed, in 2019, Director Spike Lee, nominated for his first Oscars, repeatedly credited April and #OscarsSoWhite for his long-overdue nominations. (One of the many clips from that Oscars season appears below.)
Five years after the hashtag, April continues to examine its influence, progress and misconceptions, and discusses the work that remains to ensure perpetual representation of marginalized communities far beyond the film industry.
REIGNSTORM VENTURES - After the Hashtag
Today, Reign is an influential and sought-after speaker, commentator and consultant, and moderator on issues of diversity, inclusion, representation and intersectionality in culture, arts, tech, advertising, education and more. April is called upon by global brands and both large and small organizations to use her voice to amplify conversations that organize into action.