The National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications recently held its NAMIC-Southern California West Coast Creative Summit, the trade organization’s signature conference series focusing on the content development aspects of the television industry, in Beverly Hills.

Executives from across the nation and California were on hand to impart valuable information, compare notes, and focus attention on a more promising future for ethnic Americans in front of and particularly behind the camera.

NAMIC also took the time to honor some of televisions favorite shows and celebrities at the 14th Annual NAMIC Vision Awards. The Vision Awards is the only celebration recognizing the cable industry’s commitment to producing quality, multi-ethnic original programming.

The Awards ceremony took place at a special luncheon ceremony with “Access Hollywood’s” Shaun Robinson as the host. The no-frills event was over in a flash with very few impassioned speeches with the exception of CNN’s Soledad O’Brien.

O’Brien who won in the News/Information category for “American Morning: MLK Series” expressed her reasons for working so hard on behalf of ethnic Americans, and how all persons of color at CNN make sure ethnic stories are told from a non-biased point of view. She also noted that specials on ethnic Americans are supported by CNN leadership.

HBO’s made-for-television movie “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” won for Best Drama, and Adam Beach walked away with Best Performance-Drama. “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” chronicled the history of Native Americans in the American West during the 19th century. Other programs with just as much impact like CNN’s “Special Investigations Unit: Judgment in Jena” (Best Documentary) went behind the headlines to bring an informative, fresh perspective to the Jena 6 story.

From the very touching and serious subject matter to the HBO comedy special D.L. Hughley: Unapologetic” (Best Comedy) and Bravo’s “The Word According to Whoopi” (Best Performance) to Disney’s “High School Musical 2” (Best Children’s) and Si TV’s “Styleyes Miami” (Best Lifestyle) multi-ethnic programming is apparently here to stay. And performing very well among all television viewers. It was noted that some of today’s most popular programs support multi-cultural casts.

So, naturally the Summit focused on the activities behind the camera where the power to make lasting changes to television viewing as we know it still remains a challenge.
A variety of panels throughout the day focused on every aspect of television programming, production, financing, market trends and much more.

The digital world with its new digital technology is helping everyday people get their names and faces to millions of people around the world. Like everyone else, many ethnic Americans are taking advantage of the new media, and major studios and production companies are paying attention.

Also participants learned first hand about the challenges and triumphs faced by today’s ethnic executives in decision making positions at major studios. You walk away with the sense that someone is fighting for your voice, your story to be told and often these individuals face an uphill battle, but they don’t stop; for this reason NAMIC takes the time to honor those programs and productions that are able to break through and make an impact on the television landscape.

Founded in 1980, NAMIC’s mission is to educate, advocate and empower for multi-ethnic diversity in the communications industry. Today NAMIC is comprised of 2,000 professionals belonging to a network of 17 chapters nationwide.

We should pay close attention to the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) organization and what it strives to do because their success will reflect a more inclusive and perhaps better programming for all those who watch American television.

To learn more about NAMIC visit their web site at www.namic.com.

– Gail Choice is a writer/producer. She can be reached by e-mail at gcprods@aol.com.