A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
Promoting diversity in entertainment
and American culture
Education. Outreach. NetworkING.
Changing Images In America (CHIA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, public benefit organization founded in 1996, by Networking Expert, Master Career Strategist/Consultant/Coach and former Talent/Lit Manager, Sandra Lord.
CHIA’s mission is to develop, produce and support programs that promote and embrace diversity in American culture. The organization has a special focus on the entertainment industry, in view of the tremendous ability of television, film and the news media to influence the viewpoints, perceptions and attitudes of the community at large. CHIA works to promote increased visibility of marginalized groups and a more balanced imagery of the diverse populace that make up the multilayered fabric of America. Throughout the year, the organization provides a wide range of innovative outreach, educational and networking programs, workshops, panels, seminars, conferences, mixers, job opportunities, in various fields, including career-enhancement and personal growth opportunities.
The programs of Changing Images In America serve a broad multi-cultural constituency. All programs are conducted without regard to race, color, creed, age, sex, socio-economic status, physical challenges or impairment, or national origin.
2O20 was a thought-provoking year that saw unprecedented tensions in race relations in America. Our organization, Changing Images in America has never been more needed in the fight for parity in entertainment and American culture and we invite you to join us in our mission.
Racism and discrimination of any kind, on any level is not only blatantly ignorant, it’s pathetic at the highest levels imaginable. As most economists will attest, a country’s most valuable resource is its people, and if a community or country is hell-bent on engaging in exclusionary practices and myopic vision, it’s only cutting off its proverbial nose to spite its face…literally.
I’m grateful and fortunate to have been raised in a different culture because it gave me a “profound sense of self” and taught me to accept and embrace people of all races, nationalities and creeds; a philosophy that’s at the core of everything in which I engage.
Diversity in the room and at the table – different voices, stories, experiences, talents – is MORE interesting and absolutely more exciting than any unilateral point of view… AND that benefits everyone. Let’s embrace diversity in all of its magnificence!
I reaffirm my longstanding, unflinching commitment to the cause. Please join me and CHIA. Thank you.
– Sandra Lord, Founder, Changing Images in America
PROGRAMS & EVENTS
EDUCATIONAL & NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES
Changing Images in America is committed to providing career-enhancement and personal growth programs that further the goals of the organization, through a wide range of innovative educational and networking programs, workshops, panels, seminars, conferences, mixers, job opportunities, community outreach, etc., throughout the year.
HOLLYWOOD NETWORKING BREAKFAST®
The breakfast has been one of the most effective tools used to promote the goals of CHIA since the organization’s inception. The popular, award-winning, longstanding and highly-regarded event (“Best Networking Event in LA”) was founded by Sandra Lord in 1993, several years prior to the formation of Changing Images in America. The event is now produced to benefit the Changing Images. The breakfast serves a multicultural constituency, and provides unparalleled opportunities of access and learning to industry professionals and aspirants. The event has featured studio and production company heads as well as top Hollywood professionals, including Academy®, Emmy®, Golden Globe and Peabody Award winners and nominees and has been featured in Variety and on CBS/K-Cal News. Click here for more info. If you would like to be a speaker, contact us here.
BIPOC CREATIVE CLEARINGHOUSE™
In our efforts to contribute to a culture of greater racial equality at all levels and across the spectrum of available employment opportunities in entertainment, the organization has started a database designed to help connect primarily people of color with those in a position to hire in the industry: HR, studios, networks, production companies, advertising agencies, etc. The goal is to serve as a clearinghouse and repository of sorts for information regarding the participation of qualified talent in that regard.
Impactful Past Events
THE “ORIGINAL” DIVERSITY TALENT SHOWCASE
Previously called the “Post Oscar Showcase,” this pioneering program that has received wide acclaim for its promotion of diversity in the entertainment industry. The live event, designed to promote the talents of writers, producers, directors, actors, stand-up comedians and crew of different ethnic, cultural and racial groups, including talent with disabilities, has served as the blueprint of sorts on which some current network and studio diversity programs have been modeled.
This “original” and predecessor to all diversity showcase programs was created and first produced by Sandra Lord in 1992. The event has been sponsored by Universal Pictures, NBC, Writers Guild of America (WGA) West, Women In Film, and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and supported by Disney and ABC. Industry professionals who have lent their names in support of the program include: Ellen Degeneres, Henry Winkler, Kate Capshaw, Diane Keaton, Sally Field, Mary Steenburgen, Lou Gossett, Jr., Kweisi Mfumi, Susan Sarandon, Jane Seymour, Beau Bridges, Andy Garcia, Blake Edwards, Janet Yang, among many others.
THE CHIA AWARDS™
Special recognition awards, acknowledging persons and entities that have pursued, promoted, pioneered or supported diversity in their fields, as well as those who have eclipsed (and prevailed against) traditional negative stereotypes. Outstanding honorees have included corporations IKEA and UNITED COLORS OF BENETTON and some amazing individuals, a few of whom are no longer with us, but whose impact on diversity is indelibly etched in the structure of our cultural landscape: Whitney Houston and the producers of Cinderella – Debra Martin Chase, Craig Zadan & Neil Meron; Star Jones; the Honorable Gloria Molina; Dr. Keith Black (renowned neurosurgeon); Gene Roddenberry (creator/producer of Star Trek); Edward James Olmos (actor/humanitarian); former California Assemblyman Mike Roos; attorney Julie Su; actor Floyd Red Crow Westerman; Zara Buggs Taylor (WGA executive); Anna Maria Arias (editor/publisher of LATINA/Style magazine); Dr. Douglas Martin (disability rights and independent living trailblazer); Beverly Cole (director of the Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise Program at Walt Disney); Dr. Dapo Poppola (Chairman of Surgilite); Junki Yoshida (Chairman of Yoshida Foods), and others who have all been recognized for the extraordinary accomplishments embodied in their lives and work. Proceeds from the CHIA Awards helped support our programs.
Changing Images in America is a 501©(3) organization
Your donation enables us to continue our longstanding service to the entertainment community, such as the award-winning Hollywood Networking Breakfast® and other critical and inventive programs.
PURPOSE: To develop, produce and support programs that promote and embrace diversity in entertainment and American culture.
Don’t miss an opportunity to be of service to others.