The Diversity in Media Conference is Spectator's newest venture to expand our ongoing dialogue about media. This conference sheds light on and sparks conversation about the countless untold stories that we don't see in television, and how they can affect―and limit―how we perceive the world around us. Bringing together leaders that are spearheading change on every side of the industry we hope to engage in a dialogue that challenges vantage points, broadens perspectives, and generates conversation so as to inspire the next generation of content creators.


Announcing Keynote Speaker: Danny Pudi

              Danny Pudi is best known for his portrayal of Abed on NBC's hit show "Community". 


           Danny Pudi is best known for his portrayal of Abed on NBC's hit show "Community". 


Sunday, December 13th, 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Held Auditorium, 3th floor barnard hall

   Gloria Steinham speaks at the 2014 Columbia Women's Leadership Conference.


Gloria Steinham speaks at the 2014 Columbia Women's Leadership Conference.

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Why is there not more diversity on screen and how does this affect us? Speakers who understand the trends and research the impact of media will explain the subtle and nuanced influences of media on our lives.


How do the conversations that happen in the writer's' room, in casting, and throughout production shape what we see on screen? Content creators gather to discuss the behind-the-scenes decisions that influence what we see on television.


How do we take action and create different media? Panelists who aim to tell the stories previously untold and use media in diverse ways share their experiences, their lessons, and the inspiration behind their work.

    Eve Ensler speaks at the 2015   Columbia Women's Leadership Conference. 


Eve Ensler speaks at the 2015 Columbia Women's Leadership Conference. 



Trey Ellis

Trey Ellis is a novelist, screenwriter, playwright, essayist and an Associate Professor at Columbia University.  He is the author of the novels, Platitudes, Home Repairs and the American Book Award Winning, Right Here, Right Now, as well as the memoir Bedtime Stories.  His extensive work for the screen includes the Peabody winning and Emmy nominated HBO film The Tuskegee Airmen. His essays have appeared in The New York Times, GQ. Playboy and Vanity Fair.  His plays have been commissioned by the Lincoln Center Institute and have been performed around the country including Washington, D.C.’s historic Ford’s Theater, and in 2016 the Pasadena Playhouse and the New Victory Theater in New York. He is also a frequent and longtime political blogger on the Huffington Post and he is currently writing a feature film for HBO. 



Alice Elliott

Alice Elliott is an Academy Award nominated documentary director, a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow, and a PBS Award winning documentary. Alice enjoys creating and distributing films that ask us to look at our perceptions of ability. She recently completed three short films about accessibility on college campuses, and directed and wrote a web series of short videos for self-advocates. Through her social media presence she tweets regularly about housing and disability. She is a teacher at New York University and recipient of a 2013 National Endowment for the Arts Grant.




Joyce Wu grew up in the suburbs of Detroit. She wrote, directed and produced her first stage play at the age of 20 and went on to become a founding member and the literary manager of Mir Productions, an Off-Off Broadway theater company. She was awarded a Maurice Kanbar Institute fellowship and a scholarship from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to pursue her master’s degree in Film Production from New York University’s prestigious Graduate Film program, whose alumni include such directors as Martin Scorsese, Joel Coen, Ang Lee, Spike Lee, Amy Heckerling among numerous others who have contributed to American independent cinema. The first season of her web series Mr. Right is available to view and her first feature film She Lights Up Well  was acquired by American Express for its Amex Now app on Roku boxes and Smart TVs and has screened at several festivals and universities and at the United Nations. 


More speakers to be announced.

Thank you to our Sponsors

Columbia University Club of New York has been a social, intellectual, cultural, recreational and professional center of activity for Columbia alumni, friends and family of the twenty schools and divisions of Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College and affiliate schools. The Club offers a gracious and welcoming environment conveniently located two blocks from Grand Central Terminal. The benefits of membership include a full-service club facility in Midtown with dining, conference and meeting rooms, catering and banqueting, overnight accommodations, member lounge, athletic facility and squash courts. The club also offers alumni a sense of community through shared activities and interests, a wide variety of events, gracious staff and access to over 200 reciprocal clubs worldwide. The Columbia University Club warmly welcomes current undergraduate and graduate students with special member rates.

City & State is a multimedia firm specializing in New York state and local government, political and advocacy coverage. Our award-winning print magazine publishes nearly weekly and features long-form analysis and investigative journalism to ensure New Yorkers understand all perspectives of an issue. Our coverage focuses on the business of governing, offers the insider’s perspective, and features offbeat items to show the human side of a serious business. Sign up for our free morning e-brief, First Read, by visiting

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TYT Network is a Multi-Channel Network of online video talk shows, consisting mostly of TYT owned-and-operated shows and a select group of outside partners. The network generates over 150 million views per month. The flagship program in the network is The Young Turks, hosted by Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, with over 2 billion views and 60 million views per month by itself. The Young Turks is the largest online news show in the world, covering politics, economics, pop culture, social trends and lifestyle.

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The City University of New York's CUNY Graduate School of Journalism offers a top-notch, affordable education teaching traditional journalism values while preparing students to thrive in a rapidly changing media landscape.