Ford & Essence Investing in The Next Generation of Black Female Content Creators

Ford and Essence continue to showcase their commitment to the next generation of Black female content creators during festivities leading up to the 92nd Annual Academy Awards.

photo via Nigel Degraff

The week started out with lunch for media influencers for an introduction to the ladies behind Ford’s newest campaign “Built Phenomenally,” a celebration of Black women that was created for the launch of the all-new 2020 Escape. The entire campaign was created with Black women and women of color serving in all of the major roles in production; director, executives, cinematographer, etc.

photo via Nigel Degraff

Guest dined on a vegetable-forward menu at the posh West Hollywood Edition that featured a delicious carrot Bolognese and cauliflower tandoor while being introduced the individuals behind the commercial and sharing inspiring stories on how the campaign has had touched their lives.

photo by Nigel Degraff

Dee Guerrero, multicultural marketing manager, Ford Motor Company

Raj Register, head of brand strategy and growth audience marketing, Ford Motor Company

Dr. Knatokie Ford, STEM/Entertainment  Engagement Advisor, Association of National Advertisers’ #SeeHer Initiative

Malakai Johnson, Founder, Made in Her Image

Kanyessa McMahon, director of ‘Built Phenomenally’ campaign commercials

Tiffany Miranda, Founder, Girls Make Beats

Charia Rose, director/screenwriter and representative of FREE THE WORK


Angela Basset gave the students from “Girls Make Beats” a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They teamed up with Ford to have the teens from the music production mentorship program experience the filming of Ford’s commercials. This spot highlights a voiceover recording session with Bassett.

On Thursday, the 13th annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards luncheon. This year’s honorees were Niecy Nash (“When They See Us”), Melina Matsoukas (Director of “Queen& Slim”), Lashana Lynch (“No Time to Die”), the cast of the FX drama “Pose” and one of the show’s creator Janet Mock.

photo by Nigel Degraff

Friday saw Ford and Essence connect with those aspiring executives and content creators at the Essence Hollywood House held at Neuehouse.

The day-long event featured panels that included Richelieu Dennis: Founder & Chair, Essence Ventures, Lena Waithe: Producer, writer, actress – along with a special screening of her upcoming BET show “Twenties”

Some of the topics of the day:

  • An overview of the current state of Hollywood, pay equity, sexism, networking, and the competitive landscape.

  • A conversation with representatives from #SeeHer and Ford about supporting a more inclusive representation of African American women in front of and behind the camera.
  • Lights, camera, leadership; A view from the top. A discussion featuring women who have climbed the corporate ranks, and how they dealt with pay disparity and other issues while on their journey.

The goal is to continue to inspire and connect current and future generations of amazing Black women.