06-22-2018  11:32 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Lawsuit seeks lawyer access to immigrants in prison

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A rights group filed an emergency lawsuit in federal court Friday against top officials of U.S. immigration and homeland security departments, alleging they have unconstitutionally denied lawyers' access to immigrants in a prison in Oregon.Immigration and Customs...

Police: Oregon toddler dies after being left in hot car

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A toddler in Oregon died after being left alone in a hot car while her mother went to work as a family nurse practitioner, authorities said Friday.Nicole Engler, 38, of Roseburg told investigators she thought she had taken her 21-month-old daughter Remington to daycare...

Lawsuits challenge efforts to push abstinence-only on teens

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Several affiliates of Planned Parenthood sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday over its efforts to impose an abstinence-only focus on its Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program that has served more than 1 million young people.The lawsuits were filed...

Man, 5-year-old boy hurt in electrical accident in Everett

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say a man and his 5-year-old son were hospitalized after a mechanical lift they were using in Everett touched power lines.The Daily Herald reports the accident happened Friday afternoon in an alley downtown.It wasn't known why the pair was using a mechanical...


How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...


Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for Arabic satellite channels during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, two comedies struck the wrong chord with audiences when their lead actors appeared in blackface, a form of makeup that...

AP Source: J. Cole to perform at BET Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Cole is set to perform at Sunday's BET Awards.A person familiar with the awards show, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, tells The Associated Press on Friday that the rapper will perform at the...

The Latest: Germany, Mexico, Belgium headline Saturday games

MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on Friday at the World Cup (all times local):1:13 a.m.Will Germany follow Brazil's lead in righting the ship after a rocky World Cup start, or will the defending champ find itself keeping company with Argentina, needing help if it hopes to advance?The World Cup could...


So much TV, so little summer: Amy Adams, Kevin Hart, Dr. Pol

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The fall television season is months away but that's no reason to stare moodily at a blank screen. In this era of peak TV, there are so many outlets and shows clamoring for your summertime attention that it can be as daunting as choosing between a mojito and a frozen...

Honduran girl in symbolic photo not separated from mother

NEW YORK (AP) — A crying Honduran girl depicted in a widely-seen photograph that became a symbol for many of President Donald Trump's immigration policies was not actually separated from her mother, U.S. government officials said on Friday.Time magazine used an image of the girl, by Getty...

AP Source: J. Cole to perform at BET Awards

NEW YORK (AP) — J. Cole is set to perform at Sunday's BET Awards.A person familiar with the awards show, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, tells The Associated Press on Friday that the rapper will perform at the...


Man charged in bike path killings speaks in court of 'Allah'

NEW YORK (AP) — The man charged with murdering eight people on a New York City bike path and injuring many...

Trump advises GOP: Quit wasting time on immigration.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just when House Republicans needed Donald Trump's backing the most — on their big...

Racist tropes in Ramadan TV satires anger black Arabs

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In an attempt to capitalize on what's become a ratings bonanza for...

'He cried and hugged me': Brazilian still separated from son

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Twenty-six days after being apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border with his son, a...

OPEC agrees to pump more oil but crude prices jump anyway

VIENNA (AP) — The countries of the OPEC cartel agreed on Friday to pump 1 million barrels more crude oil...

US officials say girl on Time cover isn't separated from mom

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Border Patrol officials said Friday that a girl who is pictured on the cover of this...

Gil Robertson
Kam Williams

Kam Williams: Why did you find it necessary to create the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)?

Gil Robertson: AAFCA was started to address the need to advance diversity and inclusion in cinema, both in front and behind the camera. At the time the group was formed, I was a part of a very small community of black journalists who had relative good access to film properties and the talent starring in them. It was an extremely hard network to crack, but the access proved valuable in offering us a platform as entertainment journalists. It was a very small network and those of us who were part of this network each had our grievances about the studio system. First, there was a double standard at play with regards to black talent, unless they were A-list stars, who were seldom, if ever, invited to participate in promotional activities except for “black-themed” movies. Secondly, next-generation black journalists were given a nearly impossible challenge to gain access to the elite ranks of film journalists. There was a need for advocacy on both sides of the table, and so the creation of AAFCA was essential to address these issues.

KW: How has the organization expanded over the years?

GR: It’s been a long walk, but we’ve been steady in building relationships and infrastructure. We’ve established alliances with the Screen Actors Guild, the Writers Guild and the African-American Steering Committee at DGA. Over the years, AAFCA has been instrumental in getting our members placed on influential Voting Blocs for the NAACP Image Awards and the BET Awards. We’ve also expanded our network of partners on the film festival circuit through the creation of partnerships with film events in Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville, Seattle and Los Angeles.


KW: How did the AAFCA Awards come about?

GR: One of the most visible activities executed by film critics groups is announcing their annual year-end lists of their Top 10 films and other awards in high profile categories. From day one, AAFCA’s leadership wanted to formally present our annual awards list via a live event. In 2009, that idea came to fruition with an event held at the Ebony Theatre in LA. Since then, we’ve established the show, which now includes a full dinner, as an activity with a growing presence on the Hollywood Awards Calendar. The AAFCA Awards regularly attracts key A-list talent like Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, John Singleton, Paula Patton, Forrest Whitaker and other notable in front and through the executive ranks in Hollywood. It’s been enormously hard work, but we’re getting it done.


KW: What can we expect at this year’s show?

GR: The AAFCA Awards is a really great event. We call it “A Special Evening in Cinema,” because it actually is. It’s a dressy, red carpet ceremony that attracts the upper leadership ranks in Black Hollywood and also leading celebrity talent. The program for our 6th annual live event will include special honors given to icons in the film community like producer Stephanie Allain [Hustle and Flow, Something New and Dear White People] who is also the director of the LA Film Festival; producer Debra Martin Chase who is responsible for a long list of films that includes The Cheetah Diaries, Sparkle and The Preacher’s Wife. Our other honorees are Franklin Leonard who is responsible for The Black List – a key indicator for which scripts will get the greenlit to go into production; Donna Langley, the Chair of Universal Pictures; and LA Times reporter Susan King.


KW: What else is going with the organization?

GR: We are always looking for new opportunities to expand AAFCA’s footprint in the marketplace. The AAFCA Screening Series was recently launched, conducting film screenings across America. More and more studios have also begun to license the AAFCA Seal of Approval, which is a quality indicator for black consumers. Probably the thing the organization is most proud is the AAFCA Student Internship Program that recently completed its 2nd year at Clark Atlanta University and will launch fall 2015 at Howard University, Northwestern and a still undetermined college in Southern California. We have a few more projects expected to start in 2015 that will be finalized in the coming months.


KW: What are your plans for AAFCA in the future?

GR: Television definitely. We are very close to finalize a partnership with a producing partner to televise the AAFCA Awards. We are also very interested in creating other special programs for TV audiences. The sky is literally the limit as far as opportunity and we plan to take it all the way.

For more information about the African American Film Critics Association, visit www.aafca.com  

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