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PGA Webinar: The Future of Producing Crime and Law Enforcement Programs - 7/15
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When: Wednesday, July 15th
3:00 p.m. PDT | 6:00 p.m. EDT
Where: United States

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The PGA Diversity & Inclusion Committee invites you to a webinar event...

The Future of Producing Crime and 

Law Enforcement Programs


Wednesday, July 15th
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. PDT | 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. EDT

Producers Guild members work across every above and below the line role of producing crime and law enforcement – from procedurals to limited series to true crime to independent documentaries. What will development and production for these shows look like as we return to work following our country’s reckoning on race and policing? Join us for a powerful and timely conversation with Rashad Robinson (President, Color Of Change), Aaron Rahsaan Thomas (Producer, Writer, S.W.A.T.), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Creator/EP/Writer, Shots Fired), Marilyn Ness (Director, Producer, Charm City) and moderator Shelby Stone (Producer, The Chi) on creating programs that foster informed, just and equitable representations.





Rashad Robinson

Rashad Robinson is the President of Color Of Change, a leading racial justice organization driven by more than 7 million members who are building power for Black communities. Color Of Change uses innovative strategies to bring about system change in the industries that affect Black people’s lives: Silicon Valley, Wall Street, Hollywood, Washington, corporate board rooms, local prosecutor offices, state capitol buildings and city halls around the country. Under Rashad’s leadership, Color Of Change designs and implements winning strategies for racial justice, among them: forcing corporations to stop supporting Trump initiatives and white nationalists; winning net neutrality as a civil rights issue; holding local prosecutors accountable to end mass incarceration, police violence and financial exploitation across the justice system; forcing over 100 corporations to abandon ALEC, the right-wing policy shop; changing representations of race and racism in Hollywood; moving Airbnb, Google and Facebook to implement anti-racist initiatives; and forcing Bill O’Reilly off the air.

Rashad is widely consulted on strategies for corporate accountability, transforming the criminal justice system, media and tech reform, culture change and narrative infrastructure, and building Black political power. He is a sought-after keynote speaker at events across the country, and appears regularly as a quoted source, interview guest and opinion writer in major media. In addition to media appearances, Rashad has been profiled by The New York Times, Wired, The Root, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, PBS, BET and several other outlets. Color Of Change has been named three times in Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list—in 2015, 2018 and 2020—and was profiled by the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Rashad is the proud recipient of awards from organizations as varied as ADCOLOR, the United Church of Christ, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Foundation and Demos. Rashad was a member of the inaugural cohort of Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity, and serves on the board of the Hazen Foundation. Previously, Rashad served as Senior Director of Media Programs at GLAAD.


Marilyn Ness

Marilyn Ness is a two-time Emmy, Peabody, and DuPont Award-winning filmmaker and works as a director and producer. Most recently, she produced the recent Netflix release BECOMING about former First Lady Michelle Obama as well as DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD (dir. Kirsten Johnson), which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and won the Special Jury Award for Innovation in Non-fiction Storytelling. Ness directed CHARM CITY which premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and was shortlisted for the 2019 Academy Award® - Best Documentary Feature. The film was broadcast on PBS' Independent Lens in April 2019. Before that, she produced CAMERAPERSON (dir. Kirsten Johnson), which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, was released by the Criterion Collection and was shortlisted for the 2017 Academy Awards® - Best Documentary Feature. TRAPPED (dir. Dawn Porter), which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, received the Jury Prize for Social Impact Filmmaking, broadcast on PBS' Independent Lens, and was awarded a Peabody. She also produced Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman’s feature documentary E-TEAM, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014 and was bought by Netflix Original, and later earned two Emmy nominations. She directed the documentary feature film BAD BLOOD: A CAUTIONARY TALE that broadcast nationally on PBS in 2011.



Gina Prince-Bythewood

Award-winning director/writer/producer Gina Prince-Bythewood is one of the most versatile storytellers working in film and television. Known for her authentic character-driven work, Prince-Bythewood has directed and written such influential feature films as “Love & Basketball,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” and “Beyond The Lights.”

Upcoming from Prince-Bythewood is the action drama feature, “The Old Guard,” which she directs and stars Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne. A Netflix original feature, it is based on the popular comic book series created by author Greg Rucka and illustrator Leandro Fernández.

Other recent credits for Prince-Bythewood include the special event series, “Shots Fired,” which she and her husband Reggie Rock Bythewood served as Series Creators and Executive Producers. The ten-hour series for Fox, examined the dangerous aftermath of two racially charged shootings in a small Southern town. In addition, Prince-Bythewood directed the pilot for Marvel’s “Cloak & Dagger,” which launched to strong reviews and viewers, starring breakout actors Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph as two teenagers with newly acquired superpowers who are mysteriously linked to one another.

An advocate for equal representation in film, Prince-Bythewood funds a scholarship for African American students in the film program at UCLA, her alma mater.



Aaron Rahsaan Thomas


Aaron Rahsaan Thomas grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, developing a love for storytelling after completing a fifth grade assignment to create his own original Greek myth from scratch. As time passed, Aaron developed his passion for storytelling visually and attended Morehouse College. Aaron would also matriculate through the University of Kansas, earning honors in English Literature, before moving to Los Angeles and attending the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts for graduate school. After graduating from USC, Aaron was selected for the prestigious CBS Writers Mentoring Program.

Aaron began his professional career as a writer’s assistant on Soul Food: The Series and went on to work on the staff of such TV series as NBC’s Friday Night Lights, for which he received a Peabody Award, as well as CBS procedurals, such as Numb3rs and CSI:NY. Aaron has also served as a Co-Executive Producer on TNT’s SouthLAnd, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and Netflix's The Get Down.

Aaron has had two screenplays produced as feature films: Cover, directed by Bill Duke and Assassination Games, starring Jean Claude Van Damme. He has also directed an ESPN 30 for 30 film about the USC football team during the Pete Carroll era, entitled, Trojan War.

Aaron is currently co-creator and executive producer of the procedural series reboot of S.W.A.T., which airs on on CBS.  




Shelby Stone


Emmy winning film and television producer, Shelby Stone considers her greatest achievement in Hollywood is surviving.  As a Black woman who started in this business knowing no one, she has, through sheer force of will, and some dumb luck, managed to build a career in Film and TV and make some pretty good projects along the way. 

She is currently the President of Production for Freedom Road Productions, Common and Derek Dudley’s company.   They have numerous projects all over town, from ABC, Showtime, Starz, Amazon.  Freedom Road are also Executive Producers on Lena Waithe’s, The Chi, which just got picked up for it’s third season.

Shelby has produced over 80 hours of television, included the critically acclaimed and multiple award winners including, Bessie, Lackawanna Blues, Life Support, Single Ladies and more.

She is the recipient of over 60 awards and nominations, including Emmys, Golden Globes, People’s Choice, GLAAD, George F. Peabody Awards, the Humanitas Award, and NAACP awards. Shelby is an active member of Women in Film, where she served on the Board, as well as the Producers Guild, Women in Media, and Film Independent where she taught the Producer’s Lab.  


By registering for this Q&A, you will receive a calendar invitation containing the Zoom credentials. Once the webinar reaches capacity, please participate via private YouTube livestream, which will be included in the calendar invitation 5 minutes prior to the start of the event. Prior to the start of the event, you may also refresh this event page to access the private YouTube livestream.

Please note: The PGA strives to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. To request an accommodation for you or your guest, or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact Diana White at