USA Network catches ’em young

Characters Unite program tours Los Angeles, teaches diversity

USA Network has gone well beyond public service announcements with its Characters Unite initiative, which aims to promote tolerance and acceptance of people from diverse backgrounds.

This year’s campaign has incorporated a national storytelling tour featuring notable figures, including some USA stars, sharing stories of their personal experiences with prejudice and discrimination.

The tour stops Wednesday at Los Angeles’ Pacific Design Center. Nathan Lane hosts “A More Perfect Union: Stories of Prejudice and Power,” which will feature screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and “The Help” co-star Octavia Spencer among the five storytellers, along with a musical perf by John Legend.

“The whole idea is to get people to share the story of their experience and how it changed them,” said Toby Graff, USA’s senior veep of public affairs. “These stories help foster greater understanding about people’s differences. People may realize they have a lot more things in common.”

The live events are recorded and made available via

Another component of the campaign involves USA’s partnership with the nonprofit storytelling org the Moth, whose volunteers work with high school students and community groups to develop storytelling skills.

As part of the Characters Unite tour, Moth has held workshops in local high schools to help a handful of students shape stories to be shared at a school-wide assembly.

The L.A. swing will set up at East L.A.’s Jefferson High School, and many Jefferson students will attend the Pacific Design Center event.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety