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Viola Davis, Julius Tennon, Marlee Matlin to Keynote Variety’s 2019 Inclusion Summit

Viola Davis, Julius Tennon and Marlee Matlin will be some of the keynote speakers at Variety‘s 2019 Inclusion Summit on Thursday.

Davis and Tennon, spouses and co-presidents of Juvee Productions, will speak with Variety‘s co-editor in chief, Claudia Eller, about their production company’s mission to push for more inclusive storytelling in TV and film. Matlin, the only deaf performer to win an Academy Award, will speak about her long film career and work with the Ruderman Family Foundation, a private organization that supports people with disabilities.

Additional highlights at the summit include a roundtable discussion of Lifetime’s groundbreaking “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary featuring survivors and executive producers behind the project.

“People with disabilities are the largest minority group in the world, representing 20 percent of the population, yet seldom are they authentically represented in film and TV projects,” said Jay Ruderman, president of Ruderman Family Foundation. “Variety’s Inclusion Summit is the ideal forum for an overdue elevated conversation about the authentic casting of people with disabilities in the entertainment industry.”

The day-long conference will include various panels with celebrities and Hollywood executives speaking about gender, disability, sexual identity, ethnicity and age representation in the entertainment industry. Journalist Ann Curry and “Chasing the Cure” showrunner Kim Bondy will participate in another keynote moderated by Eller, and Karamo Brown of “Queer Eye,” #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke and “The Real” host Tamera Mowry-Housley will also speak at several panels.

Variety’s Inclusion Summit provides a platform to continue the ongoing and necessary conversation to overcome systemic biases in the industry,” said Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, Variety’s group publisher and chief revenue officer. “Our panels and keynotes further explore the opportunities and challenges in supporting underrepresented communities in this industry.”

Ruderman Family Foundation is the premier partner of Inclusion, City National Bank is an official partner and the Oprah Winfrey Network is a supporting partner.

More information on the Inclusion Summit can be found on the event website.

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