QWERTY Digital Media Exhibition — Saturday, June 4, 6-8 PM at Downtown Comunity Television — showcases our teen’s incredibly innovative, genre-and medium-bending work from the Digital Media Mentoring Program. This year’s keynote speakers include writer, editor and public speaker Ashley C. Ford, Executive Communications Senior Associate at Google Kayla Conti, black feminist culture writer for Revelist Evette Dionne, and Girls Write Now mentor and Digital Producer Bec Susan Gill.
Ashley C. Ford, Moderator
Ashley C. Ford lives in Brooklyn by way of Indianapolis, Indiana. She is a writer, editor, and public speaker. Currently, she is writing a memoir (among other things) and co-editing the anthology Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture with Roxane Gay. Ford has written or guest-edited for The Guardian, ELLE, BuzzFeed, Slate, I-D, Lenny Letter, Matter, Design*Sponge, and various other web and print publications. She’s spoken at SXSW, Earlham College, Girls Write Now, and was a featured opening writer on Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl book tour. Ford has been the recipient of a writing residency from Hedgebrook, and is the co-founder of The Lulu Fund. She teaches writing at The New School and Catapult.Co. You can find Ford’s blog here, published writing here, and sign up for her newsletter here. Feel free to email. She really loves your emails.
Kayla Conti, Bay Area native and New York City transplant, is an Executive Communications Senior Associate at Google where she helps lead internal communications for the SVPs and VPs at Google Search and Google Maps products. She’s recently moved to New York on rotation to lead internal communications for Google NYC campus in addition to her core role.
Outside of work, Kayla enjoys being a mentor to young adults entering the workforce for the first time and doing some writing of her own. She was featured in the October 2013 edition of Essence profiling her work as a mentee, and has published articles for Blavity, an online platform capturing millennial voices on topics like education and financial health.
Evette Dionne is a Black Feminist culture writer, editor, and scholar. Presently, Dionne is senior news and identity editor at Revelist, a Cafe Media site for millennial women. She’s also a weekend breaking news writer for Refinery29. Dionne’s reported features, cultural commentary, and personal essays have also been published in/on the New York Times, Bitch Magazine, Bustle, The Toast, Teen Vogue, Mic, xoJane, and a number of other digital and print publications.
When Dionne’s not writing or tweeting, she’s researching. She’s an independent critical media studies scholar who uses critical theories like Black Feminist Thought, Critical Race Theory, and Strategic Whiteness to examine how television, film, and Black popular culture texts reinforce and resist historical stereotypes of Black female sexualities, power, and desire. Right now, she’s working on a book chapter about Beyoncé. Yes, that Beyoncé. And it will be epic.
Bec Susan Gill
Bec Susan Gill is the Executive Producer of the popular YouTube science channel ScIQ, a partner channel The Young Turks Network, the world’s largest online news network. The show is produced out of YouTube Studios in New York City. Bec is also the Chief Marketing Officer at ‘Did Someone Say Science?’ a new media science company she co-founded in 2014. Digital clients include AOL, Scientific American, New York Hall of Science, and American Institute of Physics. Bec and her business partner have also been funded to write a TV pilot for The Next MacGyver, a show aimed at getting a female engineer onto the small screen.
As a journalist, Bec’s work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog and various newspapers and magazines in her home country of Australia. Prior to moving to the US, Bec worked at Weber Shandwick (the world’s largest PR agency) in their Asia and Europe offices as Creative Director, Digital. There, she led projects for clients like Facebook, Coca Cola, MasterCard, as well as Procter & Gamble. Bec is a proud mentor at Girls Write Now.
Take a look back at last year’s panel and learn a little more about what the evening entails. Grab your tickets for the event on June 4!
Heben Nigatu, Ashley Ford, and Nisha Dua.
Footage taken by mentor Katie Bancroft. Music by Bensound.com