Leah Natasha Thomas

Ms. Thomas started her career at Revolution Studios and served as the former Director of Industry Relations for Ghetto Film School. During her tenure, GFS received the Mayor’s Award for Art & Culture, was recognized by Russell Simmons’ Art For Life and founded The Cinema School, the first high school in the nation with a focus on filmmaking.

She recently produced 25 TO LIFE, winner of the CNN Grand Jury Prize at American Black Film Festival 2014 (AFFRM, Netflix) and 3 1/2 MINUTES winner of the Special Jury Award for Social Impact, Sundance 2015 (Participant Media, HBO), which was shortlisted for the 2015 Academy Awards. She is currently producing THE TRIAL OF MUMIA ABU JAMAL, and a narrative adaptation of COULDN’T KEEP IT TO MYSELF, by acclaimed author Wally Lamb and the women of York Correctional Facility for Women.

She is a member of BAFTA, a Tribeca Film Festival Industry Delegate, sits on the grants panel for the Brooklyn Arts Council, and is the recipient of the NYU – Critical Collaborations Fellowship (2016-18) in support of her individual work and has recently been commissioned to create a site-specific public art work at NYU Accra, Ghana and Florence, Italy. She holds a BFA in Drama and Politics and an MA in Art and Public Policy from NYU-Tisch School of the Arts.

Rebecca Teitel

A producer, writer and director with more than a decade of television and documentary experience, Rebecca specializes in investigative reporting on race, politics and national affairs. Her work has aired on a variety of major television networks including NBC, ABC, MSNBC, Discovery and the National Geographic Channel. Her most recent documentary, Hate in America, a partnership between NBC, Discovery and the Southern Poverty Law Center, investigated the complex roots of hate crimes in the United States. Rebecca’s previous projects include two Rachel Maddow documentaries that revealed new information regarding the U.S. government’s private deliberations prior to the invasion of Iraq: Why We Did It and Hubris: Selling the Iraq War, which was MSNBC’s highest-rated documentary in a decade. During the 2012 presidential election, she developed and produced We Decide: Latinos and the 2012 Election, a live town hall with NBC News’ Natalie Morales. Rebecca also contributed reporting to The New York Times’ award-winning investigative series Breakdown: Death and Disarray at America’s Racetracks, which exposed corruption in the horse racing industry and led to racing reforms.

Richard Rowley

Richard is an Academy Award nominated director and Sundance Film Festival winning cinematographer with 19 years experience producing, directing, and 23 shooting for screen and television. His most recent documentary feature, Dirty Wars, pioneered a fusion of non-fiction reportage and dramatic narrative storytelling that won him dozens of festival awards and an Academy nomination. His four other theatrically released documentary features have been honored at scores of festivals around the world, from Berlin to Sundance. Richard has directed, produced and filmed dozens of television documentaries for Channel 4, BBC, Canal +, ZDF, ARD, CBC, PBS, CNN International, Al Jazeera and others. Recently, he was lead cinematographer for the Showtime climate change series, Years of Living Dangerously. He has been awarded Sundance, Rockefeller and Jerome Fellowships, and his work has been displayed at MoMa and the Berlin Biennial.

Lucian Read

An Emmy® winning producer, conflict photographer, and cinematographer, Read was lead cinematographer and co-producer for the 2014 Emmy® -winning climate change documentary series, “Years of Living Dangerously.” Previously, he directed the Occupy Wall Street documentary 99%, which premiered at Sundance in 2013. He was awarded the 2015 Emmy® for the Best Spanish Language Long Form Documentary for an investigation of deaths on the US-Mexico border. His photojournalism work during the Iraq War for publications such as Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Newsweek and Time garnered a World Press Photo Award. A collection of his work – including The Battle of Fallujah and The Haditha Massage – is also in the permanent collection of the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. His work as contributing producer for the newsmagazine program “Dan Rather Reports from the Afghanistan War” was nominated for an Emmy® in 2010. His feature documentary cinematography credits include Time to Choose, Steve Jobs, Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back, Kiryas Joel, and Park Avenue: Money, Power & The American Dream. Other cinematography credits include the documentary series “Vice on HBO,” “The New Yorker Presents,” and “CNN’s Death Row Stories.”

Solly Granatstein

“Stories can unite us—if we only tune in and listen.”

A nine-time Emmy winner, Solly uses cinematic storytelling in investigative, public interest filmmaking. In addition to AMERICA DIVIDED, he’s currently creating ASPIREist, a TV magazine for millennials, and GIRLS OF PARLIAMENT HOUSE, a reality TV series about transgender showgirls. Over the past two years, he directed “The Real Death Valley,” a TV documentary investigating deaths of migrants in Texas — which won a George Polk award, an IRE medal and an Emmy — and was co-executive producer of Showtime’s Years Of Living Dangerously, a celebrity-driven docuseries on climate change— winner of the 2014 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series. At Years, Solly took part in devising the show format and managing day-to-day operations. He also produced several stories, including the lead story with Harrison Ford. Previously, Solly worked for nearly two decades as a producer at ABC News, NBC News and CBS News, including a dozen years at 60 Minutes. Solly co-wrote The Great Antonio, a screenplay developed by Steven Soderbergh. It has been purchased by Warner Bros. and awaits production. He has won the Columbia University Journalism School Alumni Award, the Peabody, the DuPont, two George Polk awards, two Edward R. Murrow awards, the Loeb, four Investigative Reporters & Editors awards, the Overseas Press Club award, and three Society of Professional Journalist awards. Of his nine Emmys, four were for Best Report in a News Magazine.

Shonda Rhimes

“All you have to do is look around to see that our reality has been built on the back of inequality. It’s been my hope that this series will inspire audiences to be part of a change that leads us into a stronger, more equal future.”

Norman Lear

“Foremost among the Founding Fathers’ promises was equality under the law. It’s up to us to help them keep their promise.”


“Addressing inequality, in all its forms, has always been a goal of mine. The more we know about how this affects people on a daily basis, the more we can do to change it.”