bill duke & angela polk

Angela H. Polk Program Manager, Community Development for Ford Motor Company Fund presented a $10,000 grant to Director Bill Duke, founder of Duke Media Foundation (photo: Louis ‘Kengi’ Carr)

*DETROIT – Ford Motor Company Fund returned as sole sponsor of the NAACP Hollywood Bureau Symposium, marking its 10th year with the title “Moving Forward: The State of the Industry.

The annual event was held Thursday, Feb. 20, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The event was free to the public.

A portion of Ford’s sponsorship will be directed to support community programs, including a $10,000 grant to Duke Media Foundation.

Last year, the film entertainment industry set a record with box office receipts totaling $11 billion. Black filmmakers, including an increased number of black film directors and actors starring in lead roles, as well as gripping feature films and moving historical pieces all played a role in this unprecedented success.

“Ford is proud to be working again with the NAACP Hollywood Bureau Symposium to showcase a renaissance in black film at all levels,” said Pamela Alexander, director of community development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We congratulate the award-winning Bill Duke and Duke Media Foundation for their work in developing media and financial literacy programs to prepare inner-city and gifted high school students for the new digital media age.”

The event focused on whether this newfound success was due to a broader industry trend or the achievement of a new stronghold for blacks in the film industry. More than 300 people including Hollywood entertainers, NAACP board members, members of the NAACP Image Awards’ committee and television academy, as well as film and television students from local colleges and universities convened for this event. They also engaged in the question and answer session by directly addressing the panel participants with various inquiries. All panelists encourage aspiring artists to persevere and learn to perfect their craft.

Panel participants included humanitarian/activist/director Bill Duke, CAA agent Cameron Mitchell, senior vice president of production for Columbia Tristar Pictures Devon Franklin, and author and producer Flo McAfee. Ramsey Jay Jr., nationally renowned writer, interviewer and producer, served as panel moderator.

The Hollywood Bureau Symposium was one of several popular events held during Image Awards week. The 45th NAACP Image Awards aired Saturday, Feb. 22, from 9 to 11 p.m. on TV One. Check local listings for encore broadcasts.

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. For more than 60 years, Ford Motor Company Fund has operated with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. The award-winning Ford Driving Skills for Life program teaches new drivers through a variety of hands-on and interactive methods. Innovation in education is encouraged through programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. Through the Ford Volunteer Corps, more than 25,000 Ford employees and retirees work on projects each year that better their communities in more than 30 countries. For more information, visit

About NAACP Hollywood Bureau
Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, the NAACP Hollywood Bureau opened officially in October 2002. The NAACP Hollywood Bureau is a satellite of the National office that deals with issues of diversity programming and minority employment in Hollywood, and oversees the production of the NAACP Image Awards. Recognizing the national and international influence of power of the entertainment industry, the Hollywood Bureau was established as part of the follow-up to the NAACP Diversity Initiative started in 1999.

About Duke Media Foundation
Duke Media Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization with a distinct emphasis on offering media and financial literacy to inner-city youth ages 14 through 18, in South Los Angeles, California. The combined focus of these two disciplines is what separates Duke Media from all other programs. The organization was founded in 2008 by actor, director, producer and humanitarian, Bill Duke. The Duke Media Foundation’s mission is to seek to train and empower under served and gifted high school students in the disciplines of media literacy, financial literacy, the science of branding and entrepreneurship in preparation for careers in the new digital media age.


Marie Y. Lemelle, MBA
Ntouch Communications
[email protected]