By Zack Frink

The Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association (MMCA) is partnering with STARZ Television to host the inaugural Media Diversity Excellence Awards Reception. The virtual event will be held on Thursday, Aug. 19 from 6-7 p.m. during NABJ’s signature annual convention.

This reception is designed to honor Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) media excellence and highlight the need for increased media diversity.

The honorees are Karine Jean-Pierre as the Newsmaker Award recipient and Trymaine Lee as the Impact Journalist Award recipient. Jean-Pierre is the White House principal deputy press secretary while Lee is a Pulitzer Prize and Emmy Award-winning journalist, MSNBC correspondent, and host of the podcast “Into America.”

“MMCA’s vision to create a collective, inclusive and sustained effort to honor BIPOC media excellence and to increase diversity in media ownership and control is more critical than ever,” said David Morgan, MMCA president. “By joining with STARZ at the NABJ convention, we continue to raise awareness of our collective efforts and pay tribute to those who are leading the fight for media diversity.”

The reception will also feature a moderated discussion with STARZ talent about the network’s #TakeTheLead initiative. The effort is Starz’s commitment to amplifying narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences hoping that it will inspire others across the entertainment industry.

The conversation will be moderated by NABJ Arts & Entertainment chair Kelley L. Carter, host of the “Another Act” show for ESPN’s The Undefeated. Panelists include talent from several popular Starz series: Patina Miller, “Raising Kanan”; Hailey Kilgore, “Raising Kanan”; Amber Stevens West, “Run The World”; Corbin Reid, “Run The World”; Ajiona Alexus, “BMF” and Michole Briana White, “BMF.”

“Partnering MMCA to honor this year’s Media Diversity Excellence Award recipients and discuss our #TakeTheLead initiative aligns with our commitment to promote representation on screen, behind the camera and throughout the organization,” said Jeffrey Hirsch, president and CEO of STARZ. “Collaborations like this one are an important way for us to engage with impactful and diverse voices that are leading change.”

Topping off the reception is an interactive cocktail mixing session led by mixologists Corbin Reid from the STARZ hit series “Run The World” and Dea Pierre representing Beam Suntory.