WASHINGTON - An impressive array of Hollywood actors and executives will head back to college this fall for the inaugural HOWARDWood event taking place on the campus of Howard University during the 86th Annual Homecoming Celebration.
The festivities kick-off on Thursday, Oct. 28 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. with the Red Carpet and Meet & Greet, followed by the main event, the HOWARDWood Panel.
Moderated by Actress, Producer & Choreographer Asha Kamali May, the panel will open with greetings from Howard University President, Dr. Sidney A. Ribeau and NBC's Debra Langford, vice president of Inclusion and Business Diversity. Confirmed alumni panelists, to date, include Tracie Thoms, Lance Gross, Jeff Friday, Matthew Middleton, Dallas Jackson, Khalilah Birdsong, Depelsha McGruder, Adia Z. May; Howard University Professor emeritus, Vera J. Katz; Howard parent, casting director, Kim Coleman and young star Keke Palmer, with additional guests and participants still being confirmed.
Special video appearances of alumni supporters who are unable to attend in person include Debbie Allen, actress, producer and choreographer; Charles King, VP, William Morris Endeavor ; Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; Crystal Whaley, VP, Pixel House Films; and Writer/TV Commentator, S.Tia Brown.
In line with the university's legacy of strong alumni relationships, HOWARDWood seeks to connect students aspiring to careers in the entertainment industry with alumni who have successfully navigated that path.
"Our goal is to link Howard University students with alumni working in a wide variety of positions in front and behind the camera,” say sisters and co-founders, Asha K. May and Adia Z. May. “We want to connect the dots by sharing information and bringing opportunities to campus for students to use as launching pads to fruitful careers in Hollywood."
The event has received a great deal of support from the University and corporate sponsors alike. Major sponsors include NBC Universal and DreamWorks that have come aboard not only to support the event, but to recruit students for potential employment opportunities.
Created by alumni and sisters Adia Z. May and Asha Kamali May, HOWARDwood is an official Howard Homecoming event & panel discussion. HOWARDwood will provide a link between current Howard University students & Howard University Alum who are blazing trails in Hollywood. The panel discussion will include Howard University graduates but, also other trailblazers in the industry, who are in front and behind the camera.