SOUL 2023: Producing to power in the 21st century

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

7 p.m. 9 p.m. PT

Wallis Annenberg Hall (ANN), Forum

“Producing to Power” (P2P) refers to filmmakers, media, and platform executives; producers and showrunners; and digital and social media creators telling their authentic stories from the margins to advocate for social issues. Perhaps there is no greater example of P2P than Ellis Haizlip, the legendary producer and host of the PBS series SOUL! From 1968 to 1973, at the height of the civil rights movement, Haizlip’s groundbreaking program featured and elevated the concerns and cultures of the Black community. 

Dedicated to the work and legacy of Haizlip, this event will present an uplifting conversation featuring Melissa Haizlip, the award-winning producer of Mr. SOUL!, and other special guests, moderated by USC Annenberg professor Miki Turner. SOUL 2023 will offer inspiration, insight, and a roadmap for today’s storytellers, communication and media professionals, and other promoters of culture who are committed to amplifying voices and creating change through media.


Melissa Haizlip: Emmy-nominated, Peabody Award-winning producer, director, and writer of Mr. Soul! and co-executive producer of an upcoming original docuseries on women in hip-hop for Netflix

Mara Brock Akil: Award-winning writer for South Central and Moesha, producer of The Jamie Foxx Show, creator of Girlfriends and its spin-off The Game, and producer of Black Lightning 

Tendo Nagenda: Producer of A Wrinkle in TimeMulan, and 50/50, and developer of Da 5 BloodsMa Rainey’s Black BottomHillbilly ElegyThe Harder They Fall, and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery 

Stephanie Tavares-Rance: Co-founder of The Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival and president of the Crescendo public relations and event planning company  

Miki Turner (moderator): Award-winning photojournalist, producer, author, curator, and professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism 

Presented by USC Visions and Voices. Organized by David Craig (Communications). Co-Sponsored by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and IDEA (Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg).