February 23, 2021




By Leslie Fields-Cruz

Advancing Black Excellence 24/7, 365

Last June, in response to the racial reckoning, I was asked by many if BPM would issue a statement. We didn’t issue a statement, in part, because we’ve been working on race and equity issues since our founding. For us, and many Black people, it was more like a “Now you’re listening?” moment. 

We have a few more days left in Black History Month, but like all Black Americans, BPM will continue to celebrate Black excellence everyday of the year. We will also continue our work to address the institutional systems that prefer to relegate the contributions of BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and disability communities to 28 -30 days of the year.  But like I said in June, for those mainstream institutions that issued commitment statements vowing to address systemic racism both internally and externally, we’ve got our eyes on you. Black History Month will end, but the struggle for Black lives will not. Buckle up! 


Finally, here are a few dates you should be aware of:

*The deadline to participate in BPM’s Black History Month Basket Giveaway has been extended to Sun., Feb. 28. Go here for details.

*The Gotham Documentary Feature Lab (formerly IFP) is currently accepting submissions for its year-long mentorship program for first-time documentary feature directors in post-production. The application deadline is Mon., March 1.You’ll find details here

*Season 13 of BPM’s AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange will launch Mon., April 5 on  WORLD Channel. Details are forthcoming.

*BPM’s PitchBLACK will be held virtually this year and includes several components: 

*The PitchBLACK Forum (April 7-8) is an invitation-only event where fellows from our 360 Incubator+ program will compete for up to $150K in project funding.

*Our new BPMplus Showcase (April 9), is designed to introduce audiences to Black technologists who are blazing new trails in digital storytelling. 

*The PitchBLACK Awards (April 9) is open to all, but registration is required. 

*Pre- and post-awards networking mixers (April 9). Tickets to these events will go on sale next month. 

Sponsorship opportunities are available for all PitchBLACK events. More details will appear in our March newsletter. At minimum, we hope you’ll add the Fri., April 9 awards ceremony to your calendar. 

Have a great week!