Local 695 to Host Livestream on “Diversity”

UCSB Professor Anna Everett to host sound and video engineers of color for a discussion on improving inclusion in Hollywood crafts.

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—On Saturday, August 1st , IATSE Local 695’s newly-formed Committee on Equity, Diversity & Outreach will host a live-streamed, public event on the challenges faced by sound and video engineers of color in the entertainment industry.

Titled Diversity in 695: A Conversation, the event will feature a panel of highly accomplished professionals, representing diverse crafts, genders and ethnicities, in a discussion of the critical importance of addressing racial inequity and achieving a more representative workforce in Hollywood. Dr. Anna Everett, Professor Emeritus of Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will lead the conversation and provide important historical context.

The event will explore the collective experiences of the panelists at different stages in their careers. While progress on diversity continues, this conversation will highlight the persistence of racial inequity as a significant barrier to success in the entertainment industry. “At Local 695 we continue to make greater inclusion an absolute priority,” said Mark Ulano, President Local 695. “By listening to our members, we constantly re-evaluate our course of action to best serve everyone in our union. We’ve pledged resources to provide substantive training and outreach, nurturing new talent and giving them a genuine chance to thrive.”

Dr. Everett is the author of several books on diversity and racial equality in media including Returning the Gaze: A Genealogy of Black Film Criticism, 1909-1949; Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media (written for the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media, Youth and Learning program) and the award-winning Digital Diaspora: A Race for Cyberspace. During her career at UCSB, Dr. Everett served as Acting Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Academic Policy; Chair of the UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies; and Director of the UCSB Center for Black Studies.  She is a two-time recipient of the Fulbright Senior Scholar Award.

Other panelists will include:

  • Willie Burton, Sound Mixer (Tenet)
  • Veronica Kahn, Sound Utility (The Mandalorian)
  • Susan Moore-Chong, Sound Mixer (Bones)
  • Chauncy Godwin, Video Engineer (X-Men: First Class)
  • Anthony Ortiz, Sound Mixer (Vida)
  • Douglas W. Shamburger, Boom Operator (Tenet)
  • Yohannes Skoda, Sound Utility (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)

Title:                     Diversity in 695:  A Conversation

When:                 Saturday, August 1. 10 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Local 695 is planning a follow-up, town hall-style meeting exclusively for its members. The event will continue the conversation on diversity with members of color as speakers. 

About Local 695

IATSE Local 695 represents talented professionals in the motion picture and television industry across a wide range of crafts including production sound engineers, video engineers, production broadcast engineers, projectionists and projection engineers. It represents its members’ interests in labor negotiations and employment conditions. Additionally, it services its members through health and pension plans and educational and training programs. It also supports the broader goals of IATSE.

About the Committee for Equity, Diversity & Outreach

Recognizing the value in a diverse and inclusive community, Local 695’s Committee for Equity, Diversity & Outreach is working to create an environment where members of all genders, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds can thrive in the workplace. The committee is focused on improving access to mentorship and giving our new members a chance to forge a rewarding career path.

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