TIME                         PROGRAM  DESCRIPTION         

10:00 AM                MUSICAL PRELUDE
10:30 AM                    OFFICIAL WELCOME & OPENING
                                    Fair Kick off with Executive Director | Founder
                                     Cynthia E. Exum, LPVBF Co-Chairs: Dr. Bernard W. and Shirley Kinsey
                                     & 2015 Official Host: The Honorable Herb J. Wesson Jr., President of the Los Angeles City Council
11:00 AM                    CONVERSATION WITH AUTHORS: “A Writer’s Voice
                                       • Attica Locke
                                      • Gary Phillips
                                      Moderator: Rachelle Yousuf, President - Women’s National Book Association

11:30 AM                    LPVBF COMMUNITY FORUM:
                                    Title:  “In Celebration of the 50th Anniversary: Visions of Watts
                                     1965 WATTS REBELLION RE-VISITED
                                                • J. Stanley Sanders, Attorney and Community Activist
                                                • Professor Johnie Scott, CSU Northridge University  
                                                • Dr. Bernard W. Kinsey, The Kinsey Foundation for Arts and Education
                                                Tim Watkins, President and CEO, Watts Labor Community Action Committee
                                                Moderator: Starlett Quarles, Host of The Dialogue & President - Urban Marketing

​"Watts Riots Aftermath on ABC News 1966"

12:50 PM              Afternoon Greetings, Sponsor Acknowledgements
  Meet the Photographer: Interviewer TBA
                          with Hip-Hop Legendary Photographers & Visionaries

                                        Presentation of Awards to Legacy Honorees
                               Special Announcement – 2015 Sponsor – Nielsen

1:15 PM                          2nd Annual Jessie Redmond Fauset Book Awards Acknowledgements

2:00 PM                   PANEL DISCUSSION:
                                        Title: WRITERS FROM FOX’S “EMPIRE”:
                                      Panelists: Writers From Fox’s Television Show “Empire”
                                      • Attica Locke, Co-Producer & Writer
                                                • Joshua Allen, Writer
                                                • Eric Haywood, Writer
                                                • JaNeika and JaSheika James, Writer
                                                • Carlito Rodriguez, Writer
  Moderator: Novelist & Film Maker Tananarive Due
3:30 PM                        PANEL DISCUSSION:
                                    Title:  "LA Worldwide: Hip Hop Roots and Futures."
                                        •  Gaye Theresa Johnson, Associate Professor, UCLA
                                        •  Dr. Shana L. Redmond, University of Southern California
                                          •  Sam Sweet, Independent Scholar/Writer
                                        •  Dr. Oliver Wang, Associate Professor, California State University – Long Beach

4:30 PM                     TRIBUTE TO 80'S DANCE MUSIC & MOVES
                                    DJ Arman Halle and other Special Guest DJ’s
                                       Debbie Allen Dance Academy | Hip-Hop Intensive Collective:  
                                        Spotlight Break-dancers:  Kid Kasper & Mr. Awkward
5:30 PM                    BAND PERFORMANCE: In Celebration of Black Music –
                                 STR8 FONK featuring Patryce “Choc’let” Banks of Graham Central Station
                                        “TRIBUTE TO THE GOLDEN AGE OF HIP HOP/RAP & OLD SCHOOL GROOVES”
6:30 PM             FESTIVAL CLOSING: FINAL REMARKS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS                                    
                                      w/  SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: 10th ANNIVERSARY PLANS 



​JOSHUA ALLEN’S television writing credits include Empire (FOX) and Hostages (CBS). He is a graduate of the Writers’ Workshop at Warner Brothers Television. As a playwright, he has premiered work at Cape Cod Theater Project, Primary Stages, Ars Nova, and the Kennedy Center. Joshua was an inaugural recipient of the “New Voices/New York” Fellowship from the Lark Play Development Center. A resident playwright at New Dramatists since 2011, Joshua is also an alum of the University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts and the Juilliard School.

eric haywood

Eric Haywood is currently a co-producer and writer for the hit FOX drama series Empire. He recently won the AMC Networks/Austin Film Festival Best Original Drama Pilot Award for his pilot script Liberators. Prior to Empire, Eric was staffed on such shows as the Shonda Rhimes ABC series Private Practice, Showtime’s Soul Food, and NBC’s Hawaii. He’s also a graduate of the Disney/ABC Writers Program, and has worked as a successful music video director, having directed and produced videos for such artists as Usher, New Edition, KRS-ONE, and Goodie Mob. His music video for Bay Area rapper E-40’s song “Sprinkle Me” was selected by MTV as the #10 Greatest West Coast Rap Video of All Time. On the feature side, Eric’s independent feature film Four of Hearts was recently released on home video, iTunes, and Netflix. Relative Stranger, a feature spec that he wrote during his music video days, was acquired and produced the Hallmark Channel. The film went on to garner three NAACP Image Awards and a Best Supporting Actress Primetime Emmy nomination for Cicely Tyson. 


JaNeika and JaSheika James

JaNeika and JaSheika James both graduated with Bachelor Degrees in Telecommunication from the University of Florida.  Upon graduating, JaSheika was accepted into the ABC Talent Development Production Associate program in Burbank, California, working with production executives and assisting on a number of television series and pilots. JaSheika went on to work for hit series, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES and DEXTER, and later in post-production at ABC Studios.  She was also a Staff Writer on the show REVENGE.  JaNeika earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Television, Radio, and Film from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication. It was during her time in graduate school she undertook a thesis project titled: The African-American Female Influence In Television.  An interview with Yvette Lee Bowser – Creator and Executive Producer of the hit FOX television series LIVING SINGLE. – led to a mentoring relationship and working in the writers’ room at UPN’s HALF & HALF.  JaNeika went on to work under the producing team of Jennifer Crittenden and Gabrielle Allan (SEINFELD, SCRUBS, WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER?) at ABC Studios, and later in Scripted Development at VH1. Finalists of the 2015 Class of Fox's Writing Intensive, JaNeika and JaSheika are currently Staff Writers on Fox's EMPIRE.  

Attica Locke

Carlito Rodriguez

Award-winning writer/producer Carlito Rodriguez has contributed to various media outlets, including HBO, MTV, VH1, BET, Vibe magazine, EA Games and the Associated Press, among others.  During his tenure as The Source magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, he ushered in a new era of authenticity to rap music’s preeminent publication, interviewing personalities like Will Smith, Jay-Z, Diddy, Dr. Dre, Black Eyed Peas and Eminem, among others, as well as providing his expertise for the brand’s television program, “The Source: All Access,” as a writer and segment host.  He served as creative consultant for VH1’s “Driven: Notorious B.I.G.”, about the life of the fallen rapper. He also co-created, produced and wrote 20 half-hour episodes of “Station Zero,” an animated sitcom that launched MTV’s first-ever Hip Hop Week.  As a Consulting Producer with BET (Black Entertainment Television), he produced segments for “The Chop Up,” a weekly newsmagazine and wrote and produced “Bullets and Ballots: Official Street Cat Goes to Washington,” about the effects of gun legislation on violence in the inner city and the award-winning* “50 Shots: Official Street Cat Tackles Police Brutality,” following the NYPD’s deadly shooting of unarmed man. In 2013, he won the Humanitas Prize/New Voices grant for his pilot “ICON.” He was a staff writer on the critically-acclaimed HBO series, “The Leftovers,” and is  is now on the writing team for FOX’s breakout hit “Empire.” 

t​orrence Brannon-Reese