The FCC's Diversity Committee has been reconstituted and will focus on "lowering barriers to entry for historically disadvantaged men and women, exploring ways to ensure universal access to and adoption of broadband and creating an environment that enables employment of a diverse workforce within the telecommunications and related industries."
Commissioner Robert McDowell in a July panel sessions at the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council conference audience in Washington had called on the FCC to get off the stick and name some new members, pointing out that it had been rechartered in January and that his nominee had been in since February.
The announcement also came the same day that commissioner Michael Copps, a longtime champion of FCC action on ownership diversity, said in an awards acceptance speech that one of his goals had been to "breathe life into equal opportunity in parts of our media where prejudice and worse not only rode the airwaves but also poisoned people's hearts," as had United Church of Christ Office of communications Director Everett Parker.
The FCC is under a court order to "adequately justify or modify its approach to advancing broadcast ownership by minorities and women."
Familiar names on the committee include former FCC staffer Rudi Brioche of Comcast/NBCU; David Honig of MMTC; Andy Schwartzman of Media Access Project; Maria Brennan of Women in Cable Telecommunications; Diane Sutter of Shooting Star Broadcasting; and Corrie Wright of Free Press. It is chaired by former FCC Commissioner Henry Rivera.
The committee's first meeting will be Dec. 6.
Other members of the committee are: Joaquin Alvarado of American Public Media; Philip Alvelda of MobiTV; Karla Ballard of One Economy; William Branham of 21st Century Telecom; Eric Broyles of Megree; Bridgette Daniel of Wilco Electronic Systems; Erin Dozier of National Association of Broadcasters; Donna Epps of Verizon; Derrick Frost of Invision TV; Anita Stephens Graham of Opportunity Capital Partners; Jessica Gonzales of The National Hispanic Media Coalition; Anton Guitano of CBS; Chanelle Hardy National Urban League; Charles Harrell of The IT Architect; Maxie Jackson of National Federation of Community Broadcasters; Ron Johnson of Solutions4Change; Sherman Kizart of Kizart Media Partners; Faye Kuo of Communication Services for the Deaf; Nicol Turner-Lee of Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; Jose Marquez of Latinos in Science and Technology Association; Robert Mendez of Disney; Karen Narasaki of Asian American Justice Center; and Celia Nogales of AT&T; Javier Palomarez of United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Susan Patrick of Patrick Communications; Tony Perez of National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors; Steve Roberts of The Roberts Companies; Sylvia Strobel of the Alliance for Women in Media; Dr. Jorge Schement of Rutgers University; Virgil Smith of Gannett Co.; Dr. Cindy Shao of the Asian American Chamber of Commerce; Loris Ann Taylor of Native Public Media; Walter Ulloa of Entravision; Mark Wallace of Cipher Communications; and Jim Winston of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.