John Gibson is one of the leading diversity, equity, and inclusion change agents in the country. In 2012, he established the Motion Picture Association’s DE&I program – working simultaneously to promote and highlight the association and its member studios’ multicultural initiatives, while also managing the MPA’s partnerships with national civil rights and multicultural groups as part of the association’s outreach to leading third party organizations.
Since creating the MPA’s Inclusion and Multicultural Outreach Program, John has cultivated key partnerships with over 40 leading organizations such as the American Black Film Festival, Georgia Latino Film Festival, New York Latino Film Festival and the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program, of whose advisory boards he serves on; the National Urban League, serving on its Urban Solutions Council; National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Women in Film and ReFRAME, Center for Asian American Media, Urban World Film Festival and many other groups working tirelessly to promote gender equality and diversity, inclusion and ‘authentic’ cultural representation in film and television.
Prior to his work at the MPA, John advised the chief executives of an international private real estate investment management firm and two high-profile international corporate law firms. Earlier in his career, Gibson was a Clinton Administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Agriculture where he advised then-Secretary Dan Glickman on executive operations, employee relations and civil rights outreach while simultaneously serving on the USDA/1890s Task Force – the department’s partnership with the “land grant” Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He previously also worked as a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA).
Chantal Kassarjian is a Lebanese motion designer and animator of Armenian descent, based in Brooklyn, New York. Her cultural heritage is intricately woven into her multifaceted artistic practice and the polemic subjects she chooses to tackle. She holds a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the American University of Beirut, and an M.F.A. in Digital Animation from Pratt Institute. Since 2019, she has been working as a Motion Graphics Artist for Walt Disney Television, designing and animating graphics for their ABC News shows.
Her independent work has gained critical acclaim in the international film festival circuit. Her award-winning animated short “Recipe in Exile” has traveled the world with over twenty screenings worldwide and numerous journalistic accolades along the way. Her work embodies her playful artistic process and conveys her love for illustration, typography, photomontage, and motion arts. Whether exhibited on a screen, in an upscale Tribeca gallery, or on the Brooklyn sidewalks as street art, she uses her art to create compelling visual experiences and tell stories that matter.
Originally from South East Asia, Shiva Kalaiselvan left Malaysia to pursue an undergraduate degree at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. Shiva earned a degree in finance in 2006 and worked for three years as an investment banker, leaving the industry in 2009. Shiva received her MFA in Acting from Columbia University in 2015. In New York City, she produced two theatrical productions with her first company Next In Line Productions LLC: "Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me" by Frank McGuiness and "Exposure" by Laura Zlatos; and had her off-broadway debut as an actress in Classic Stage Company’s "Nathan the Wise" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. Shiva then made the move to television acting and had recurring roles on "Gotham" (Fox), "The Originals" (The CW), "Charmed" (CW) and "New Amsterdam" (NBC). She also made an appearance on the big screen in 2020 in A Nice Girl Like You. Shiva and Joe Bandelli produced the web series, "Tuesday Nights" about a woman who on a Tuesday morning in New York City, signs her divorce papers with an expensive pen and a bottle of tequila. “Tuesday Nights” takes place over 24-hours, through the eyes of one woman, portrayed by five.