Gina Prince-Bythewood, Danielle Deadwyler, Tabitha Brown are among this year’s roster of industry leaders to be celebrated.

Black Women Film Network (BWFN), celebrating 26 years of preserving the voices of Black women in film and television, is announcing its 2023 class of honorees who will be recognized during an in-person awards luncheon at the annual BWFN Summit – powered by Cvent – on Saturday, March 25, 2023 from 8AM – 5PM at the Loudermilk Conference Center in Atlanta, GA. Registration is now open at

This year’s honorees are:

Gina Prince-Bythewood (Award-Winning Director/Writer/Producer – “The Woman King,” “Love & Basketball”) – RainmakHER Award * who will be accepting the award virtually

Danielle Deadwyler (Actress – “Till,” “From Scratch”) – Black Woman Rising Award

Tabitha Brown (Actress, Author, Social Media Personality) – InfluenceHER Award

Cas Sigers-Beedles (Writer, Director, Producer – “Scheme Queens,” “Unthinkably Good Things”) – StorytellHER Award

Tammy Williams (Owner, Cinema South Studios and CS145 LED Production Facility) – TrailblazHER Award

Latasha Gillespie (Executive Head of Global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility for Amazon Studios, Prime Video and IMDb) – Beacon Award

The Summit’s theme is “Her Mic is On: Black Women Owning the Moment,” a tribute to the many high-profile moments of powerful speeches and words of wisdom that Black women have given to the world in recent years.

Launched during Women’s History Month, the BWFN Summit, now in its 8th year, returns to Atlanta as an in-person experience and will feature a full day of expert speakers, panels, master classes, fireside chats, and the awards luncheon where, in addition to highlighting our honorees, we will announce the recipients of our BWFN Scholarship.

“We are thrilled to have yet another opportunity to produce the BWFN Summit, thanks to the support of Cvent,” says BWFN Board Chair Saptosa Foster. “In recent years, we’ve witnessed iconic remarks from women like Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lizzo, Viola Davis, Michelle Obama and countless others. Those moments are part of a rich tradition of wisdom that is the magic of Black women, and we wanted to honor that uniqueness with this year’s Summit theme. Furthermore, there aren’t many places you can go in the film and television industry to network, gain knowledge, and access resources all in one space that is created specifically for Black women. The Summit is that space, and we are fortunate to be able to bring it back to Atlanta in person.

“Twenty-six years ago, my Georgia State University film teacher told me the world needed to hear stories told by Black women,” says Sheryl Gripper, who founded BWFN in 1997 in Atlanta. “He asked what I was going to do about it. With the help of a visionary group of women, I formed the Black Women Film Network. That vision continues today with the leadership of our Board Chair Saptosa Foster.”

To register for the BWFN Summit, visit [Early bird registration discount lasts until March 20!]

Sarah Hearn
the authorSarah Hearn is a music news magazine that is quickly becoming the premier destination and trusted source for gospel music, news and information. The site covers all genres of gospel and inspirational music, including Contemporary Christian and Christian rap/hip-hop. The mission is to provide news and information on a positive note. Sarah Hearn CEO and Editor in Chief Sarah Hearn is founder/Editor-in-Chief of She is a dedicated journalist, who believes her audience deserves more original reporting than repetitive content, Sarah founded to provide readers with the latest music news, concerts, reviews, and interviews with top ranking Christian/Gospel artists and emerging artists. Widely known for her on-the-scene reporting, her coverage includes the GMA Dove Awards, the Stellar Awards, Grammys on the Hill, Gospel Music Heritage Month Celebration Concert, McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, St. Jude Celebration of Hope, Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference and many more. Sarah participates in weekly White House Faith and Community Engagement calls where she gathers information relevant for dissemination to the Gospel and faith community. She recently launched the podcast, “On A Positive Note with Sarah Hearn” available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other platforms. For more than five years, Sarah served as the DC Gospel Music Examiner at where the site garnered more than 150,000 readers in the US and around the world. Sarah was named one of the Top Ten Heroes in Gospel Music in the Washington, DC area in 2012 for her extensive coverage, support and commitment to artists within the D.C. metro region. In 2016 she was named Person of the Month by IndiMogul Magazine. The site was recently named among Feedspot’s Top Gospel and Christian Music Websites. Sarah is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Gospel Music Association. Sarah resides in a suburb of Washington, D.C. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @PositiveGospel and readywriter on Instagram For coverage of your next event or to submit a press release for posting consideration, contact Sarah.
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