Saturday Morning, the group launched by four Black creative leaders in 2016 to address issues related to systemic racism in the wake of the police killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, is entering its next phase.
The group, which has helmed such notable work as the Emmy-nominated “The Look” for P&G, is now expanding its board of directors beyond founders Keith Cartwright, Geoff Edwards, Kwame Taylor-Hayford and Jayanta Jenkins for the first time as it seeks to broaden its impact heading into 2021 with an expanded focus.
Saturday Morning is more than doubling its board’s size with five additional members: David Banner, Marta Cunningham, Gary Grant, Amber Guild and Talitha Watkins.
“Since our founding four years ago, we have been fortunate to work with leading companies and brands who understand they have a role and power to be a voice for real change,” Kwame Taylor-Hayford, Saturday Morning co-founder and co-founder of purpose-driven agency Kin, said in a statement. “As we look ahead to what we as creative individuals can do, we see an opportunity for Saturday Morning itself to bring real change to the opportunities and experiences of the Black community through initiatives in education, entertainment and more.”
“We have ambitions to bring new ideas and solutions to impact culture, and having guidance from leaders that extend into other creative business sectors will help us put these ideas into action,” added Saturday Morning co-founder Keith Cartwright, who founded Los Angeles-based creative agency Cartwright last year with backing from WPP following his departure from 72andSunny in December of 2019.
Here’s more on the new Saturday Morning board appointments:
A Mississippi native and graduate of Southern University at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, David Banner provides an extensive view of the entertainment industry. As a rapper, Banner has released seven albums and has had his music featured in various movies, TV series and video games, and he has also served as a producer for other musicians. Banner is also an actor, activist, and philanthropist. He also has his own line of clothing and merchandise under the David Banner brand.
Marta Cunningham is an Emmy-award nominated director, filmmaker and producer, and the founder of Sugar Sky Pictures. Her experience spans numerous film and television entities. Her feature-length documentary Valentine Road premiered at Sundance in 2013 and went on to win 13 film awards and appear at over 200 film festivals. Before turning her focus to directing and producing, Cunningham worked as an actress, choreographer, dancer and writer.
Gary Grant is the president of real estate firm Grant Global Development and the founder of and principal of Parkway School in Brooklyn, a private school serving a small group of students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.
President of The New York Times’ T-Brand Studios, Amber Guild has held roles at creative agencies, including Collins and The Martin Agency. She is also a founding member Chief and serves on the boards of the 3% Movement and VCU Brandcenter.
Talitha Watkins serves as president and head of ColorCreative Management, the management and production company founded by Deniese Davis and Issa Rae to focus on building opportunities for diverse, emerging writers on digital channels, film and TV. Her prior leadership roles in the entertainment industry include motion picture agent and executive at CAA and vp, multicultural marketing at Universal Pictures.
“To be able to attract such proven leaders across business sectors to be part of the Saturday Morning movement is an honor to all of us and we are excited by the positive effect these individuals will have on extending the impact of Saturday Morning,” group co-founder and Gale Partners ecd Geoff Edwards said in a statement.
“We believe we can have broader impact on society and uplift the lives of the Black community with work that has greater cultural resonance across the worlds of entertainment, education and industry,” added fellow co-founder Jayanta Jenkins, who was recently appointed head of content marketing for Disney+. “Our expanded Board will be an important resource in helping us further our goals.”