Animation house Black Women Animate will present its second annual Black in Animation Awards Show. Themed to “Lift While We Climb,” the upcoming ceremony will feature Grammy-winning musician and “Steven Universe” star Estelle as host.

The awards ceremony seeks to honor Black people in animation who have and currently are paving the way for the next generation of creatives.

This year’s honorees include Jay Francis, Vice President, Current Series, Diversity and Inclusion at Disney Television Animation with the Trailblazer Award; Mounia Aram, Founder & President of Mounia Aram Company with Cultural Innovator Award, and Craig of the Creek storyboard artist Tiffany Ford with the Next Gen Award. Additional honorees are Dan Haskett, Veteran Animator who will receive Lifetime Achievement Award; International Award recipient Thandiwe Mlauli, Founder & CEO of Studio Yezi ; and Laurence Ralph, Independent Filmmaker and Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University who will receive the Social Impact Spotlight Award.

“Following last year’s success, we wanted to continue to honor and acknowledge Black legends in animation,” reflected BWA Studios founder and CEO Taylor K. Shaw and founding and managing partner JLove Calderón. “That’s where this year’s theme stems from; as Black folx continue to play an incredible role in the animation industry, it creates space for generations to come. We want to keep celebrating this through our Black in Animation Awards Ceremony while also giving audiences firsthand access to tools in which they too can excel in our industry during our Boot Camp event.”

The awards ceremony will follow the fourth annual BWA Studios Boot Camp event on November 14, 2021 at 5 p.m. PST. Attendees can watch the show virtually and must register at the official website.


The fourth annual BWA Studios Boot Camp is a free, two-day virtual event running from November 13-14, 2021. It includes intensive workshops and insightful panels featuring industry experts and animation gurus from Cartoon Network Studios; Nickelodeon; Netflix; Titmouse; Inspire Justice; Disney TVA; Illumination; 9 Story; Pixar; Wayfarer; Belong and MTV Studios.

Black Women Animate, also known as BWA, was founded by Shaw in collaboration with Calderón, is an animation house that creates and produces programming for broadcast, cable, streaming networks, digital platforms, and live events. As a black female-owned studio, the organization aims to create content and offer production-related services to other studios and companies within the animation industry.