ESSENCE will be celebrating the cinematic achievements of those in Hollywood this year, at the 17th annual ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awardson Thursday, March 7th, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures hosted byMETHOD MAN.
Academy Award-nominated actress & Grammy Award winner,Danielle Brooks
Six-time Grammy-nominated singer and leading actress Halle Bailey
Industry powerhouse and President of Original Programming for STARZ, Kathryn Busby
Acclaimed screenwriter and showrunner of All American, All American: Homecoming and Found, Nkechi Okoro Carroll
Danielle Brooks, an acclaimed actress known for her breakout role as Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson in the hit series “Orange Is the New Black,” continues to captivate audiences with her powerful performances. She currently stars in THE COLOR PURPLE, the Warner Bros. feature film adaption of the distinguished Broadway musical, directed by Blitz Bazawule and produced by Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg. Brooks reprises her iconic role of ‘Sofia’, portraying another powerhouse, memorable performance that has garnered her Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award, SAG Award, BAFTA Film Award, and Academy Award nominations for “Best Supporting Actress”.With her magnetic presence and exceptional talent, Brooks effortlessly brings depth and authenticity to every character she portrays, earning her widespread recognition and critical acclaim in both television and theater. As she navigates through diverse roles and projects, Brooks remains a shining example of resilience, talent, and representation in the entertainment industry.
Halle Bailey, the gifted actress and singer, has swiftly risen to prominence, captivating audiences with her undeniable talent and charisma. Best known for her soulful vocals and dynamic performances as one half of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle, Halle Bailey has now embarked on an exciting solo career. Her upcoming role as Ariel in Disney’s live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid” has generated immense anticipation and excitement, showcasing her versatility and star power. With her magnetic presence and boundless potential, Halle Bailey continues to inspire and enchant audiences worldwide, poised for even greater success in the realms of music and film.
Kathryn Busby is President of Original Programming for STARZ.
Based in the company’s Santa Monica office, Busby is responsible for leading the programming and development team for the global premium streaming platform and delivering on its programming mandate committed to narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences.
Busby previously served as Senior Vice President, Development for Sony Pictures Networks where she developed and produced numerous projects including “Absentia” – the critically acclaimed series that aired on Amazon for three seasons.
She also sits on the Board of Directors of PACE (Philanthropy and Community Engagement) and the Sony Pictures Action Council, which implements the studio’s racial equity and inclusion initiatives. In 2021, she was honored with an I Have Dream award.
Busby is a graduate of Harvard University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in visual and entertainment studies.
Nkechi Okoro Carroll
Nkechi Okoro Carroll is the founder of Rock My Soul Productions and is the creator/executive producer of the Warner Bros. Television (WBTV) drama series Found, which debuted earlier this Fall on NBC. The series was recently renewed for a second season. She is also the executive producer/showrunner of the WBTV dramas All American and All American: Homecoming, which rank as The CW’s #1 and #2 series among key demographics of Adults 18–34 and Adults 18–49.
Prior to her TV writing career, Okoro Carroll worked for the Federal Reserve, where her responsibilities included managing the reserve position for the U.S. banking system and analyzing the impact of monetary policy decisions on the domestic money markets. All of which she did while still writing and producing plays in New York.
She currently resides in Los Angeles.