(Photo Credit: Erik Umphery for the Blackhouse Foundation; Pictured from left: Judge Victoria Pratt, Karl Mcdonnell, Winner Donald Dankwa Brooks, Nicole Cattell, Aaliyah Williams, Brickson Diamond)
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The Blackhouse Foundation and Strayer University Name Donald Dankwa Brooks Winner of Scriptwriter Competition to Bring Real Perspectives on Criminal Justice to the Classroom

Park City, Utah, January 25, 2020 – The Blackhouse Foundation just launched yesterday at The Sundance Film Festival 2020 and has already changed 5 lives.

On Friday, after opening with the Inaugural Blackhouse Black Entertainment Critics Kickoff Breakfast, The Blackhouse Foundation joined Strayer Studios forScriptED: Bring Learning to Life, the culmination of a nationwide competition to discover a talented, up-and-coming scriptwriter who can help bring real perspectives to Strayer’s Criminal Justice program. In an exciting and surprising twist, Karl McDonnell, CEO of Strategic Education, Inc. (SEI), the parent company of Strayer University, increased the prize awarded to scriptwriter contest winner Donald Dankwa Brooks from $10,000 to $25,000 and offered the remaining four finalists $10, 000 each.

The Blackhouse also hosted Normalizing Injustice alongside Color of Change, Short Cuts to the Future: Content, and Platform & Black Story 2020 presented by Facebook. In the evening, guests enjoyed a Meet the Filmmakers Party sponsored by WarnerMedia and The Blackhouse Foundation’s own Opening Chill night.

With festivities underway, check out a photo re-cap of select highlights from a day marked by enlightened discussion, unparalleled positivity, endless enthusiasm, and uncontainable energy. Celebrity and notable guests included William Catlett (Charm City Kings), Kendrick Sampson (Miss Juneteenth), Amin Joseph (Snowfall), Lodric D. Collins (Tyler Perry’s The Oval), and Jamal Truelove (Last Man in San Francisco) and more!

On deck for Sunday, January 26, The Blackhouse Foundation will host Thinking Great – Life Beyond Entertainment — a panel addressing how those in the entertainment arena can plan and aspire to look beyond daily struggles and find their power to be agents of change. Featured speakers are political and social activists – Filmmakers Deon and Roxanne Taylor, Producers Baron Jay Littleton and T. Bankole of the Baron Jay Foundation, Seitu Jenel Hart CEO of Will and Jada Smith’s CIE Initiative and Lolita Morrow of Showtime and recent author. Photos by Erik Umphery for The Blackhouse Foundation.

Encouraging full immersion from attendees, The Blackhouse Festival App 2020 is now live. It will include the most updated information regarding programming and events at TheBlackhouse during Sundance; registration is now open.

For 2020, The Blackhouse Foundation graciously welcomes Facebook as the Presenting Sponsor and Strayer University and WarnerMedia as Premier Sponsors, in addition to sponsors OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network,, BET Networks, Color of Change, Paramount, Universal Pictures, Planned Parenthood, STARZ, Mississippi Film Office, and Hidden Empire Film Group.

The Blackhouse Foundation stands out as a bastion for the most influential and impactful Black writers, directors, producers, crew, actors and actresses throughout film, television, digital media, and beyond. It continues to elevate such talent into the spotlight on a global scale via engagements at Sundance.

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