Issa Rae’s Color Creative, Reza Aslan’s BoomGen Studios Receive Pop Culture Collaborative Grants

By Sameer Rao Jan 17, 2018

The Pop Culture Collaborative announced today (January 17) that organizations and projects run by the likes of auteur Issa Rae ("Insecure") and scholar Reza Aslan are part of its 2018 class of grantees. 

The collaborative’s website describes it as a "hub for high impact partnerships and grants, designed to help organizations and individuals leverage the reach and power of pop culture for social justice goals." To that end, the organization and several philanthropic partners support the grant program with a five-year, $25 million fund. Deadline reports that the annual grants, which started in 2016, are specifically awarded to organizations and individuals that challenge media racism by promoting "authentic narratives" about people of color. 

Per Pop Culture Collaborative, here are a few of this year’s grantees:

  • Color Creative, an organization created by Rae and producer Deniese Davis ("Tlaloc") as a pipeline for people of color and women of various backgrounds to develop television and film projects, will receive $200,000 over two years to expand its talent-channeling initiatives. 
  • BoomGen Studios, cofounded by Aslan and producer Mahyad Tousi ("Of Kings and Prophets") as an incubator for content about Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian peoples. The grant will provide the organization with $75,000 over the course of a year to create professional development programs for Muslims, immigrants and other creators of color in Hollywood.
  • Secret Identities Universe, a forthcoming comic and graphic novel series created by culture critic Jeff Yang to tell stories about Asian American and other immigrant diaspora superheroes, will receive $50,000 to develop the comic universe and related properties for television and film.

Read the full list of grantees at