Hollywood Icon Robert Townsend And Author/Comedian Baratunde Thurston To Take Center Stage At The 27th Annual NAMIC Conference

2013 L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship Program Luncheon To Feature Townsend As Guest Speaker

Thurston To Serve As General Session Keynoter

Sep 20, 2013, 12:18 ET from NAMIC

NEW YORK, Sept. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- NAMIC (National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communication) today announced the latest additions to the list of thought leaders confirmed for the 27th Annual NAMIC Conference. Presented as part of Cable's Diversity Week, the conference is scheduled for October 8-9, 2013 at the New York Marriott Marquis.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20060705/NYW092LOGO )

Multi-hyphenate entertainer Robert Townsend, actor-comedian-writer-director-producer will serve as guest speaker for the 2013 L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship Program Luncheon. With a career in media and entertainment spanning more than 30 years, Townsend has made an indelible mark on the communications industry.  Sponsored by the Walter Kaitz Foundation, the L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship Program luncheon is being presented by NAMIC in partnership with Women in Cable Telecommunications.  Established in 1993, the mentoring program was renamed in 1997 in honor of the late L. Patrick Mellon, a founding member of NAMIC.  Mellon was an ESPN executive and one of the cable industry's most respected mentors. 

Baratunde Thurston, self-proclaimed technology-loving comedian from the future, will deliver a keynote address at the opening general session of the 27th Annual NAMIC Conference.  The New York Times bestselling author of How to Be Black, served as director of digital for the satirical news outlet, The Onion from 2007 to 2012.  With a reported 100,000+ Twitter followers, Thurston, a Harvard alum, is the co-founder, CEO and hash-tagger-in-chief of the comedy/technology start-up, Cultivated Wit.  Additionally, Thurston authors a monthly column for the magazine, Fast Company and serves as a director's fellow with the MIT media lab.           

"NAMIC is excited to present a conference agenda that will inspire attendees to engage in dynamic, forward-thinking dialogue," said Alicin Williamson, interim head of NAMIC and principal, The Raben Group. "We are honored to have Robert Townsend and Baratunde Thurston join our line-up of outstanding thought leaders, innovators and subject-matter experts who represent the industry's evolving multicultural landscape." 

Since its inception, the Annual NAMIC Conference has emerged as the industry's most comprehensive educational forum addressing multi-ethnic diversity and inclusion as a business imperative.  This year's conference will feature three educational tracks focused on Business Solutions, Leadership and Learning and Content and Imagery.  Additionally, the 27th Annual NAMIC Conference will include as highlights the CableFAX Breakfast honoring the "Most Influential Minorities in Cable"; presentation of the 2013 Mickey Leland Humanitarian Achievement Award; presentation of the Excellence in Multi-cultural Marketing Awards; reception for the alumni of the Executive Leadership Development Program and NAMIC Leadership Seminars (attendance by invitation only); and interactive workshops and networking events.

For more information on the 27th Annual NAMIC Conference or for inquiries pertaining to sponsorship, contact Sandra Girado, senior director of Meetings and Events at NAMIC National, 212-594-5985. To access online registration for the Annual NAMIC Conference or for information regarding the L. Patrick Mellon Mentorship Program, visit http://www.namic.com. For more information on Robert Townsend, visit http://www.roberttownsend.com.  For more information regarding Baratunde Thurston, log onto http://baratunde.com.


NAMIC (National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications) is the premier organization focusing on multi-ethnic diversity in the communications industry. Founded in 1980 as a non-profit trade association, today NAMIC comprises 2,200 professionals belonging to a network of 16 chapters nationwide. Through initiatives that focus on education, advocacy and empowerment, NAMIC champions equity and inclusion in the workforce, with special attention given to ensuring that the leadership cadres of our nation's communications industry giants reflect the multi-ethnic richness of the populations they serve. For more information, please visit www.namic.com and stay connected to NAMIC on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Charmaine Chapman    
BTB Communications 
310-882-5498 (office) / 310-902-8617 (cell)