JWDLS: Issa Rae

You’re invited to attend the 2013-2014 John W. Davison Lecture Series featuring Issa Rae, CEO and Film Producer, at 6 p.m., Wednesday, September 18, 2013 in the C. W. Pettigrew Center. The event is free and open to the public. For more details, please call the Office of Development, (478) 825-6959.

Issa Rae, the multitalented CEO and Owner of Issa Rae Productions, is a pioneer in the fight against the narrow, mainstream portrayal of people of color in the media. With a dedicated and passionate team, and supportive fan base, Issa Rae Productions lends a voice to a demographic that largely goes unheard. The wide-spread success of Issa Rae’s webseries, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, has unanimously placed Issa Rae at the forefront of the digital web revolution.

She received her B.A. from Stanford University, where she produced and directed four theatrical productions, including two stage adaptations of Spike Lee films. Because film was her true passion, she took time off from Stanford to attend the New York Film Academy where she honed her filmmaking skills. Upon graduating, Issa Rae continued to follow her passion, working on various music videos, shorts and a range of successful web series.

With her own unique flare and infectious sense of humor, Issa Rae has garnered over 20 million views between her various web series, and just short of 125,000 faithful subscribers on YouTube – with no plans of slowing down. Issa Rae Productions continues to be a growing, digital media phenomenon, catching the attention of major media outlets such as The New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR), The Washington Post, CNN, and naturally, widely across the digital blogosphere.

As a Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient, Root 100 Most Influential Person and winner of the 2012 Shorty Award for Best Web Show for ABG, Issa Rae has built up a following of eager and loyal fans that helped herKickstarter.com campaign become a huge success. In July 2011 Issa Rae and her production team nearly doubled their goal of $30,000 in just 30 days.

After only one season, in early 2012, Issa Rae and ABG caught the attention of renowned artist and tastemaker, Pharrell Williams. Pharrell, who immediately saw eye-to-eye with Issa’s distinctive vision, invited the highly anticipated ABG Season 2 to air on his new Google Channel, “i am OTHER” in Summer 2012. In Fall 2012, Rae had the opportunity to work with Shonda Rhimes and ABC Studios to develop a half-hour comedy series called, “I Hate L.A. Dudes.” Rae is currently working with Tracey Edmonds and AlrightTV to release a musical web series called, “The Choir.” She has several award winning web series on her YouTube channel, most notably Fly Guys present The ‘F’ Word, a vlog series entitled Ratchetpiece Theatre and a collaboration with Black&SexyTV called “Roomieloverfriends.” Rae will executive produce and write a slew of web series in 2013. Rae is signed with UTA and 3 Arts Entertainment and is currently slated to release a book of essays with Simon & Schuster in 2014.