The foundation’s programs include an annual internship program, a media faculty conference and the College Television Awards in addition to its extensive archive of oral histories of TV legends, The Interviews. Longoria and Kirkbride will work alongside foundation chair Cris Abrego and the board to further the group’s work promoting inclusion in the TV industry and providing educational and professional development programs for students with diverse backgrounds.
“We are thrilled to welcome two exceedingly accomplished, inspiring and engaged trailblazers to the foundation’s board,” Abrego said in a release announcing the appointments. “As leaders in their respective fields, their expertise and thought leadership will help drive the Foundation’s initiatives and champion the advancement of aspiring professionals from underrepresented communities to ensure a more inclusive, next-generation television talent pool.”
Longoria has been has been leading the charge of diverse and female representation in the industry since her role on ABC’s Desperate Housewives, both in front of the camera and via her production company UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, which recenlty pacted with ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Group for their First Time Directors program highlighting BIPOC and women filmmakers to produce 50 films across the group’s portfolio of networks and streaming services.
Kirkbride is the Global Director of Content Strategy and Programming at Facebook and its apps including Facebook Watch, Instagram Video and Messenger Watch Together. She previously served as general manager for OTT Entertainment at Verizon Media and was chief content officer for Verizon’s video platform go90, which hosted Kobe Bryant’s Oscar-winning short film Dear Basketball. She also served as Head of Content for Vessel and held several executive roles at YouTube and has authored several articles on the Asian American experience, including an op-ed on the recent events surrounding violence against Asian American communities.