Eastern Diversity Steering Committee Co-Chairs Elected


August 10, 2017

Directors Alrick Brown and Lee Daniels have been elected as co-chairs of the DGA’s Eastern Diversity Steering Committee (EDSC). They join Associate Director Joyce A. Thomas, who was reelected to her third term in the post.

The EDSC represents the concerns of Guild members of African, Asian, Native American, Arab-Middle Eastern or Latino descent residing in the East. Committed to improving the employment opportunities, working conditions and the skills of ethnically diverse Guild members, the EDSC sponsors workshops, seminars, round-table discussions and networking events to showcase the talents of its members, recognize their contributions, and increase their visibility in the industry.


Born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey, Brown graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in English and a Masters of Education and received his MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He found his medium in film and television after visiting the slave castle of Elmina, in Ghana, during a two-year tour with the Peace Corps in Cote d’Ivoire. He made a commitment to social, political and economic justice and revealing the heart of the world through the craft of storytelling. His filmography includes the feature Kinyarwanda, the documentary Spike Lee's Lil Joints and of the Son: The Legacy of David & Jackie Robinson; an episode of the series Final Witness; and the shorts Why We March, Grace, Us: A Love Story, No Exit and Familiar Fruit. A DGA member since 2011, Brown has also served as an alternate on the Eastern Directors Council.


Since making his feature directorial debut with the action-drama Shadowboxer in 2005, Daniels has continued to make his mark in the industry as a director, writer and producer. His other feature directing credits include The Paperboy and Lee Daniels’ The Butler. His 2009 feature Precious: Based on the Novel by Sapphire, was nominated for six Academy Awards including “Best Motion Picture of the Year” and “Best Achievement in Directing,” and Daniels became the first African-American ever to be nominated for the DGA’s Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film Award. In 2015, Daniels expanded his influence into the world of television by co-creating the mega hit series Empire and followed up with the series, STAR, which premiered in early 2017. Daniels joined the DGA in 2007.


Now entering her third term as EDSC Co-Chair, Joyce Thomas has worked at CBS for more than 30 years, joining the Guild in 1996 as an Associate Director/Technical Director in the Broadcast Operations Department and currently working as an Associate Director/Technical Manager at the network’s Media Distribution Center in New York. Elected to the Eastern AD/SM/PA Council eight times, Thomas is currently in her third term as Council Chair, and has also served as 1st Vice Chairperson, 2nd Vice Chairperson, and Co-Chair of the AD/SM/PA 75th Anniversary Sesame Street event. Thomas has also served as 2nd Alternate to the DGA National Board, and on three Network Agreement Negotiating Committees.