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HFPA hires diversity officer ahead of Golden Globes

Neil Phillips is the new chief diversity officer of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Photo courtesy of Neil Phillips
Neil Phillips is the new chief diversity officer of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Photo courtesy of Neil Phillips

Nov. 3 (UPI) -- The Hollywood Foreign Press Association hired Neil Phillips as chief diversity officer as part of a commitment to increase the diversity of membership, the organization announced Wednesday.

Philips graduated Harvard University and played professional basketball before becoming an administrator at Landon School, his alma mater, in 2002.

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He founded the Visible Men Academy, a Bradenton, Fla., public charter school in 2012 and was CEO until 2021.

As a speaker and entrepreneur, Phillips' credits include an education entrepreneur fellowship at the Aspen Institute and membership in the Echoing Green/Open Society Foundation Black Male Achievement Fellowship.

His talk "Race to Power" with television producer Norman Lear won The Nantucket Project Audience Award. He recently conducted a talk with former President George H.W. Bush.

"I have always believed love is the answer to just about everything," Phillips said in a statement. "And if that makes people uncomfortable, that's okay because discomfort signals an opportunity for growth and discussion."

The HFPA committed to diversifying its membership after receiving criticism for its predominantly White membership. NBC has decided not to air the 2022 Golden Globes ceremony, so the HFPA will make the announcements.

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The HFPA has welcomed 21 new members this year in ongoing efforts.

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