From The Preacher’s Wife to The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, actor Courtney B. Vance is known for bringing memorable roles to life on the big screen and television. The Detroit native—who has been in the entertainment industry for over 30 years—recently hit a major career milestone. According to Deadline, Vance was named president of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.
The organization focuses on providing educational resources for artists. It is dedicated to supporting individuals who are pursuing all forms of performing arts including actors, dancers, and other artists. The SAG-AFTRA Foundation also runs a children’s literacy program as an avenue to empower youth through storytelling. Vance’s appointment was made official at the foundation’s 4th Annual Patron of the Artists Awards which took place on November 7 at Los Angeles’ Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Vance will lead the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s newly minted Entertainment Industry Council which was designed to provide support for artists throughout their careers. He succeeds JoBeth Williams who has been at the helm of the foundation for a decade. He’s excited to take on the role.
“The SAG-AFTRA Foundation is a vital organization and it is a privilege to shine a light on it in my new role as President. My parents raised us to be helpers and just as there are no small roles, there are no small jobs. This is an opportunity to help people and educate artists who are the backbone of our industry,” Vance said in a statement. “JoBeth set a high bar and I look forward to building upon her legacy with our new Entertainment Industry Council and our Actors’ Council. Together, we will raise increased funding for our assistance and scholarship funds, and continue creating more robust, free programs for our artists. I can’t wait to get started.”
His appointment comes at a time where there is a major need for diversity within non-profit organizations. Research shows that African Americans remain underrepresented in leadership positions within that sector.