Director Ava DuVernay has used her artistry as a vessel to shine a light on societal issues in an effort to evoke change. Amid the unrest following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, DuVernay is furthering her mission with the launch of an initiative focused on addressing police brutality, The Hollywood Reporter reported.
DuVernay’s new project—dubbed the Law Enforcement Accountability Project (LEAP)—was designed to amplify narratives surrounding inhumane and unlawful treatment practiced by police officials. The fund will support storytelling projects that capture injustice through different mediums including theater, film, music, art and literature. DuVernay hopes to support 25 projects over the span of two years through the LEAP initiative.
“LEAP is specifically looking at storytelling through the lens of police accountability,” she told the news outlet. “There is a lack of accountability happening at police departments, police unions and in the courts, a lack of laws on the books that really protect citizens from officers who have a certain number of grievances. The idea is that if the courts won’t do it, if the police unions won’t do it, if the departments won’t do it, then people can do it.”
DuVernay has been dedicated to ensuring that stories about disenfranchised communities are brought to the forefront. Through her company’s philanthropic arm ARRAY Alliance, she launched a $250,000 fund for organizations and creatives who are telling powerful stories about underrepresented communities. “Establishing ARRAY Grants furthers ARRAY’s mission to support arts advocates around the country that are cultural necessities in their communities. With more content from creators of color and women being made, it’s crucial to support the organizations that nurture and nourish these voices,” said ARRAY Alliance Executive Director Regina Miller in a statement.
DuVernay was recently appointed to represent the directors branch for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors.