MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition, MAAC, is an organization in Hollywood that works to advance Middle Eastern North African and South Asian creatives in the business. We are committed to not only advancing MENA-SA talent throughout all disciplines of entertainment, but also to changing the conversation around the narratives we are a part of.
MAAC began in 2015, when we began to lobby SAG-AFTRA for a Diversity Equity and Inclusion category. We discovered the US Census was testing a MENA category and used that data, along with discussions with various educators and community members on the various definitions of *MENA and *MENA-SA, and worked with a team of actors to successfully build MENA as its own DEI designation in the SAG-AFTRA-AMPTP contract in 2017, a landmark achievement which gave thousands of MENA diaspora in entertainment a seat at the table in conversations surrounding diversity, invisibility, and dangerous stereotypes our communities have faced on screen.
The idea for the MAAC Database was born in 2019, after receiving a multitude of inquiries for actors and writers and even crew from MENA-SA background. While MAAC does not work as casting directors, or agents, one of our primary goals is to advance our community of artists and to help them get more opportunities and to help better the stories being told both about us, and fight for inclusion in those that that historically excluded us. We believe this tool will be vital in giving our global community exposure to executives and producers that we normally would not have access to.
Our work is supported by numerous partners, throughout the entertainment industry.
Read More Here: https://variety.com/2021/film/news/database-mena-south-asian-creatives-1235107519/
*We understand the term SWANA is now more inclusive for our communities, and acknowledge that categorizations in large part, are never entirely inclusive. and must consistently evolve. We continue to work with MENA and MENA-SA definitions as it is more widely known globally, and many people are just now accepting our communities as deserving of their own category.