In 1992, in the wake of the Los Angeles riots, commercial and documentary producer Dorothy Thompson became convinced that many of the city’s racial and cultural tensions were caused by the lack of fulfilling job opportunities available to young men and women living in L.A.’s disadvantaged neighborhoods. Specifically, she noted the shortage of employment options that would allow them to make a decent wage, establish themselves in a stable career and support themselves and their children. Further, when she looked around on her own projects, she saw no one of color on any of her crews.
Confident she could make a difference, Thompson began by personally training several young people as Production Assistants (P.A.'s), securing work for them on commercials with the production companies with whom she had worked over the years. Slowly but surely, other companies with a commitment to diversity came forward, including those producing movie and television projects, while more trainees were found for the steadily increasing amount of jobs. In answer to the growing numbers of eager students and willing employers, Streetlights was born.
Streetlights mission is to assist talented and motivated young adult minorities, many economically and socially disadvantaged, to achieve long term economic stability and career success.
To accomplish true diversity in the Entertainment Industry, we believe that a minority talent pool must be created to provide companies with ethnically diverse crew members from a range of job categories – from Gaffer to Grip, from Production Assistant to Producer. To that end, Streetlights breaks them into this creative and well-paying business through entry-level Production Assistant Training.
As a Job Training, Job Placement and Career Advancement organization, our ultimate goal is to assist our graduates in advancing from entry level Production Assistant to management track positions and Union crews—and ultimately into the behind-the-camera fields which interest them and for which they show aptitude.
Awards & Recognition
ADCOLOR AWARDS – PRESENTED BY CNN
MVP Award – Most Valuable Partnership
Streetlights and Saatchi & Saatchi
BANK OF AMERICA
Community Catalyst Award
FREEMAN, FREEMAN & SMILEY
Northern Trust Bank Award
HOLLYWOOD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Woman of Achievement Award
THE IMAGEN FOUNDATION
LOS ANGELES BUSINESS JOURNAL
Humanitarian of the Year
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition
WOMEN LAWYER'S ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES