January 21, 2022  •  By Christine Pasalo Norland

The Origin of DiverseToons: Happy Hour Chat

UPDATED MAR 23, 2022: Happy Hour Chat, Episode 3, takes place on IG Live on Tuesday, March 29, at 1 p.m. PST (4 p.m. EST). Join us live when you follow @DiverseToons and @HelloBarkada on Instagram!


On Tuesday, January 18, I joined Jade Seaberry of DiverseToons for our first Happy Hour Chat, a monthly Instagram Live series in which we share tips on bringing panels to pop culture conventions. 

Jade came up with the idea for this series after she flew out to San Diego in November 2021 for Comic-Con: Special Edition (CCSE), a show produced by San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC). Prior to CCSE, DiverseToons contributed pre-recorded panels to SDCC's 2021 At-Home series of shows and Comic-Con Museum At Home programming. DiverseToons' contribution to CCSE marked their first in-person appearance at an SDCC show. Their panel "Vision to Reality" featured animation industry professionals Deborah Anderson (@blkwmnanimator), Andre Rodriguez (@dreninety9), SXSW Special Jury Award winner Kelley Kali (@iamkelleykali), and Brian Vincent Rhodes (@brianvincentrhodesart).

Each monthly Happy Hour Chat takes place on Instagram Live and runs about 30 minutes. During that time, Jade and I respond to audience questions as well as prompt each other to share news about our organizations and lessons from our experience coordinating panels. Followers of DiverseToons and Hello Barkada can join the livestream on Instagram from either of our Instagram accounts (@diversetoons, @hellobarkada). Replays of each chat are available on the DiverseToons Instagram video channel.

Co-founded in 2018 by Jade Seaberry and Monique Henry-Hudson, DiverseToons is an educational foundation focused on discussing the importance of diversity in the animation industry. In addition to CCSE and the Comic-Con suite of virtual shows, DiverseToons has appeared at Blerd City Con and Black Web Festival, as well as hosted panels for The Mill, New York's Made in NY program, and the School of Visual Arts (SVA). They also provide original programming on YouTube and Instagram.

The Happy Hour Chat Instagram Live series continues DiverseToons' goal of offering our communities insight and resources for navigating our careers and collectively growing our networks. It also serves DiverseToons' and Hello Barkada's mutual goal of positioning our communities to develop spaces that center our stories and perspectives.

For a synopsis of each episode to date, visit the "DiverseToons: Happy Hour Chats" page.


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