Meeting Emmy-Nominated Keivonn Woodard and Stacy Spikes at FutureCast


Our Inclusive Intern, Tahlaiya, recently had the opportunity to attend FutureCast 2023! FutureCast is an innovative and interactive experience that unites diverse thought leaders from around the world to showcase and strategize social impact solutions. At this inspiring event, Tahlaiya had the honor of meeting Keivonn Woodard, an Emmy-nominated Deaf Actor, and Stacy Spikes, the co-founder and CEO of MoviePass.

Inclusive Communication Services (ICS) proudly sponsored FutureCast, offering ASL interpretation services for attendees. We were thrilled to have Tahlaiya join our Inclusive Team in person, and in this blog article, she shares her remarkable experience.

The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion 

Reflecting on her experience at the FutureCast event, Tahlaiya observed the profound themes of diversity and inclusion. The event emphasized the significance of networking, creating safe spaces for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities, and ensuring access to different languages, including signed languages. In an email, Tahlaiya shared her thoughts, stating, “I’ve realized that perseverance can take you incredibly far in life.”

People Speaking at the FutureCast event
Photo Credit: Inclusive Team

‘Black Founder’ Book Signing and Discussion 

Tahlaiya particularly enjoyed the fireside chat with Stacy Spikes, the author of ‘Black Founder,’ and even received a signed copy of his book. She shared her excitement, saying, “Meeting Stacy Spikes at the book signing was an incredible experience. I had the chance to chat with him about the powerful affirmations that resonated with me when I heard his journey, especially about creating spaces for BIPOC communities to thrive and persevere. His story is a testament to the fact that failure is a critical part of success. The affirmation I will carry with me is: ‘Dream bigger and bang on the door with authority!'”

At the FutureCast event holding the book on Black Founder by Stacy Spikes
Photo Credit: Inclusive Team

Meeting the CEO of Woman-Owned Business ICS 

Tahlaiya had the opportunity to meet Inclusive Communication Services’ co-founder and CEO, Shelby Edwards, in person for the first time. She said, “I was so excited to meet Shelby in person after only knowing her virtually since the beginning of my internship. Shelby immediately made me feel comfortable, and I learned a lot from watching her coordinate and network at the event! My favorite moment was when Shelby presented the inaugural Trailblazer Award to Subaru for their ‘A Beautiful Silence’ commercial.

ICS filmed a special video in American Sign Langauge (ASL) congratulating Subaru and actors Keivonn Woodard, DeMark Thompson, the National Park Foundation, and agency partner Carmicheal Lynch. It was cool to see ICS and Subaru share the same mission: to help ensure access for all.”

Speaking at the FutureCast event.
Photo Credit: Sheldon Bolter

Spotlight on Keivonn Woodard: The first Black Deaf Actor to be nominated for an Emmy Award

When asked about the highlight of the FutureCast event, Tahlaiya shared that meeting Keivonn Woodard, the second youngest Emmy-nominee, was a dream come true for her. Keivonn is also the first Black Deaf actor and the second Deaf actor (after Marlee Matlin) to be nominated for an Emmy award.

Tahlaiya is a fan of the HBO TV series, The Last Of Us, where she was first introduced to the actor. She remarked, “Although Keivonn was busy with interviews and photos, I had a brief conversation with him and his lovely family. I couldn’t help but compliment his mom on her amazing earrings, which perfectly matched her outfit. She mentioned they were from a Black Woman-Owned business in Maryland, which was pretty cool! Keivonn’s family’s support and pride for him were so heartwarming. I know he has a bright career ahead of him!”

FutureCast SheldonBotlerPhotography 1 1 1
Photo Credit: Sheldon Bolter

Make Your Next Event Inclusive

Inclusive Communication Services is enthusiastically rooting for Keivonn Woodard at the upcoming Emmy Awards, scheduled for January 15, 2024! Our Inclusive Team is committed to making award ceremonies, conferences, and events accessible so that all diverse audiences are included. If you have any questions about our accessibility services, please don’t hesitate to schedule a no-commitment consultation with us.

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