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Bryan Munguia

RespectAbility’s Hollywood Inclusion Fellow and Summer Lab Program Intern

RespectAbility fellow Bryan Munguia smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner

Bryan Munguia

Bryan Munguia first joined RespectAbility as a Communications and Diversity in Film & Television Fellow in the National Leadership Program at Respectability in Spring 2018. Now, he is a rising senior in college pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communication at Pepperdine University. Being a son of Mexican immigrants and a first-generation college student, he has become deeply invested in the variety of issues that minorities face in our society.

As a child growing up in Simi Valley, California, which is only a highly congested freeway ride to the hub of Los Angeles, he became passionate about professional acting and went through cycles of extensive acting workshops and talent agencies. Like many other LA rookie actors, the industry was simply not opening the door for him when it came to work.

Munguia’s passion for the entertainment industry then shifted to behind the camera in the business sector, and he soon started interning for a local talent agency that represented a variety of professional talent. This was the first internship that provided a hands-on experience in the casting process of television and film projects. He soon realized that the industry was not as glamorous as he thought because he had a closer look at the alarming lack of diversity that exists in the entertainment industry.

Leaving that internship, Munguia knew from that day forth that he would invest his own energy and time into changing Hollywood and bringing in the necessary diversity that can break many negative stereotypes in society. He hopes to achieve Hollywood diversity by effectively communicating with entertainment leaders and creating an inclusive working environment for talented minorities with disabilities.

Meet the Author

Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the VP, Communications and Entertainment & News Media, of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so all people with disabilities can fully participate in every aspect of community. As an individual with an acquired nonvisible disability – Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy – she works at the intersection of disability, employment, Hollywood and politics. She regularly conducts trainings on the why and how to be more inclusive and accessible for entertainment executives throughout the industry. Appelbaum partners with studios, production companies and writers’ rooms to create equitable and accessible opportunities to increase the number of people with lived disability experience throughout the overall story-telling process. These initiatives increase diverse and authentic representation of disabled people on screen, leading to systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities. She has consulted on more than 100 TV episodes and films with A&E, Bunim-Murray Productions, NBCUniversal, Netflix, ViacomCBS, and The Walt Disney Company, among others. She represents RespectAbility on the CAA Full Story Initiative Advisory Council, Disney+ Content Advisory Council, MTV Entertainment Group Culture Code and Sundance Institute’s Allied Organization Initiative. She is the author of The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit and the creator of an innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working in development, production and post-production. She is a recipient of the 2020 Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award for this Lab. To reach her, email [email protected]

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