Freeform Announces Additional Panelists And Performers For Second Annual ‘Freeform Summit’

Freeform Announces Additional Panelists And Performers For Second Annual ‘Freeform Summit’

March 14, 2019




Freeform announced today additional panelists and performers for the second annual “Freeform Summit,” a network and industrywide event featuring some of the biggest names at the forefront of the network’s 2019 programming slate, to be held in Hollywood on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27.

Joining the roster of previously announced panelists are Luka Sabbat, EJ Johnson, Shaun Ross, Emma Hunton, Kayla Cromer and Dhruv Uday Singh, plus performances by Sofia Carson and Trevor Jackson. A panel breakdown can be found below.

Themed “A Stage for Everyone,” the event will serve as an “UnPageant,” which aims to revolutionize the concept of a beauty pageant and redefine the status quo. Panels will deliver candid conversations focusing on authentic storytelling, inclusion and representation, and emphasize how far young adults have pushed society to reexamine cultural norms. Also contributing to the conversations will be key influencers and tastemakers who have impacted change through their platforms and are helping shape the future of media.

The format of the summit is guided by Freeform’s identity, which continues to set itself apart from other content platforms by delivering stories that celebrate the power, possibility and inclusivity of youth culture—stories that are bold, sophisticated, inspirational, culturally significant and most importantly, on the pulse of young adult life.

Panels will include:

Young Adults Keep Ruining Everything
Moderated by: Nischelle Turner (Correspondent, Entertainment Tonight)
2018 was a big year for young adults. From engaging the world in the “Black Lives Matter” movement to challenging gender norms and diversifying the media business, young adults have made their stake in this world as innovators, thought-leaders and changemakers. Yet their reputation in society still gets overshadowed by a disdain for avocado toast, social media frenzy and accusations of laziness. Well, we can have our toast and eat it too. Despite the jeers of entitlement, today’s young adult continues to reshape every industry by using their platforms and savvy to inspire the fight for representation. Join today’s trailblazers in a conversation about redefining the status quo in television, sexuality, art, fashion and more.

  • Kenya Barris (Executive Producer, “grown-ish,” “black-ish,” “Unrelated”)
  • Luka Sabbat (Star, “grown-ish” and Fashion Influencer)
  • Patrisse Khan-Cullors (Co-founder, Black Lives Matter)
  • Gigi Gorgeous (Advocate and Author)
  • Maia Mitchell (Star and Executive Producer, “Good Trouble”)
  • Katie Stevens (Star, “The Bold Type”)
  • Samantha Fishbein (Co-founder and COO, Betches Media)
  • Hillary Kerr (Chief Content Officer & Co-Founder, Clique Brands)

Why Won’t You Date Me? Attraction Vs. Implicit Bias, On And Off Screen
Moderated By: Tre’vell Anderson (Director of Culture and Entertainment, OUT Magazine)
Black women are more likely than any other demographic to be rejected on a dating app. Meanwhile, Asian men are less than 1 percent of heartthrobs cast on the big screen. Representation for transgender and bisexual relationships is even lower. These dating issues and stereotyped “Prince Charmings” mirror the implicit biases constructed by society. With over 80 percent of rom-coms starring mostly straight, white protagonists and love interests, there’s no doubt that we’ve been culturally conditioned to swoon over “Dawson” and “Pacey” before we ever meet “Aaron” and “Luca.” Join our panel of experts, actors and influencers in a discussion on the importance of diversifying love stories on-screen.

  • Diggy Simmons (Star, “grown-ish”)
  • EJ Johnson (TV Personality and LGBTQ Activist)
  • Shaun Ross (Supermodel, Musical Artist and Dancer)
  • Patrick Starrr (Beauty Guru and YouTube Personality)
  • Billie Lee (Activist and Host)
  • Zuri Adele (Star, “Good Trouble”)
  • Dhruv Uday Singh (Star, “Good Trouble”)
  • Lala Milan (Actress and Comedian)

Be Whoever The FF You Want
Moderated By: Jessica Radloff (West Coast Editor, Glamour)
It’s 2019. Let’s agree to be done with stereotypes and expectations. It’s time to stop dictating how people should act, who they should love and what they should look like when defining their worth. Luckily, these panelists know exactly how to own a stage, command a room and write some badass characters that challenge the status quo. From motivational IG videos to flipping the superhero stereotype on its head, this panel of fearless forces will discuss how we can find the confidence to fight for what we deserve, know our true worth and level the playing field.

  • I. Marlene King (Executive Producer, “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists”)
  • Francia Raisa (Star, “grown-ish”)
  • Nyle DiMarco (Actor, Model and Activist)
  • Aisha Dee (Star, “The Bold Type”)
  • Emma Hunton (Star, “Good Trouble”)
  • Sherry Cola (Star, “Good Trouble”)
  • Aubrey Joseph (Star, “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger”)
  • Leyna Bloom (Model, Actor, Dancer and Activist)

A Stage For Everyone—What ‘The UnPageant’ Means To The Future Of Representation
Moderated By: Sesali Bowen (Senior Entertainment Editor, Nylon)
As today’s young adults lead a rebellion against unrealistic standards of beauty, race, sex, gender exclusion and patriarchy, the days of conventional societal standards which judge people based on their performance of traditional “femininity” are becoming obsolete. With the entry of a new generation of changemakers comes a new and more realistic view of what the world actually looks like—on and off screen. Join the fearless titans of today who are striving for a more inclusive tomorrow through fashion, storytelling and activism.

  • Sasha Pieterse (Star, “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists”)
  • Eliot Laurence (Executive Producer, “Motherland: Fort Salem”)
  • Joanna Johnson (Executive Producer, “Good Trouble”)
  • Josh Thomas (Star, Executive Producer, “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay”)
  • Kayla Cromer (Star, “Everything’s Gonna Be Okay”)
  • Avie Acosta (Model)
  • Geena Rocero (Producer, Model and Advocate)
  • Dexter Mayfield (Performer and Influencer) 

The Freeform Summit will be made accessible and inclusive to people with disabilities through its collaboration with Amplify Entertainment Company, newly formed by Nyle DiMarco and Sami Housman.

View a recap of the 2018 Freeform Summit here.

  • *COPYRIGHT ©2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All photography is copyrighted material and is for editorial use only. Images are not to be archived, altered, duplicated, resold, retransmitted or used for any other purposes without written permission of Freeform. Images are distributed to the press in order to publicize current programming. Any other usage must be licensed. Photos posted for Web use must be at the low resolution of 72dpi, no larger than 2×3 in size.


Freeform Media Relations
Naomi Bulochnikov-Paul
(818) 973-2167

Nick Rodea
(818) 973-2193

Nicole Balgemino
(818) 973-4043

Press materials are available at

Freeform app:
Facebook: @Freeform
Twitter: @FreeformTV
Instagram: @Freeform

— Freeform —