Panel- Inside Acting- A Brother's Perspective. Hosted by- Barley Evens with guest Omari Hardwick, Christian Keyes, Laz Alonso, Brian J. White, and Jason George Panel: Inside Acting: A Brother’s Perspective. Hosted by: Barley Evens with guest Omari Hardwick, Christian Keyes, Laz Alonso, Brian J. White, and Jason George.

Over the weekend our LA crew were on location at The Merge Summit 2013 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The event was presented in association with partners RCA Inspiration, Walgreens, BET Music Matters and UPSCALE Magazine. Integrating faith and entertainment, The Merge Summit provides a platform for men and women of faith to interface, learn and partner with leading executives and talent in the entertainment industry.

The Merge Summit is one of the largest events for people of faith and its multifaceted program includes a complete weekend of education, inspiration and entertainment. Nearly 100 of the industry’s top entertainers and executives will lead more than 20 interactive panel discussions, workshops and Master Class sessions, covering music, television, film, creative development, and branding, marketing and new media.

Merge Master Class - Tracey Edmonds, Suzanna de Passee, Brandy, Tracee Ellis Ross Bold, Beautiful & On Purpose. Founders Dr. Holly Carter and Robi Reed join the #MergeSummit Master Class host and panelist: Suzanne de Passe, Tracey Edmonds, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Brandy.

This year, the Summit kicked off its weekend events with Opening Night at The Merge, hosted by actress Kym Whitley of “Raising Whitley” on OWN. The weekend also boasts the Wellness Lounge sponsored by Wellness Interactive Inc. and Walgreens, an Awards Luncheon, and the BET Music Matters Showcase. The Merge Summit concluded with Freedom: The Merge Concert sponsored by RCA Inspiration, featuring Mali Music and “Sunday Best” finalist Jessica Reedy, Gospel rapper Tedashii and Kierra Sheard, star of the hit reality series, “The Sheards” on BET Networks.

Master Class- Bold, Beautiful and On Purpose. Panelist- Tracee Ellis Ross, Tracey Edmonds, and Brandy.
Suzanne de Passe hosted Bold, Beautiful & On Purpose, a session featuring several dynamic women, including media mogul Tracey Edmonds, Tracee Ellis Ross and Brandy.

The 2013 luncheon honorees honoring those bridging the gap between faith and entertainment include Steve Pemberton, Divisional Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer of Walgreens and Pastor Toure Roberts of One Church International in Los Angeles.

Founder Robi Reed and Brandy at The MergeSummit 2013 The Merge Summit Co-Founder Robi Reed and Brandy

We are so excited to announce our fifth year and we celebrate this milestone,” said The Summit Founder & Chair Dr. Holly Carter. “Each year, The Merge Summit has progressed to represent the evolution of the entertainment business while always remaining true to our original purpose. Our desire is to give creative men and women of faith, the opportunity to share their stories, to edify and to give a voice for the gifts and talents in our community.”[/quote]

[quote]”Each year, I grow more excited with anticipation of The Merge. It has proven to be an invaluable source of information for all who attend. I have no doubt this time around will be even greater,” said The Merge Summit Co-Founder & Co-Chair Robi Reed.[/quote]

[quote]”I am so happy and proud to be involved with the Merge Summit again,” says Co-Chair Debra Langford. “This is the one conference where attendees and panelists can be enriched with key business, creative, professional, personal, and spiritual insights on the entertainment business. This is also an experience that people carry with them throughout the year.”[/quote]


Harry Lennix
, Actor (Man of Steel, A Beautiful Soul, The Matrix, The Five Heartbeats)
Issa Rae, Creator/Actress (The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl)
Kwesi Boakye, Teen Actor (Unconditional, Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself)
Ralph Farquhar, Writer/Producer (The Real Hollywood Husbands, Moesha)
Lecrae, Gospel Hip-Hop Recording Artist, Reach Records
Kim Coleman, Casting Director (Enemy of the State, Real Husbands of Hollywood, Peeples)
Ezekiel Lewis, Vice President of A&R, Motown Records
Charlie Jordan Brookins, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, BET Networks
Billy Johnson,Yahoo! Music Senior Editor
Ayo Davis, Vice President of Casting, ABC Entertainment Group
The Playmakers, Comedians, YouTube Superstars
Good Clean Fun, Production Company (Tia & Tamera, Run’s House)

More scenes from The Merge Summit 2013:

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For more info about The Merge Summit visit
Photos: Kristyn Brown and The Merge Summit.