Mara Brock Akil

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  • Trailblazing Screenwriter and Television Producer behind "Girlfriends" and "The Game"


Groundbreaking Hollywood visionary and power player Mara Brock Akil has written and produced nearly 400 episodes of television, truly leaving her mark on the industry. A trailblazer in many ways, Akil created the seminal television series Girlfriends-- a witty, intelligent and honest exploration of the many facets of black womanhood. Additionally, Akil developed the spin-off series The Game, which became the most-watched scripted-series premiere ever on ad- supported cable. The series continued on for a total of 9 seasons, earning praise throughout its run for its verisimilitude and, during the reality television boom, as one of the few shows on television that felt truly specific to its moment. Akil is also the creative force behind BET’s Being Mary Jane, which further cemented her ability to tell powerful and engaging stories that speak to women through honest, true-to-life reflections, The CW’s Black Lightning, and OWN’s Love Is___. 

A regular on the Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Power100, Akil is a leader in her field. She's been honored with the prestigious Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award; Essence magazine’s Visionary Award; named to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter’s Showrunner Power Lists; and been inducted into Northwestern’s Medill Hall of Achievement.  

A passionate, dynamic, and empowering speaker Akil has been sought-out to speak everywhere from Google to The Wing. She shares remarks on self growth and love, finding the power to be bold, loving life at every age, and breaking barriers in all facets of life. 

 

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Rave Reviews About Mara Brock Akil
During her time at GW, Mrs. Akil brought her bright perspective on navigating professional and personal life after college. Further, Ms. Akil offered invaluable advice on finding your true calling telling the audience, 'If you are unsure and uncomfortable for what is supposed to come, then you are in the right place and the right movement.' This inspiring event was a huge success for The Mu Beta Chapter and the larger GW community thanks to Mrs. Akil’s moving words.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Mara Brock Akil
  • Google
  • George Washington University
  • The Wing
  • Chicago Ideas Week
  • ADCOLOR Conference
  • Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit
In Conversation: Creating Leading Women | ADCOLOR [42:19] - Get Sharable Link
Explore Mara Brock Akil 's Talks
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Bump Into Yourself and Learn

Trailblazing screenwriter and TV producer Mara Brock Akil shares empowering advice based on her own motto: "bump into yourself and learn." Grounded in the idea of finding the courage and confidence to be bold, and be your independent self, Akil highlights ways in which we can shift our mindsets in o ...

Trailblazing screenwriter and TV producer Mara Brock Akil shares empowering advice based on her own motto: "bump into yourself and learn." Grounded in the idea of finding the courage and confidence to be bold, and be your independent self, Akil highlights ways in which we can shift our mindsets in order to keep building and broadening our personal and professional lives. From the importance of self love, to embracing risk, to the beauty of being selfish, Akil's remarks leave audiences inspired and ready to grow. 

Breaking Barriers and Empowering Others

Mara Brock Akil revolutionized television by creating a black space for entertainment. In these illuminating and powerful remarks, she offers valuable insight into creating diverse and inclusive spaces where every community-member feels empowered to be their authentic selves. Shedding light on how s ...

Mara Brock Akil revolutionized television by creating a black space for entertainment. In these illuminating and powerful remarks, she offers valuable insight into creating diverse and inclusive spaces where every community-member feels empowered to be their authentic selves. Shedding light on how she's broken barriers in Hollywood and leveraged her platform to empower women globally, Akil's remarks balance bold inspiration and actionable lessons that leave audiences ready to speak up and make change. 

50 is Fly: Fighting Ageism and Loving Life at Every Age

As any of her hundreds of thousands of followers can attest to, Mara Brock Akil is a powerful believer in embracing and loving life at every age. Having spearheaded the social media movement "50 is Fly," Akil opens up about fighting ageism and society's notion that women "dissappear" after a certain ...

As any of her hundreds of thousands of followers can attest to, Mara Brock Akil is a powerful believer in embracing and loving life at every age. Having spearheaded the social media movement "50 is Fly," Akil opens up about fighting ageism and society's notion that women "dissappear" after a certain age. She shares eye-opening remarks on the impact of women of every generation, and how to change the conversation around aging both on and off the screen. 

Turning Trauma into Growth

In these candid and inspiring remarks, trailblazing screenwriter and TV producer Mara Brock Akil opens up about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child and the complicated road to recovery. Having worked to overcome her past trauma her whole life, Akil shares bold inspiration on how to find strengt ...

In these candid and inspiring remarks, trailblazing screenwriter and TV producer Mara Brock Akil opens up about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child and the complicated road to recovery. Having worked to overcome her past trauma her whole life, Akil shares bold inspiration on how to find strength in pain, and opportunities for growth even amid tremendous obstacles. 

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Biography

Mara Brock Akil has written and produced nearly 400 episodes of television, truly leaving her mark on Hollywood. Groundbreaking in many ways, Akil created the seminal television series Girlfriends in 2000. The series was a witty, intelligent and honest exploration of the many facets of black womanhood. During its 8-season stint on air, it was one of the highest-rated scripted shows among African-Americans ages 18-34. Additionally, Akil developed the spin-off series The Game, which premiered in 2006 as a quick fan-favorite as well. In fact, loyal fans of The Game rallied behind the series upon its cancellation in what was then an unprecedented way, taking to social media to launch a campaign to save the series. Taking notice, BET stepped up and struck a deal to renew the series and develop additional episodes. When season 4 of The Game premiered on BET in 2011, the series exceeded all expectations drawing in 7.7 million viewers, becoming the most-watched scripted-series premiere ever on ad- supported cable. The series continued on for a total of 9 seasons, earning praise throughout its run for its verisimilitude and, during the reality television boom, was one of the few shows on television that felt truly specific to its moment.

In 2013, Akil developed her first one-hour drama, BET’s Being Mary Jane, further cementing her ability to tell powerful and engaging stories that speak to women through honest, true-to-life reflections. Unquestionably, Akil’s work put BET scripted series on the map for the first time ever with back-to-back hits gleaning such large audiences. Akil has continued that legacy and passion through her most recent projects, including The CW’s Black Lightning and OWN’s Love Is__.

Beyond her work as a writer and producer, her peers have consistently recognized Akil as a leader in the industry. In 2019, Akil was honored with the prestigious Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award by NATPE for exhibiting extraordinary passion, leadership, independence and vision through her work, as well as for her contributions to the medium of television as a content creator. In 2017, she was inducted into Northwestern’s Medill Hall of Achievement and received the distinguished Northwestern Alumni Medal, the highest honor bestowed unto alumni by the Northwestern Alumni Association. She garnered both of these awards from her alma mater within the same year. Some of her prior accolades include Essence magazine’s Visionary Award during their annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, being named to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter’s Showrunner Power Lists, as well as The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power100, multiple times.