ARRAY Founder Ava DuVernay has announced the appointment of the film collective’s new president: Tilane Jones.

Jones has risen through the ranks of the company since it first launched in 2010–starting as an office assistant–and brings more than a decade of experience in the film and non-profit spaces to the newly-created position, according to a press release.

Her duties will include leading Array Alliance, the non-profit dedicated to social impact and education, as well as The Array Creative Campus, a three-building compound for production and public programming focused on marginalized filmmakers. She will also continue overseeing her work with Array Releasing, the company’s film distribution arm.

“Tilane’s contribution to ARRAY over the past decade has been monumental. In Tilane, we have a dynamic, highly-skilled leader with deep experience and commitment to our mission,” said DuVernay. “As ARRAY embarks on our new era of growth and evolution, I’m overjoyed to continue to work side by side with such a terrific executive and an even better human being.”

Often described as DuVernay’s “right hand woman,”  Jones told ESSENCE that working with DuVernay has taught her to forget waiting on people to get started.

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“I think the biggest lesson that I’ve learned is to do the work. We can’t wait for other people to do that work,” Jones said. “I believe in one of the most famous lines that she has is about building your own door, building your own house and walking through that door. You just can’t take the first ‘no.’ There’s always a way to find your way around it, and sometimes that does take building it on your own.”

Congratulations!

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