Formerly the Center for Entertainment and Civic Health

Bridge Entertainment Labs names Sandra de Castro Buffington as its Executive Director


LOS ANGELES, June 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Bridge Entertainment Labs (formerly the Center for Entertainment & Civic Health) has named Sandra de Castro Buffington, a leader in social impact entertainment, as its Executive Director. Bridge Entertainment Labs (BEL) is a new resource to the entertainment industry designed to ignite compelling narratives that bridge political and social divides toward a more cohesive and less polarized American society.

As the former Director of Hollywood, Health, and Society at USC’s Norman Lear Center and Founder and former Director of UCLA’s Global Media Center for Social Impact, Sandra is one of Hollywood’s leading experts on harnessing the power of narrative and storytelling to shift social norms and behaviors. Working closely with content creators and entertainment executives within Hollywood and around the world, Sandra’s award winning work has resulted in hundreds of storylines in television and film producing measurable social impact.

Bridge Entertainment Labs (BEL) is designed to ignite compelling narratives that bridge political and social divides.Tweet this

“Bringing Sandra on board is a huge win for Bridge Entertainment Labs,” says Eric Ward, Executive Director of Western States Center and member of the BEL Advisory Council. “Storytelling in TV and film can help dismantle the destructive “us versus them” dynamics that are fueling our current political crisis and tearing the social fabric of our country. BEL is an overdue initiative and Sandra is just the right person to lead it.” Adds Dave Caplan, writer and Executive Producer of ABC’s The Conners and fellow BEL Advisory Council member: “Sandra brings the experience, networks, and know-how to establish BEL as a powerful center of gravity within the entertainment industry. We’re thrilled to have her.”

Eighty-seven percent of Americans believe polarization poses a threat to our country and fifty-nine percent believe entertainment media can help transform partisan conflict and bridge America’s growing divides. “Stories shape society,” says de Castro Buffington, “and right now we need stories that create a new normal around how we perceive and interact with people outside our own ‘tribe.’ Storytelling can dispel the stereotypes Americans have about their partisan others, build empathy, and model productive ways of navigating conflict across our differences.”

Bridge Entertainment Labs (BEL) serves as a resource to the entertainment industry, offering briefings and consultations with academic and practitioner experts, panel discussions, Story Tours, tip sheets, and access to organizations around the country focused on bridging political and cultural divides. BEL also conducts studies of the impact of storylines on audiences. For more information, visit bridgeentertainmentlabs.org