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Renée Lee

Exclusive Video: I. Marlene King, Jordin Sparks & Maia Mitchell Advocate for Female Empowerment at the 2019 Freeform Summit

Along with the many inspiring panels presented at the Freeform Summit, also came an abundance of appearances from some of the biggest names on the network. Held at the Goya Studios in Los Angeles, the event had an open set up and cozy vibes, which made for an amazing night. Her Campus at UCLA had the chance to interview several of our favorite stars throughout the night, and being able to speak with these empowering figures from the entertainment industry in such an intimate setting made for an unforgettable experience.

To the delight of many fans, Freeform just announced the renewal of Good Trouble with a second season, which will premiere on Tuesday, June 18th. We were lucky enough to speak with Maia Mitchell, who plays Callie on the show, and formerly on The Fosters. As one of the panelists at Freeform Summit, she shared about the intentional move made by the creators of Good Trouble to make her an Executive Producer for the very show she stars in: “We just wanted an opportunity to learn with people that we love and trust, so it was a really safe space for us to be in rooms that we weren’t allowed to be in before.” Additionally, being the age of her character enabled Maia to “feel valuable in providing insight of what it is like to actually be 24 and live in Los Angeles.” She was so down-to-earth and sweet, giving hugs and snapping a selfie. Her sweet accent had us admiring her even more. 

Having been a fan of Jordin Sparks ever since she first appeared on American Idol in 2007, to say we were fangirling would be a complete understatement. She was incredibly kind and embraced us with warmth and excitement. We asked her about her thoughts on female empowerment and for advice towards college women who aspire for a career in the entertainment industry. She shared some real insight into what she believes to be the best way to be empowered while following your dreams. Jordin even showed us some photos of her beautiful baby boy on her phone! Meeting a person who has been in the entertainment business for so long, but has still maintained such a humble heart was so encouraging and admirable. Jordin is one of the nicest people we have encountered, and we can’t wait for her upcoming comedy series, Unrelated, which Freeform just began production on!

We also ran into YouTuber, Teala Dunn, and former Dance Moms star, Nia Sioux! The two were gracious and happy to speak with us about female relationships! They both insisted that “girls need to stick together” and that we need more of “women empowering other women.” The ladies also gave us a scoop of their upcoming projects, promising that they each will be releasing more juicy content soon.

A ~Pretty BIG~ highlight of our night was meeting I. Marlene King, the Executive Producer and showrunner of the iconic show, Pretty Little Liars. Having both watched every episode of the 7 season show, we were delighted to get the opportunity to speak with the woman behind the popular television series. She was very friendly and spoke so earnestly about her work and the role of women, not only in the industry, but in everyday life. She also shared about the importance of female empowerment, even giving some details about upcoming episodes of Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists. To kick off the night, Sofia Carson, who plays Ava Jalali in the show, gave us a stunning performance of her song, “Back to Beautiful,” which was proceeded by a graceful and emotional speech about beauty and what being beautiful actually means. 

To see our full interviews with these powerhouse women, make sure to watch the video below! 


Female empowerment is something that Freeform is always looking to encourage. With shows featuring all kinds of female characters, we can’t help but take note of the women at the helm of the network’s storytelling. Lifting up others and empowering the women around you is something that Freeform has done for a long time and will continue to do for years to come. Be sure to check out our recap of the amazing panels from this year’s Freeform Summit for more! 

Renée is an alumna at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and served as the HCUCLA Editor in Chief and one of the Campus Correspondents for the 2019-2020 school year. She is passionate about storytelling and pushing for more Asian American representation in fashion and entertainment. 
Emily is a graduate of UCLA and former Senior Editor of Her Campus at UCLA. During her free time, Emily loves to read, travel and binge-watch episodes of Gilmore Girls. She can be reached at [email protected]
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