NNPA Newswire

Halle Bailey
Halle Bailey

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (NNPA) – The Little Mermaid is taking Disney Dreamers Academy “under the sea” this week.

Five-time Grammy-nominated singer Halle Bailey, who will play the lead role of Ariel in the upcoming live-action remake of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” is the Disney Dreamers Academy celebrity ambassador for this year’s event at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Bailey is one of several Hollywood stars participating in the annual mentoring program by Walt Disney World Resort that brings 100 students from around the country for an immersive career-inspiring weekend at The Most Magical Place on Earth. Some of the other celebrities include R&B singing sensation H.E.R., plus actors Marsai Martin (ABC show “black-ish”), and Jalyn Hall (feature film “Till”).

As the celebrity ambassador, Bailey headlines the list of celebrities and will be a mentor and advocate during the Thursday through Sunday event, which is designed by Walt Disney World Resort to broaden career awareness and create exclusive enrichment opportunities for high school students from diverse communities around the country.

Bailey will share personal insights with the students, drawing from her own unique experiences, like playing the title character in the “The Little Mermaid.” In addition to her role as Ariel, she has starred in television shows and movies such as “Grown-ish,” “Let It Shine,” and “Last Holiday.”

“If it wasn’t for my mentors, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Bailey said. “I’m excited to work with these students and be a mentor for them as they find their passions in life.”

Here are details about the other key celebrity participants:

  • H.E.R., singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who is one of the fastest rising young stars in R&B music. Winner of an Academy Award, an Emmy and five Grammys, she has also recently launched her acting career, starring as Belle in the recent ABC special Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration. She will join the all-star cast of “The Color Purple” musical film adaptation as “Squeak” later this year.
  • Marsai Martin, best known for her role as Diane Johnson on the ABC sitcom “black-ish.” Martin also starred in the 2019 comedy film “Little,” which she also produced, making her the youngest person ever to produce a studio film. Time Magazine named Martin on its “Time 100 Next.”
  • Jalyn Hall, an actor who had a breakout performance as Emmett Till in the 2022 biographical film “Till.”
  • Dominique Thorne, an up-and-coming actress, who recently starred as Riri Williams in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s feature film “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Up next is her TV series “Ironheart” on Disney+.
  • Priah Ferguson, who played scene-stealing little sister Erica Sinclair on Netflix’s series “Stranger Things.”

The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), known as the Black Press of America, is the federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers in the United States.