The Walt Disney Company has joined Propel, a groundbreaking education hub for HBCUs, as the arts, media, entertainment, and hospitality lead sponsor, it was announced today during the 2022 HBCU Philanthropy Symposium. Disney will collaborate with Propel to increase the chances for historically marginalized students to pursue careers as inventors and storytellers in the future.
Propel is a cutting-edge learning center with a focus on career readiness for the HBCU community. Propel will offer a range of career services and top-notch educational opportunities through its network of HBCUs, both in-person and through a cutting-edge online digital platform that will be available to all HBCU students situated anywhere in America.
“The Propel Center is a bold and transformational initiative impacting the entire HBCU ecosystem,” said Waymond Jackson, CEO of Education Farm. “Through cutting-edge curriculum, innovative technology, trending thought leadership, and other opportunities like the ones this exciting new Disney collaboration presents, Propel aims to positively influence how HBCU scholars see and experience the world. By equipping them with the resources, training, and tools they need to become leaders who advance equity, transform the talent pipeline, and tell their stories, we are ensuring that they are prepared to fill and create the jobs of the future.”
Disney will collaborate with HBCU academics and other business titans to develop curricula that will educate students for employment in the arts, media, entertainment, and hospitality. Along with supporting the curriculum, the company will host a number of guest speakers to show students the variety of opportunities available to them. Additionally, the company will offer significant career support by matching students with Disney mentors and internship placements to help them get ready for careers in the entertainment and technology industries.
The initial curriculum will concentrate on the industries of technology and hospitality, both of which offer plenty of entry-level job opportunities at Disney. The goal is to build a link between the academic instruction students get and the employment opportunities in the business.
“At Disney, we know that technology and hospitality play a huge role in telling great stories and creating seamless consumer experiences. We want to give HBCU students the opportunity to build the skills necessary in these areas to help them succeed in their careers,” said Jennifer Cohen, executive vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility, The Walt Disney Company. “With the help of Propel’s network and expertise, we hope to reach more students and empower them with the experience and confidence to push storytelling forward.”
This collaboration with Propel is part of the Disney Future Storytellers initiative. Through social investments and collaborations such as these, Disney is increasing access to careers in storytelling and innovation for those who have been historically underrepresented. From arts and STEM programs for school-age children to scholarships, storytelling, and technical skills-building programs for teens and young adults, Disney is helping today’s youth to pursue their dreams, build their talents and skills, and become who they imagine they can be.
Using an enterprise-wide HBCU Engagement Task Force, The Walt Disney Company is stepping up its collaboration with HBCUs to create a strong, long-term pipeline of Black talent in addition to the Disney Future Storytellers project. Disney also started Disney on the Yard in 2020 as a multidimensional effort to strengthen the Company’s connections with HBCUs.