Disney Establishes Howard University Fund To Aid Black Storytellers

Disney Establishes Howard University Fund To Aid Black Storytellers

The Disney Storytellers Fund at Howard University is a multi-year initiative that the firm unveiled on Sunday, 3rd July 2022.

To increase possibilities for minority students in media and entertainment, Disney and Howard University have joined.

The Walt Disney Company made the announcement about the Disney Storytellers Fund at Howard University on Sunday at the Essence Festival of Culture.

According to the corporation, a multi-year program will offer stipends for student projects centered on narrative in animation, digital design, gaming, journalism, live action, performing arts, product design, visual design, virtual reality, and more over a five-year period.

Disney says it will give students in the program access to speakers, mentors, and internships in order to help ignite interest in the subjects necessary to develop skills for a future career in storytelling. Disney is also financing a new creative collaborative space at the institution.

“Across Disney’s brands, we are working to amplify underrepresented voices and untold stories,” says Jennifer Cohen, evp of corporate social responsibility. “The Storytellers Fund at Howard will help us support students and the innovation and creativity that the university has cultivated for more than 150 years. We are excited to help the next generation of Black storytellers bring their ideas to life.”

In addition to the statement, Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts Dean Phylicia Rashad further stated, “Our students at the College of Fine Arts find their creative expression in many ways — in the performing arts, in animation, in the design of the products that we use in life. The The Storytellers Fund is a great support for our emerging artists as they explore and develop their potential within and across disciplines.”

In order to enhance access to jobs in storytelling and innovation for those who have historically been underrepresented, the initiative is a part of it’s social investments and collaborations, which also include school-age STEM programs.

It also unveiled the name, arrival date, and further information about its revamped Splash Mountain rollercoaster, which had been attacked for its racist portrayals, at the Essence festival on Friday. In late 2024, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the reimagined attraction, will open in Magic Kingdom and Disneyland in Disney World.

The company has recently come under fire for failing to respond to Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill. 

Florida eventually voted to remove Disney’s special tax district, though the final outcome of that bill is unknown.

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