In a concerted effort to bring journalism education to underrepresented groups and to create a more diverse industry, Comcast’s NBCUniversal has announced a partnership with 17 historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and colleges with significant Latino, Asian, Black, Indigenous, and tribal populations with NBCU Academy.
The program is meant to provide students from a wide array of racial and economic backgrounds with various tools to enrich their education. This includes on-campus training, online programs, scholarships, and chances to interact with NBC News reporters, executives, and management.
According to NBCUniversal, they will dedicate $6.5 million to the initiative. Part of this investment includes $3.5 million scholarships that will be distributed over the next two years. They pledged for this academic year to have $250,000 in scholarships.
In a news release Cesar Conde, NBCU News Group Chairman, said that “Creating an inclusive culture for journalism that represents the communities we serve is at the very core of what we do.” He continues “Through NBCU Academy, we have the opportunity to widen our extraordinary legacy by building on-ramps for a talented generation of journalists and storytellers who — for so long — may have been overlooked.”
NBCU Academy is a continuation of NBC University, a training program meant to support young journalists at diverse journalism conferences and conventions. This training program launched nearly a decade ago and has changed the lives of many young journalists.
In an interview with Variety, Conde said “We want to make sure that we give broader people exposure to the impact that journalists can have.” Conde continues “We want to address any challenges, any barriers, whether they be economic, geographical, or in some cases, have to do with access to opportunity and education. This is an industry that is so fast-changing that it is very competitive, not only to get into but to stay relevant in.”
The launch of NBCU Academy is part of Comcast’s $100 million pledge to help in combating racism and racial injustice facing people of color. This was in response to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Additionally, many of the large technology firms have announced plans to donate in support of racial justice and equality. Apple recently announced its next set of donations as part of its $100 million initiative promoting equality to people of color
The following schools will be participants in the program :
● Borough of Manhattan Community College in New York
● California State University, Fullerton
● Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina
● Clark Atlanta University
● Dallas College in Dallas
● El Camino College in Torrance, California
● Florida International University in Miami
● Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia
● Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico
● Miami Dade College in Miami
● Morgan State University in Baltimore
● North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro
● Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in Orangeburg, South Carolina
● City College of New York
● University of North Texas in Denton
● University of Texas at El Paso
● Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans