Howard University and Amazon Studios will continue the Howard Entertainment program, a partnership designed to diversify the entertainment industry by creating a pipeline for Black and other marginalized students, for a second year. Participants will work, train and study alongside entertainment executives.
“The continuation of Howard Entertainment is a testament to the immediate impact of the program and the resonance of its long-term vision to strive for greater representation across the industry,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “At Howard, we are always seeking to expand the education of our students by connecting them to experiences that will prepare them to succeed and make a difference.
The program, which is set to restart in January, will increase in size for its second year, with greater slots available for Howard students. The immersive two-semester experience provides Howard students the opportunity to continue their education during the spring semester and participate in an entertainment industry fellowship during the summer semester.
The upcoming spring semester cycle will be virtual, and in-person summer internships will be dependent on changing coronavirus safety guidelines. Coursework through the program is applied to students’ graduation requirements and all fellows will have their tuition costs covered by the university and Amazon Studios.
Last year, the fellowship featured guest lecturers actor Susan Kelechi Watson, CEO and co-founder of Unanimous media Jeron Smith, actor Ashley Blaine Featherson and MACRO co-founders Charles and Stacy King. Responses from the 2020 cohort were positive, with students gaining valuable experience in all fields of entertainment, such as development, casting, marketing, production, business affairs and music.
“This program allows me to be a part of the movement to end the gatekeeping of this industry so that one day, a little Black or Brown girl can look at me and say to herself, ‘I can do that too,’” marketing major and 2020 Howard Entertainment program fellow Jasmine Oshiyemi said.
To qualify, students must be enrolled at Howard University as an upperclassman or graduate student. Prospective fellows must complete an application, which will open Sept. 28, and interview to be considered for the program. Howard faculty, supported by Amazon Studios employees and industry professionals, will teach students for the duration of the spring semester.