The Walt Disney Company Announces Multi-Year $1 Million Grant for Disney Storytellers Fund at Florida A&M University

Today, The Walt Disney Company announced a $1 million grant to Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) over the next five years with the establishment of the Disney Storytellers Fund. at FAMU.

The grant is part of the Disney Future Storytellers program, an initiative to increase access to careers in storytelling and innovation for people from historically underrepresented or marginalized communities. The donation to the SJGC will provide selected students with scholarships and housing, a stipend, specialized programs, mentorship, leadership development, and more.

“Across Disney’s iconic brands, we are committed to increasing representation, inclusive storytelling and opportunity,” said Jennifer Cohen, executive vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility, The Walt Disney Company. “The Disney Storytellers Fund at Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism and Communication will help empower the next generation of black journalists, news and media executives, while building on the rich legacy of creativity and innovation that the university has cultivated for decades.”

The announcement was made by ABC News President and FAMU alumnus Kim Godwin on behalf of Disney during the college reunion call. Established in 1982, FAMU’s much-loved SJGC celebrates its 40th anniversary throughout the year.

“Florida A&M University has changed my life. I first set foot on campus as a shy 16-year-old girl, but graduated as a confident journalist ready to tackle the big guys. reporting,” said Godwin, who became the first black female executive to lead a news division on a broadcast network when she joined ABC News in 2021. “FAMU gave me the tools I needed to get to where I am today, and I’m really grateful.”

She continued, “This gift brings me so much joy because I truly understand how it will change lives and pave the way for success for generations to come in some families. My joy is exponentially greater knowing that Disney is investing in the next generation of journalists – simple, innovative storytellers representing diverse communities across the country. I was one of those kids who worked three jobs and still needed federal grants, scholarships, and church donations to make it through from semester to semester. These Disney scholarships will alleviate financial worries and enable deserving students to put their best efforts into their education.

The $1 million investment is part of Disney’s mission to provide more equitable access to marginalized voices who have historically been underrepresented in the journalism, media and television industries. It is the second such fund the company has established at a historically black university, and follows the establishment of a multi-year Disney Storytellers fund at Howard University earlier this year. Additionally, in 2020, the company launched Disney on the Yard, a multifaceted employee-led initiative dedicated to building a community of historically Black college and university alumni working within The Walt Disney Company. and providing meaningful opportunities for students. Most recently, the HBCU Week Foundation held its annual event for the first time at the Walt Disney World Resort, attracting record numbers of high school students and HBCU representatives, as part of its relationship with Disney on the Yard.

FAMU President Dr. Larry Robinson said that establishing such partnerships ensures that “our tradition of ‘Excellence with Caring’ extends well into the future. I am extremely grateful for this generous gift from The Walt Disney Company and to have him as a key partner with us in changing lives, creating new opportunities and developing the leaders of tomorrow.

Through social investments and programs such as Disney Future Storytellers, the company expands access to careers in media, entertainment, technology and hospitality and helps ensure that the stories told in the industry accurately reflect the rich diversity of the world in which we live. and STEM education for school-aged children to scholarships, mentorship, and creative and technical skills development for teens and young adults, Disney is helping today’s youth dream of their future. , to develop their talents and skills and to become what they imagine they can be .

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