Disney Launches ‘Storyteller Fund’ at Howard University to Promote Media Representation

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Founder's Library at Howard University
Howard University in Washington, D.C. Photo credit Derek E. Morton, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Creative students at Howard University (HU) will soon have access to numerous resources from one of the most recognizable companies in the entertainment industry. In an effort to promote better representation among historically underserved populations, the Walt Disney Company recently created the Disney Storytellers Fund at HU. 

“Across Disney’s brands, we are working to amplify underrepresented voices and untold stories,” said Jennifer Cohen, Disney’s executive vice president for corporate social responsibility, in the release. “The Disney 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.”

Resources provided by the fund include five-year stipends for student storytelling projects in various media fields, such as animation, gaming, journalism, performing arts, virtual reality, and more. The fund also involves the creation of internship and mentorship opportunities for HU students to build interest and skills in the entertainment industry. Additionally, Disney and HU will host various sessions with notable speakers in the industry.

“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 Disney Storytellers Fund is a great support for our emerging artists as they explore and develop their potential within and across disciplines,” Phylicia Rashad, dean of HU’s Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts, said in the release.