NBCU Academy, the NBCU News Group’s multi-platform journalism training and development program, significantly expanded its reach to 30 schools by adding 13 new partners, NBCU News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced on Tuesday.
NBCU Academy will invest $2 million in grants to build sustainable relationships in 13 new partner institutions, enrich the online experience, and grow signature pipeline programs while keeping diversity and inclusion as a core driver.
“The way we gather and consume news is consistently evolving,” said Yvette Miley, Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for NBCU News Group. “Through NBCU Academy, we’re forging a generation of diverse journalists that are ahead of the curve on media technologies and have a deep understanding of a range of industries.”
The new 2022 cohort introduces STEM programs into the academy, grows NBCU Academy’s geographic footprint, diversifies the student population through specialized programs, and expands beyond journalism to include business, engineering, technology, and sports programs. They join a robust group of partners from 2021.
The 13 new academic partners include:
- Arizona State University Global Sport Institute in Tempe, AZ
- Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix, AZ
- Community College of Philadelphia Division of Business and Technology in Philadelphia, PA
- Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering in Tallahassee, FL
- Florida A&M University School of Journalism & Graphic Communication in Tallahassee, FL
- Howard University Cathy Hughes School of Communications in Washington, D.C.
- Howard University College of Engineering and Architecture in Washington, D.C.
- Montclair State University School of Communication and Media in Montclair, NJ
- New Mexico State University College of Engineering in Las Cruces, NM
- New Mexico State University Department of Journalism and Media Studies in Las Cruces, NM
- Universidad del Sagrado Corazón Ferré Rangel School of Communications in San Juan, PR
- University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications in Gainesville, FL
- The University of Texas at Arlington Department of Communication in Arlington, TX
Launched in 2021, NBCU Academy provides tools, resources, and platforms for young, underrepresented voices in partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and colleges with significant Latino, Asian American, and Pacific Islander, Black, Indigenous and tribal populations. In June 2020, Comcast NBCUniversal announced a multi-year $100 million commitment to help address systemic racism and inequality. In July 2020, NBCU News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced the Fifty Percent Challenge Initiative, an aggressive action plan to turn the NBCU News Group employee base to be 50% women and 50% people of color.
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Additionally, NBCU Academy developed an embed program, hiring six recent graduates from five NBCU Academy’s partner schools to work full-time for NBC News Digital’s award-winning diversity verticals. These include NBC Asian America, NBCBLK, NBC Latino, NBC Out, and CNBC Make It and CNBC en Español. The embed program builds on NBCU Academy’s mission to provide more equitable access to diverse and marginalized communities that have been historically underrepresented in the news industry.
The initiative reflects Comcast NBCUniversal and NBCU News Group’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It is also part of Project UP, Comcast NBCUniversal’s comprehensive effort to help build a future of unlimited possibilities by connecting people to the Internet, advancing economic mobility, and opening doors for the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, storytellers, and creators.
Last year, NBCU Academy also launched Original Voices, a fellowship program formed with NBC News Studios. Original Voices awarded seven diverse documentary filmmakers $315,000 in grants and access to NBCU News Group resources to support feature-length nonfiction films highlighting social issues and identities. Two of those films have been selected to premiere at Sundance in January 2022.
Through these various initiatives and resources, NBCU Academy aims to provide more equitable access to diverse and marginalized communities that have been historically underrepresented in the news industry.