February concluded this year’s Black History Month. However, the end of February shouldn’t culminate in an end to efforts to celebrate the contributions of Black Americans of the past and elevate the Black visionaries of the future. To kick off the beginning of a new month, we’re shining a spotlight on organizations that have vetted fellowship and internship programs designed for emerging Black talent in the communications industry, as well as other people of color interested in entering the world of media.
In 1989, three activists for racial equity founded the Emma Bowen Foundation (EBF) in an effort to diversify the communications industry and connect undergraduate students of color with paid internship opportunities at renowned media companies. Since then, the foundation has gone on to help 1,300 students secure internship positions at leading public relations agencies and technology companies through its fellowship program.
The EBF offers three program tracks for potential fellows to pursue careers in: the Business of Media (sales, public relations and marketing), the Content of Media (news production, journalism and digital media) and the Innovation of Media (computer science, big data and communication technology). The EBF’s acceptance of those interested in the technological side of communications makes it much broader than most other programs of its kind. If you’re a person of color interested in information technology, web development or engineering in relation to media, check this program out!
Though the possibility of pursuing an in-office summer internship through EBF is tentative due to COVID-19 restrictions, the EBF program does not have a deadline for applicants and prospective participants can apply at any time. Selected applicants are notified of their selection for the program by May 1 each year. The EBF also offers scholarship and mentorship opportunities.
The T. Howard Foundation is another organization dedicated to diversifying the communications industry by connecting media students of color to paid summer internships in the field. The T. Howard Foundation stands out among other internship and fellowship opportunities for people of color because it also offers spring and fall internships.
Each selected intern is connected with a mentor, given access to networking events and is provided with complimentary memberships to professional development organizations partnered with the T. Howard Foundation.
There are more than 1,250 program alumni of this program worldwide and 157 interns were placed with companies in 2019.