Howard University and Amazon Studios have teamed to launch Howard Entertainment, a two-semester program based in Los Angeles that offers Howard students the ability to take courses, network with Amazon industry partners and gain work experience in the entertainment industry.
The inaugural program will begin January. The curriculum and immersive experiences will start with academic courses during the spring semester and move to an entertainment industry fellowship during the summer semester. The goal is to open doors to the entertainment business for African American students and those from other marginalized communities.
“This program is all about intentionality – being intentional about increasing and preparing the next generation of African American, Latinx and Native American storytellers, casts, crew, and executives working on these projects,” said Latasha Gillespie, Amazon Studio’s Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke added, “Amazon Studios has been working to create new pathways into the industry for talented students of all backgrounds and we are proud to team with Howard on this new program supporting aspiring entertainment leaders.”
In order to be eligible for the program, Howard University upperclassman and graduate students must apply and go through a competitive interview process. The program is geared toward helping students develop “real world” and “work ready” skills and gain an understanding of entrepreneurial ventures.
“The vision of Howard Entertainment is to offer a one-of-a-kind experience for students interested in all aspects of entertainment, from project greenlighting, to PR and marketing, to entertainment law and finance,” said Howard University president Wayne A. I. Frederick. “This relationship aligns with Howard’s strategic goals of enhancing academic excellence and inspiring new knowledge. Collaborating with Amazon Studios will enable us to marry academia and industry efforts to build a robust workforce of diverse entertainment industry leaders.”