At the end of last week, the Walt Disney Company announced a $1 million grant to Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC), over the next five years, for the establishment of the Disney Storytellers Fund at FAMU.
The grant is part of the Disney Future Storytellers program, an initiative aimed to increase access to careers in storytelling and innovation for individuals from historically underrepresented or marginalized communities. Over the course of five years, the donation to SJGC will provide the selected students with tuition and housing scholarships, a stipend, specialized programming, mentoring, leadership development and more.
“Across Disney’s iconic brands, we are committed to increasing representation, inclusive storytelling and opportunity,” said Jennifer Cohen, the executive vice president of corporate social responsibility for 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 also 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 alumna Kim Godwin on behalf of Disney during the University’s Homecoming Convocation. Established in 1982, FAMU’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication’s (SJGC) is celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout the year.
“Florida A&M University changed my life. I first set foot on campus as a shy 16-year-old girl, but graduated as a confident journalist prepared to tackle the biggest news stories,” said Godwin. “FAMU gave me the tools I needed to get to where I am today, and I am truly grateful. I hope that this donation from the Walt Disney Company will allow the next generation of bold, straightforward journalists to uncover their potential and achieve their dreams too.”
“For 135 years Florida A&M University has been in the business of innovation and transformation through teaching, research, and service. From 2 instructors and 15 students on October 3, 1887, to nearly 10,000 enrolled today, student success continues to be our primary focus. Establishing partnerships that provide support for our students and expose them to the world through internships and employment will ensure that our tradition of ‘Excellence with Caring’ extends well into the future. I am tremendously grateful for this generous gift from the Disney Company and to have them as a key partner with us in changing lives, creating new opportunities, and producing tomorrow’s leaders,” said Dr. Larry Robinson, the president of Florida A&M University.
Disney Future Storytellers is the Walt Disney Company’s commitment to empowering the next generation of storytellers and innovators. Through social investments and programs that provide inspiration and hands-on experience, we’re increasing access to careers in media, entertainment, technology, and hospitality and helping ensure the stories being told across our industry accurately reflect the rich diversity of the world we live in. From arts and STEM education for school-age children to scholarships, mentoring, and creative and technical skill-building for teens and young adults, Disney is helping today’s youth dream about their future, build their talents and skills, and become who they imagine they can be.