Howard University has partnered with Lionsgate to provide students opportunities to launch their entertainment careers.
According to Deadline, Lionsgate is the first entertainment company to partner with Howard to allow six to 12 students film and television industry internships. The internship initiative itself is also part of a larger project between Howard and UCLA's Anderson School of Management and its Anderson Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment & Sports (MEMES).
With UCLA's partnership with Howard, MEMES gives Howard undergrads opportunities to, as UCLA's website states, "be able to complete a capstone project, which will give them the opportunity to work on challenges faced by real companies. MEMES also aims to provide corporate internship opportunities during the six-week program."
Students receive paid internships at $13-$15 an hour in compensation for 20 to 25 hours of work. Lionsgate has already taken on three interns, one of which has already been hired for an entry-level position within the company. The company is also looking to hire more interns this summer.
Jay Tucker, Executive Director of the Center for MEMES, said to Deadline that Sen. Kamala Harris, a Howard graduate, had a hand in creating UCLA's initiative with Howard by telling Lionsgate that internship programs with universities could help the entertainment industry increase its diversity.
"She was one of the catalysts to help raise awareness around this opportunity," he said. "It really helped to get the ball rolling."
Tucker also added that the program between Howard, UCLA and Lionsgate increases "the diversity pipeline."
"No one is offering what we can with the combination of what we have," he said. "Lionsgate has really been instrumental in pushing this initiative and we hope others in the industry will join in to help us with this all-important program." Indeed, UCLA and Lionsgate are hopeful they can expand the program to include more HBCUs and women's colleges to provide students who don't usually have access to entry in the entertainment industry a way to get a foot in the door.
Photo credit: Lionsgate logo