Walt Disney Co. Creates ‘Disney Storytellers Fund’ At Howard University To Champion For Black Storytellers

Walt Disney Co. Creates ‘Disney Storytellers Fund’ At Howard University To Champion For Black Storytellers

The Walt Disney Co. and Howard University are now working together to champion for the next generation of Black storytellers.

On Saturday, during the Essence Festival in New Orleans, Disney unveiled the “Disney Storytellers Fund” at Howard University.

The Washington, D.C-based historically Black research university will host the initiative while providing “opportunities for historically underrepresented students to have future careers as storytellers and innovators in media and entertainment,” according to a press release.

The multi-year program will provide stipends over five years for student projects concentrated on storytelling across a variety of media including animation, digital design, gaming, journalism, live action, performing arts, product design, visual design, virtual reality, and more per Disney.

“Across Disney’s brands, we are working to amplify underrepresented voices and untold stories. The Disney Storytellers Fund at Howard will help us support students and the innovation and creativity that the university has cultivated for more than 150 years. We are excited to help the next generation of Black storytellers bring their ideas to life,” said Jennifer Cohen, executive vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility of The Walt Disney Co., according to the release.

Students in the program will gain access to speakers, mentors, and internships courtesy of Disney. The company will also be funding a new creative collaborative space at the university that will be housed inside the recently reestablished Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts and the Cathy Hughes School of Communication at Howard University.

As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, Howard alum and longtime actress Phylicia Rashad was named dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard in 2021.

She added, “Our students at the College of Fine Arts find their creative expression in many ways – in the performing arts, in animation, in the design of the products that we use in life. The Disney Storytellers Fund is a great support for our emerging artists as they explore and develop their potential within and across disciplines.”