NBCUniversal has identified 10 nonprofit organizations that are the latest beneficiaries of parent company Comcast’s multi-year, $100 million pledge to combat structural inequity and support education and training, particularly in the media industry, for the underserved.
“As one of the world’s largest media and entertainment companies, NBCUniversal has a responsibility to give back to our communities and help level the playing field so that underrepresented groups are afforded the access and skills needed to break into this industry and have opportunity for success,” NBCU executive vice president of corporate communications and social impact Hilary Smith said in a statement. “We are excited to partner with these nonprofits who share our commitment to promoting equity in the arts and media, as well as our goal to effect real, sustainable change.
Each of the 10 nonprofits will receive a grant from NBCU. In addition, the company worked with its volunteering and social impact program, Comcast NBCUnites, to create opportunities for employees to serve the organizations in various ways, including mentorship and board service. The 10 groups were selected because they address at least one of three key areas that NBCU has prioritized: equipping young creatives, strengthening communities and developing media and tech skills for populations who traditionally have not had access to such training. They are:
Build: Headquartered in the Bay Area with offices in New York, Boston and Washington, D.C., the organization offers a variety of curricula and programs, ranging from 30 lessons to four years, to develop entrepreneurship in middle and high school students.
Center for Black Innovation: The think tank originated in 2013 when the Black Tech Miami Initiative launched the youth coding enterprise Code Fever Miami, which rebranded as CFBI last August.
Entertainment Industry Outreach Program: In response to Hollywood’s pipeline problems, EIOP focuses on educating, training and recruiting talented students from HBCUs and other PMIs (Predominantly Minority Institutions) for careers in entertainment, media, sports, music and technology.
Inner-City Arts: NBCU will help the Los Angeles-based nonprofit, which provides arts education to underserved youth, expand its media arts program to New York City. “The depth of knowledge [NBCUniversal] provides in Media Arts and writing for film and television will contribute to our program offerings,” Inner-City Arts chief education officer Collette Williams Alleyne said in a statement. “Expanding our reach to partnerships on the east coast will allow all participants access to relevant content and a global experience to inform future possibilities.”
Narrative 4: This New York-based global organization promotes storytelling as a tool to promote empathy among students and adults alike. NBCU will support N4’s Story Exchange program to facilitate understanding and conflict management in workplaces and among employees.
Per Scholas: More than 11,000 people who have graduated from the organization’s training programs across 14 locations nationwide have found careers in the tech industry.
Robin Hood Power Fund: Last year, the nonprofit invested $129 million in 200 organizations dedicated to fighting poverty and economic injustice in New York City. NBCU’s partnership includes helping to train employees on board service.
Urban Arts Partnership: NBCU will help expand UAP’s School of Interactive Arts, which trains low-income middle and high school students in the art and science of video game development.
Year Up: The 20-year-old organization is dedicated to closing the “Opportunity Divide” in the professional class. NBCU will fund Year Up’s job training program, wherein participants spend the first half of the year developing critical technical and professional skills before taking on an internship with a top corporate partner for the remaining six months.
Youth Design Center: Located in East Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood, YDC functions as a creative agency for young people to develop hands-on training in preparation for STEAM jobs. NBCU will support the center’s Creative Apprenticeship Program, a paid opportunity for 16- to 24-year-olds.
Last June, in the wake of a nationwide re-ignition of the racial justice movement, Comcast chair and CEO Brian Roberts pledged $100 million ($75 million in cash donations and $25 million in media in-kind contributions) over three years to combat structural racism and other forms of social injustice. The 10 new partnership grants are part of an overall $25 million funded this year, and are a continuation of Comcast NBCUnites’ work over the past few years with such nonprofits as Girls Write Now, Ghetto Film School, Minds Matter, The Prince’s Trust, Step Up, Story Pirates, United Way of Miami-Dade and Young Storytellers.
Meanwhile, last Friday the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations opened submissions for its annual Project Innovation challenge, which in 2021 will award $3.475 million (up from $2.475 million the year before) in grants to nonprofits in 11 NBC or Telemundo local markets that address inclusion, youth education and empowerment, next-generation storytellers or community engagement.