Arielle Williams, Howard University News Service
The Academy Gold Program partnered with Gucci Changemakers for their first virtual HBCU Town Hall entitled “Learn How to be Apart of It” on March 18th.
The event was held in collaboration with leadership from both teams to further discuss their internship and scholarship opportunities to immerse community college students, undergraduate juniors and seniors, as well as graduate students in North America attending historically Black colleges and universities
Academy GOLD Rising is a global talent development and inclusion program that provides creative individuals of diverse backgrounds access and resources to achieving their career pathways in filmmaking and other facets of the entertainment industry.
Gucci Changemakers North America is a social impact initiative focused on increasing inclusion and diversity within the fashion industry and across communities and cities.
Launched in 2019, Gucci Changemakers global program includes three initiatives: Gucci Changemakers global employee-volunteering program, Gucci Changemakers North America Impact Fund and Gucci Changemakers North America Scholarship Programs.
Amanda Rhodes, a 2018 GOLD and Howard University alumna, recounted how life changing and necessary this program was, leading her to a position at the Walt Disney Company.
Rhodes is now an executive coordinator at Kevin Hart’s LOL! Network, now working closely with C-Suite executives at the company.
“It’s truly a program that has a vast network that connects underrepresented voices and young people who are in the beginning stages of their career to all the possibilities available in the entertainment industry,” she said.
When asked about the importance of this program for HBCU students, Rhodes beamed at the question.
“Students from HBCUs and African American students alike need to be in this industry because we’re one of the number one consumers of this media,” she said, “So for us to be one of the top consumers and not truly involved in the creation of content is ridiculous and that’s the problem that this program is trying to fix.”
After the Academy GOLD Program announced applications will close this upcoming March 1, the Gucci Changemakers team led the conversation on connecting sustainability, equity, and fashion and what that means for HBCU students.
“There’s a lot of jobs in the fashion space that we at Gucci definitely want to amplify and bring opportunity to our Black and brown brothers and sisters who are interested,” said Antoine Phillips, Gucci’s vice president of brand and culture engagement.
The Gucci Changemakers fund grants scholarships between $10-20 thousand for students in need who are majoring in design, marketing, art, film, communications, law, and merchandising to be the recipients.
“When we are going through our scholarship applications with our council we look at those students who are attending HBCUs,” Phillips said, “Those are the [applications] that are put to the top of the application pool.”
The Gucci Changemakers 3.0 scholarship opens in the fall for all interested applicants.