Emma Bowen, a Harlem-native and community activist, cared about the images of people of color in the news. So she came to Midtown, met with broadcast executives and struck a deal to create opportunity.
“They said, ‘You know what? We want to put talented people of color in positions so they can become the future of media,’” says Rahsaan Harris, PHD, President & CEO of The Emma Bowen Foundation, a program that continues her legacy by providing internships for nearly 1,000 students of color and career opportunities for its graduates during its almost 30-year history.
According to Harris, the partner companies are big broadcasters, cable operators, computer companies, PR companies and more. Today, the foundation prioritizes connecting leading media companies with promising students of color to create a pipeline of emerging leaders, which leads to diverse hiring, retention and advancement. Some of the current partners working with the foundation include Bloomberg Media, C-Span, CBS Corporation, Comcast, HBO, The New York Times, The Oprah Winfrey Network and NPR.
But that’s not all. If you’re a recent graduate or working professional who’s hoping to take their career to the next level, there’s opportunity for you, too. The Emma Bowen Foundation Alumni & Media Professionals “AMP” Network is an exclusive network of diverse skilled professionals of color across the country in journalism, media, entertainment, and technology. The AMP Network supports, celebrates, and connects members with their peers and career advancement opportunities with the ultimate goal of improving the hiring, retention, representation, and advancement of people of color within the media and technology industries across the country. Even if you aren’t an alum of the Emma Bowen internship program, you are still qualified to apply to be a part of the network.
For those chosen, they are given access to companies looking for authentic diversity in their brands through inclusion, not charity. These high-potential members are able to help companies define new market opportunities and execute them authentically and at the highest-possible quality.
Diversity and inclusion in the media is important for so many reasons, including accurate and informed storytelling, representation for future leaders, and diversity of content. When stories are told from research, information and authenticity, they are able to make an impact. With diverse newsrooms and office spaces, media as a whole gets better.
When young people see media professionals who look like them, they are able to aspire to work in the media or tech fields. And when you read a story about something you care deeply about, that impact is felt on a much deeper level when you see that the reporter is someone who can relate to your circumstances or who has taken it upon themselves to invest their time in and representing for underrepresented communities.
As Harris says, media and technology are two industries that are much broader and more advanced than they have been in the past. It’s about more than just the content of media, but also the business and innovation of media. Diversifying and being inclusive in all three of those aspects helps create new stories and opportunities.
Are you interested in applying to be a part of the EBF Internship Program or EBF AMP Network? Find out everything you need to know here.
This piece is sponsored by The Emma Bowen Foundation.