Instagram is honoring Black History Month this year by way of its #ShareBlackStories program — an inspiring call-to-action to encourage support of the global Black diaspora on its platform.

The social media giant is now continuing its long-standing commitment to sharing Black stories with the help of its latest partnership with Howard University and famed music video director Melina Matsoukas.

The award-winning film director — most known for her film “Queen & Slim” — has teamed with Howard University alongside Instagram to both amplify and support the stories of aspiring Black filmmakers through the Instagram x Share Black Stories “Future First” Reels Challenge in celebration of Black History Month, a press release shares.

According to an announcement, the newly-launched program features a  select few emerging student storytellers from Howard University’s Department of Media, Journalism and Film. Within this program, each participant will receive a $10,000 production stipend to handle any costs associated with their creations.

Additionally, these students will receive guided mentorship from Ms. Matsoukas as well as Howard University advisors and educators, who will then have the opportunity to have their content earmarked to be shared across Instagram’s profile in addition to other channels on the platform to expand their digital audiences.

“Having the ability to create in these spaces and have hundreds of thousands, or millions of people, immediately be able to see, react, respond and be affected by your work is so powerful,” Ms. Matsoukas said in a statement. “The internet and social media have had a significant impact on the world of media and entertainment, and I am filled with gratitude for this opportunity to work with a historic institution like Howard University, and the team at Instagram, to mentor the next generation of artists, to share what I’ve learned, and to learn from them, too.”

The Howard University Department of Media, Journalism and Film aims to prepare students to better navigate the media and entertainment industries as we know them now, as well as the future of these respective spaces through comprehensive core and cluster courses, a press release shares.

Through the department’s programs, these undergraduate and graduate Film and Television Production students have the opportunity to study all aspects of the filmmaking process — from development, pre-production and production to post-production and distribution.

Moreover, this comprehensive program includes a full course load that analyzes the historical and theoretical framework of cinema and television from a global and cultural perspective.

Students are then given the chance to expand their skills in scriptwriting, editing, producing, cinematography, documentary film production and directing.

“This partnership is an awesome opportunity for our students to participate in the Instagram #Share Black Stories Reels Competition,” said Howard University Dean Gracie Lawson-Borders in a statement. “It provides a forum to showcase the creativity of our talented students to shine through the Black stories they create.”

Instagram has provided a grand opportunity for these students to tap into their creativity, and now they get to pay it forward on a massive platform to showcase some of their best work.


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A post shared by Melina Matsoukas (@msmelina)