Disney wants to recruit more Black talent, launches task force for HBCUs nationwide

Tanasia Kenney
·2 min read

Disney hopes to tap in to the next generation of talent through a new employee-led task force aimed at recruiting students from historically Black colleges and universities across the U.S.

The media and entertainment company announced efforts to “deepen its relationships” with HBCUs and recently hosted a set of virtual career sessions solely for HBCU students, according to a Disney Parks Blog post.

Courtnee Collier, a Hampton University alum and influencer communications manager for Disney, said the company is committed to working with historically Black colleges to educate students about internships, mentorship and career opportunities within the company, which ranked 116th on the Forbes 2020 list of Best Employers for New Grads.

The goal? To create a “robust, long-term pipeline of Black talent.”

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“We believe that inclusion is a critical part of fostering ideas and decisions from all people to help us grow, innovate and create the best stories,” Collier wrote. “As part of our new efforts, Disney is helping create purposeful career paths for HBCU students.”

The multimedia conglomerate also landed at No. 26 on Forbes’ list of Best Employers for Diversity 2020.

The new HBCU strategy task force is headed by Kristi Breen, Vice President of Disney International and Campus Programs and Disney Cruise Line Recruitment, and Avis Lewis, Vice President of Human Resources, Walt Disney Imagineering and Consumer Products, Games and Publishing, according to Collier.

The group hopes to create opportunities for students at various universities including North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, Howard University in Washington D.C., Hampton University in Virginia and Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, according to the blog post.

“I was in these students’ shoes not long ago,” Collier wrote, “and I feel like I would have benefited from a conversation like this to understand the power of networking while interning, and how it’s such a huge part of our career journeys. I am truly proud and grateful that Disney is taking this step to strengthen its relationships with HBCUs.”

McClatchy News reached out to The Walt Disney Co. for more information and is awaiting response.

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