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Universal Music Group is investing in the futures of HBCU students who aspire to pursue careers in the realm of music. According to Rolling Stone, the global music corporation has teamed up with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund for the creation of an internship program designed for students who attend historically Black colleges and universities.

The initiative is a collaborative effort being led by the nonprofit and the company’s Task Force for Meaningful Change. It is one of the many projects that Universal Music Group has launched to address racial inequities within the industry. The program will align nearly 50 students and recent graduates with internship opportunities in New York and Los Angeles. Students will learn about the different facets of the music industry including licensing, music publishing, business development, marketing and promotions and A&R. Participating labels include Def Jam Recordings, Capitol Records, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Republic Records and others.

“This partnership is an important opportunity for the investment in the development of HBCU student career pathways into the music industry,” Nicole Wyskoarko who serves as Executive Vice President and Co-head of A&R for Interscope Geffen A&M, said in a statement, according to the news outlet. Wyskoarko is also the TFMC committee co-chair. “Today, while HBCUs make up 3 percent of all higher education institutions in this country, they produce 25 percent of our country’s African American college graduates. This program is an important and exciting initiative that will only enhance the development of future leaders at UMG and the music industry at large.” The leadership team at TMCF added the initiative illustrates UMG’s “dedication and responsibility to provide a more diverse and inclusive future.” The internship program is slated to kick off in June 2021.

There have been several efforts launched to connect HBCU students with opportunities in different areas of entertainment. Howard University teamed up with Amazon Studios for the creation of a program designed to open pathways for students of color pursuing careers in film and television.

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