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Howard Law Grad Named Inaugural Motion Picture Association Entertainment Law and Policy Fellow

Recent Grads from HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions to Gain Experience Directly with MPA Studios

William A Davis headshot

WASHINGTON - William A. Davis, 2021 Howard Law graduate has been announced as part of the inaugural class of the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program (EICOP) Entertainment Law & Policy Fellowship program.

This unique and prestigious one-year fellowship targets high-performing recent college, university, and law student graduates from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic serving institutions (HSIs), and other minority serving institutions (MSIs). The fellowship is designed to expand the pipeline and grow opportunities for graduates from diverse backgrounds to enter the entertainment industry. 

“Howard University School of Law played a pivotal role in developing my interest in entertainment law. The various organizations that I was exposed to at HUSL helped me to understand possibilities that were available in this field. Before coming to Howard, I knew that I wanted to work in entertainment law, but Howard helped me hone in on intellectual property, and for that, I am extremely grateful,” said Davis. “I am elated to be the inaugural EICOP-MPA Entertainment Law Fellow. Being graced with the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet key players in the entertainment industry has been extremely fulfilling. I look forward to what the program has to offer for the duration of my time in this role.

The MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law & Policy Fellowship is a ground-breaking one-year program. Fellows will rotate from the MPA’s office in Los Angeles to its global headquarters in Washington, D.C., and conclude the program at one of the association’s member studios: Disney, NBCUniversal, Netflix, Paramount, Sony Pictures, or Warner Bros. The fellowship is designed to eliminate barriers to entry into the entertainment industry by providing financial support, paid housing and travel, and a living expenses stipend.

 “We are the leading global advocate of the film, television, and streaming industry, representing some of the largest content creators in the world. This fellowship program reflects our commitment to expanding and diversifying the pipeline for talent not only in front of and behind the camera but also within our association,” said Charles Rivkin, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association. “William and Rhyan were selected based on their strong interest in pursuing policy and law in the entertainment industry, remarkable academic achievements and recommendations, as well as extensive community service and dynamic leadership. The MPA and our member studios are thrilled to have them both join us as our inaugural MPA-EICOP Entertainment Law & Policy Fellows.”

“No matter what you study in school or what your background is, there are opportunities and a place for you in the entertainment industry,” said Stacy Milner, president and CEO of the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program. “These incredible fellows prove that, and we can’t wait to see the impact they make on the industry as a part of this unique program.” 

Throughout the year-long program, fellows will gain experience alongside some of the industry’s leading senior-level legal and government affairs executives. In addition to the program’s in-depth, hands-on exposure to various sectors of entertainment law and policy, fellows will go on-site to studio lots and visit top entertainment law firms. They will also interact with other industry professionals and peers at networking and industry-related functions to round out their experience. 

Fellows were vetted through a comprehensive, highly competitive process. The selection committee responsible for assessing and reviewing applicants represents executives and leaders from the following organizations: Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA), Japanese American Citizens League, National Hispanic Media Coalition, National Urban League, Native American Media Alliance, U.S. House of Representatives’ Office on Diversity and Inclusion, White House Initiative on Advancing Education Equity for Hispanics, and White House Initiative on HBCUs. 


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About The Motion Picture Association:

The Motion Picture Association, Inc. (MPA) serves as the global voice and advocate of the motion picture, home video, and television industries. It works in every corner of the globe to advance the creative industry, protect its members’ content across all screens, defend the creative and artistic freedoms of storytellers, and support innovative distribution models that bring an expansion of viewing choices to audiences around the world. 

The MPA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiative supports 51 educational, multicultural, and civil rights institutions including the White House Initiative on HBCUs and Southern University and A&M College. The program is currently celebrating its 10th anniversary and fifth year as a partner with EICOP.  

The association’s member studios are Netflix Studios, LLC; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Universal City Studios LLC; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Charles Rivkin is Chairman and CEO.


The Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program EICOP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational arts workforce development program, dedicated to educating, training, and recruiting the best and brightest diverse student leaders from our nation’s HBCUs and other predominately minority institutions for careers across all aspects of the entertainment, media, sports, music, and technology industries.

Its signature program, HBCU in LA, was launched in partnership with then-President Obama’s White House Initiative on HBCUs. Since its launch, MPA has served as an important partner in creating access for HBCU law students to participate in this important diversity pipeline development initiative. The MPA and its six-member studios are all existing partners of EICOP and its programs. 

Media Contact: Michelle Bailey; michellebailey@michellebaileymedia.com; (202) 491-4872