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Howard University Joins NBCU Academy In a New Academic Partnership

Cathy Hughes School of Communication Students

WASHINGTON - Howard University Cathy Hughes School of Communications and College of Engineering and Architecture join a multiyear partnership with NBCU Academy, NBCU News Group’s multiplatform journalism training and development program.

The new 2022 cohort, which introduces STEM programs into the academy, grows NBCU Academy’s geographic footprint, diversifies the student population through specialized programs, and expands beyond journalism to include business, engineering, technology, and sports programs. Howard students join a robust group of partners, including Florida A&M University, Arizona State, and University of Texas at Arlington.

"The NBCU Academy is a phenomenal opportunity for our students to train and collaborate for the future," says Gracie Lawson-Borders, Ph.D., dean of Howard University Cathy Hughes School of Communication. “We are at a pivotal moment for the media industry and the NBCU Academy partnership provides a forum to support growth in critical areas, such as diversity, inclusion, professionalism, and networking."

NBCU Academy will invest $2 million in grants toward building sustainable relationships to support the 13 new partner programs, enriching the online experience and growing signature pipeline programs – all while keeping diversity and inclusion as a core driver.

"We are looking forward to partnering with NBCU News Group to provide opportunities for our students, including internships and/or full-time employment and direct student support through scholarships. This partnership, which supports the mission of the Howard University College of Engineering and Architecture to create career pathways for our students, is expected to help diversify the news and media technology industry," said John M. M. Anderson, Ph.D., dean of the Howard University College of Engineering and Architecture. 

“The way we gather and consume news is consistently evolving,” said Yvette Miley, senior vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion for NBCU News Group. “Through NBCU Academy, we’re forging a generation of diverse journalists that are ahead of the curve on media technologies and have a deep understanding of a range of industries.” 

Last year, NBCU Academy issued $6.5 million in funding to campuses – with 50 percent going directly to students – established NBCUAcademy.com, and launched Original Voices, a fellowship program formed in partnership with NBC News Studios. Original Voices awarded seven diverse documentary filmmakers $315,000 in grants and access to NBCU News Group resources to support feature-length nonfiction films highlighting social issues and identities. Two of those films have been selected to premiere at Sundance in January 2022. 

NBCUAcademy.com offers free online instruction and digital content for students. In the last year alone, NBCU Academy produced 65 online tutorials, hosted eight livestreams and generated more than 40 Original Equity Lab stories. Journalists and leadership across the NBCU News Group portfolio participated in NBCU Academy curriculum, providing access and insight to linear platforms, streaming channels, and digital, audio and social brands across NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo News and Peacock. 

Additionally, NBCU Academy developed an embed program, hiring six recent graduates from five NBCU Academy’s partner schools to work full-time for NBC News Digital’s award-winning diversity verticals, including NBC Asian America, NBCBLK, NBC Latino and NBC Out, as well as CNBC Make It and CNBC en Español. The embed program builds on NBCU Academy’s mission to provide more equitable access to diverse and marginalized communities that have been historically underrepresented in the news industry. 

The initiative reflects Comcast NBCUniversal and NBCU News Group’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. It is also part of Project UP, Comcast NBCUniversal’s comprehensive effort to help build a future of unlimited possibilities by connecting people to the internet, advancing economic mobility, and opening doors for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers and creators. Launched in 2021, NBCU Academy provides tools, resources and platforms for young, underrepresented voices in partnership with historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and colleges with significant Latino, Asian-American and Pacific Islander, Black, Indigenous and tribal populations. In June 2020, Comcast NBCUniversal announced a multiyear $100 million commitment to help address systemic racism and inequality. In July 2020, NBCU News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced the Fifty Percent Challenge Initiative, an aggressive action plan to turn the NBCU News Group employee base to be 50 percent women and 50 percent people of color.


About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.

About NBCU Academy

NBCU Academy is an innovative, multiplatform journalism training and development program launched by NBCUniversal News Group in January 2021. The initiative provides four-year university and community college students scholarships, education, on-campus training, online programming, funding for accredited journalism programs and access to world-class journalists from NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo News. NBCU Academy is partnered with 30 academic universities, community colleges and institutions, and accredited programs including historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions and colleges with significant Latino, Asian-American and Pacific Islander, Black, Indigenous and tribal populations – reaching students from underrepresented groups, including those from diverse racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, economic, and geographic backgrounds.

Media Contact: Aaliyah Butler; aaliyah.butler@howard.edu