The Ad Council is teaming with a group of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other partners to launch a new career accelerator program designed to foster greater diversity within the next generation of advertising and marketing industry talent.
The inaugural class of the Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program includes 15 current students and recent graduates of HBCUs including Howard University, Brooklyn College, Morgan State University, Georgia State, Grambling State University, and Morehouse College.
During the program, which begins next week the fellows will be placed in mentorship circles and instructor-led industry-specific training designed to help them make connections with program partners including Dentsu, LiquidSoul, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Makers and more.
The program focuses on positioning for success (resume building, personal branding, mock interviews), multicultural marketing, AdTech fundamentals, media strategy, digital product management, and leadership development.
“We recognize that there is systemic racism not only in our industry, but across industries and this Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program will pave the way for underrepresented groups to be seen, heard, valued, and compensated while further developing their skills,” stated Ad Council Chief Equity Officer, Elise James-DeCruise.
The Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program is the latest Ad Council effort to expand diversity within the industry, long-known for a workforce in which minority groups are underrepresented.
Other current work in the DEI and racial justice space includes the nationwide public service campaign "Love Has No Labels" designed to erode bias and promote acts of inclusion across all discriminated classes.
A separate campaign recently launched, "Tear the Paper Ceiling," that encourages businesses and organizations to remove barriers blocking millions of workers – mostly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) – from upward mobility in the workplace.
The Ad Council has also developed campaign efforts in partnership with Black Lives Matter and Color of Change.