Today, Disney announced the rollout of a series of activations and programs inspired by the upcoming premiere of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Across the country, the Disney company will hold screenings of the film for various communities. Members from their nonprofit collaborators have attended exclusive screenings in the following host cities: Los Angeles, New York, Oakland and Atlanta. Other screenings will be hosted in Miami and Orlando in the upcoming days. Target Corporation also assisted with the execution of 130 community screenings in conjunction with AMC Theaters.
In total, approximately 25,000 youth were able to view the film before its release on Friday, November 11th.
“From its historic casting to advanced technology to culturally relevant storytelling, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is one of the greatest and most anticipated movies ever,” shared Jennifer Cohen, executive vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility for The Walt Disney Company. "When young people watch this film, we want them to walk away believing that their futures are boundless and being inspired to pursue their passions, grow their skills, and share their unique talents with the world."
Additionally, Disney has committed to bestowing $1 million in grant funds to deserving organizations for the pursuance of education across the fields of STEM and the arts. The recipients of the grants are Girls Who Code, Ghetto Film School, The Hidden Genius Project, and DonorsChoose (U.S division), Chicas en Tecnología (Argentina), and Destination Imagination (Asia Pacific). The grants were made possible through the efforts of the Disney Future Storytellers initiative. The program primarily focuses on making careers in media, technology, hospitality and entertainment accessible to all no matter their background.
The Disney Future Storytellers initiative has established a monumental presence at HBCUs. Recently, the Disney Storytellers Fund was launched at Howard University to provide stipends over a five-year period for multi-media student created storytelling projects.
Continuing to support underrepresented communities, the initiative is the the lead sponsor of the newstate of the art digital educational system, the Propel Center. “The Propel Center is a bold and transformational initiative impacting the entire HBCU ecosystem,” said Waymond Jackson, CEO of Education Farm, in a statement. “Through cutting-edge curriculum, innovative technology, trending thought leadership, and other opportunities like the ones this exciting new Disney collaboration presents, Propel aims to positively influence how HBCU scholars see and experience the world. By equipping them with the resources, training, and tools they need to become leaders who advance equity, transform the talent pipeline, and tell their stories, we are ensuring that they are prepared to fill and create the jobs of the future.”