NASHVILLE, TN (CelebrityAccess) — The Country Music Association shared details of its inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship, an initiative intended to help BIPOC students gain practical experience to help them successfully pursue careers in the country music industry.
Launched in partnership with The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and The University of Alabama, with additional collegiate partners including The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Belmont University, the program will launch in Spring 2023.
Those interested in participating in the Fellowship program can submit applications starting on January 9th through Feb. 24 at CMAworld.com/fellowship.
Participating students will be provided with an insider look into CMA’s Communications team in the weeks leading into the 50th anniversary of CMA Fest, June 8-11, 2023. Participants will take part in planning meetings with various CMA departments and industry partners before joining the CMA team in Nashville ahead of the event.
Following CMA Fest, each participant will take part in a six-week assignment with a Country Music publicity partner, providing students with a broader overview of the country music industry.
CMA has tapped PR executive and co-founder of My Publicist Is Black, Trell Thomas, to match each participant with an industry expert who will serve as a mentor throughout the fellowship. Students will participate in sessions and various programming with other media and talent partners as well, the CMA said.
“We recognize that in order for our industry to further build an inclusive future, we have to create a multitude of pipelines for diverse talent to reach us,” says Tiffany Kerns, CMA Vice President, Industry Relations & Philanthropy. “Through our work with our collegiate development program, CMA EDU, we have had the opportunity to work with some incredible partners at universities across the country, and I am thrilled to have been able to develop this truly special program alongside Dr. Kenon Brown. While this inaugural fellowship will focus on the public relations field, our goal is to develop future programs that highlight even more professions within the Country Music industry.”
“PR professionals in the Country Music industry carry a significant amount of influence, which makes it increasingly important that the professionals recruited to fill these positions reflect not only the diverse talent and audiences they represent, but also the growing diversity of the U.S. population,” says Mia McNeal, CMA Senior Director, Industry Relations & Inclusion. “We know that having diverse candidates will bring different perspectives to strategies that will ultimately strengthen the Country Music industry. By partnering with several companies and individuals within our business, we aim to build widespread engagement and future opportunity within Country Music.”