A group of 34 minority creatives are now set to join the industry and change advertising forever.
American advertising is in dire need of an infusion of new blood. The demand for minority creatives on Madison Avenue and beyond is greater than ever. Where will these new art directors, copywriters and designers come from? The names of some of them are below. Miami Ad School proudly announces the first-ever recipients of their Minority Advertising Scholarships:
$20,000 Scholarship Winners
Christian Baron • Art Direction, Miami
Kendra Little • Art Direction, Atlanta
$10,000 Scholarship Winners
Emanuel Calderon • Copywriting, New York
Marcella Cheng • Graphic Design, San Francisco
Krystal Hawkins • Copywriting, Atlanta
Chanel Kim • Graphic Design, Atlanta
Naadiya Mills • Art Direction, Miami
In addition, each of these scholarship winners will be mentored by a Miami Ad School minority graduate working in the industry.
These winners represent the first of two annual scholarship distributions. An additional $100,000 of scholarships will be available for students starting in the fall. The application deadline—intended for students preparing to start classes in October of 2017—will be August 1, 2017. A second $100,000 round of scholarships for the winter—intended for students starting in January 2018—will have a deadline of November 1, 2017.
Due to the huge response and the impressive potential shown in so many of the applications, a total of 34 scholarships worth over $190,000 were awarded in this first-ever round.
Related Post: $200,000 in Annual Minority Scholarships
When people who don’t “get it” make the ads, it shows.
In their applications, Christian and Kendra—our $20,000 scholarship winners—offered some interesting insights into what the scholarship would mean to them.
“To follow the path to my dream career, I will need to invest countless hours in the classroom and in the workplace. But first, I ask that you invest in me: a young woman who found her dream and is determined to fulfill it.”
– Kendra Little
Here’s Christian on his parent’s unease with his decision to pursue a creative career:
“ I questioned why my decision made my parents feel so uneasy. I realized it was because of the lack of knowledge of creative careers, especially among those in the Hispanic community. What well-known Hispanic-American role models do we have in creative advertising? I could not name any.”
– Christian Baron
It’s a sad fact that creative young people from America’s minority communities do not pursue advertising careers at the same rate as Caucasians. This is an inequity that must be addressed because it is simply the right thing to do. However, the issue has wide-ranging ramifications concerning the effectiveness of the discipline as a whole. How can an increasingly multicultural America be well-served by an industry sorely lacking in diversity?
The young people who will benefit from this first round of scholarships—34 students in all—represent the leading edge of what will be a critical mass of diverse creatives. They will forever alter the cultural composition of American advertising. They’ll create a more inclusive industry that better reflects the markets they serve. Bringing with them different perspectives and new ways of thinking, they will push creativity in the communication arts to new heights.
As one might suspect, the advertising industry is keen to support Miami Ad School’s initiative to promote and develop minority creative talent. Both Publicis Groupe and Fred Farid approached Miami Ad School Co-Founder Pippa Seichrist and asked to be involved, each contributing funds towards additional scholarships.
“We are only as strong as our talent and we must do our part to help identify and support the next generation of creatives that will reflect the marketplace. In an industry based on helping our clients and their brands to stand out from the competition, companies that embrace diversity of thought will be well positioned to win. To that end, I am proud that Publicis Groupe is a founding supporter of Miami Ad School’s Minority Advertising Scholarship and I applaud the school’s efforts in developing the ad leaders of tomorrow.”
–Sandra Sims-Williams • Chief Diversity Officer @ Publicis Groupe
“At FRED FARID, we’ve always believed that a diverse, worldly mindset makes for the best work. To align ourselves with this goal, our newly launched New York office is underwriting a minority scholarship to help the next wave of creative leaders receive the world-class education and gain the expertise our industry needs. Our differences are our best competitive advantage.”
–Francois Grouiller • General Manager @ FF New York
It is Miami Ad School’s intention, and that of our industry supporters, to nurture and develop the new wave of diverse creative professionals who will transform the industry.
This is only the start. But, already the tide is turning.