Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Foundation Announces 2009 Scholarships for Minorities in Communications

Earlier this month, a report was issued by the Madison Avenue Project that cited widespread racial discrimination in the advertising industry. The project, led by the NAACP and attorney Cyrus Mehri of Mehri & Skalet, was created in 2008 to address advertising’s deep rooted racial bias among African-American professionals in pay, hiring, promotions, assignments, and other areas. Some of their findings include:

  • Racial discrimination is 38 percent worse in the advertising industry than in the overall U.S. labor market;

  • Black college graduates working in advertising earn $.80 for every dollar earned by their equally qualified White counterparts;

  • About 16 percent of large advertising firms employ no black managers or professionals, a rate 60 percent higher than in the overall labor market;

  • Blacks are only 62 percent as likely as their White counterparts to work in the powerful 'creative' and 'client contact' functions in advertising agencies
The NAACP plans to circulate the report to its members and to Fortune 100 companies to urge them to stop aiding this widespread discrimination in the industry.

One way to address this disparity is by awarding scholarships to African American undergraduate and graduate students majoring in advertising and by providing leadership and career development support.

Mr. Kim L. Hunter has been doing just that since 1998, as the founder and chairman of The Lagrant Foundation (TLF), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase the number of ethnic minorities in the fields of advertising, marketing and public relations by providing scholarships, career development workshops, internships, professional development and mentors to African American, Asian/Pacific Island American, Native American and Hispanic/Latino undergraduate and graduate students.

Yesterday the foundation announced that it is now accepting applications for $100,000 in scholarships for the 2009/2010 academic year. Applications must be submitted to TLF by Friday, February 27, for consideration.

Here’s more info via the press release:

"In an effort to increase ethnic minority representation in the communications industry, TLF awards $5,000 scholarships to undergraduate students and $10,000 scholarships to graduate students.

'"It is important to help ethnic minority students achieve their education goals and help guide them toward their future careers," said Founder/Chairman of TLF, Mr. Kim L. Hunter. "By doing this, TLF is helping to create diversity within the advertising, marketing and public relations industries and reflect the society we live in.'"

Since its inception, the foundation has awarded a total of $770,000 to 136 students nationwide. In 2009, TLF will celebrate its 11th Anniversary Scholarship Recognition Reception and Awards Program in New York City. The scholarship recipients will participate in a day-long career development workshop and have the opportunity to meet with industry professionals."

For scholarship requirements and to apply, visit the website at, or contact Ericka Avila, Programs Manager, at 323.469.8680, ext. 233.

Source: Press release

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