The Country Music Association announced a new inclusivity initiative allowing college students of color the opportunity to gain an inside look into the country music industry. The Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship is “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,” CMA announced in a press release. Starting in spring 2023, the goal of the fellowship is to allow students of color a look into the business side of the country music industry, leading up to the 50th annual CMA Fest happening June 8-11 in Nashville. Each student will be paired with an industry professional and will be given opportunities to learn and receive an exclusive look into what goes on behind the scenes in country music. “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 CMA Vice President of Industry Relations and Philanthropy Tiffany Kerns. In addition to both the University of Alabama and the University of Tennessee, Belmont juniors and seniors can apply for the fellowship. Students must major in public relations, advertising, journalism, business or similar fields of study. Students will also “receive compensation for their work in addition to a stipend to cover living expenses while in Nashville,” according to the press release. CMA hopes the fellowship will allow a more diverse range of employees that accommodate to the growing diverse population in America. “We know that having diverse candidates will bring different perspectives to strategies that will ultimately strengthen the Country Music industry," said Mia McNeal, CMA Senior Director of Industry Relations and Inclusion. To read the full press release, click here. To apply for the fellowship, click here.
This article was written by Lilly Owens