HBCU in LAcreates pipeline for blacks in Hollywood

By: Mariah B. Campbell, Contributing Writer

Founder and CEO of the Entertainment Industry CollegeOutreach Program (EICOP), Stacy Milner, visited Texas Southern University onNov. 13 to promote an internship that gives HBCU students access to companiesand careers within the entertainment industry.

EICOP’s HBCU in LA is an 8-10-week paid summerinternship based in Los Angeles, California that prepares and develops the nextgeneration of African-American media production professionals.

The internship welcomes 30 HBCU students from across thecountry to California for an opportunity to work with esteemed writers,producers, directors and crew members within Hollywood.

“Opportunities like this are few,” said TSU student BrendaOmoregie “seeing students at HBCU’s gaining such experiences is inspiring.”

HBCU in LA prides itself on providing experiences andconnections to African-American students that have often times been overlookedwithin the world of entertainment.

“This program was put together because I saw the fact thatstudents of color were not getting the same opportunity as students that didn’tlook like them,” said Milner.

Breaking into the industry is not an easy task for African-Americans,according to former HBCU in LA intern, Jonathan Kee.

“Without this program, there wouldn’t be opportunities forpeople like us,” said Kee, “a lot of companies in this industry don’t come toHBCU’s…and she [Milner] created that pipeline for us.”

Preparing the next generation of black voices in Hollywoodis critical to the future of the industry in the opinion of filmmaker and TSUprofessor, Dr. Tyrone D. Dixon.

“There is a whole lot more content that is needed today inthe entertainment industry,” said Dixon “There’s not enough of our storiesbeing told…so we have to be vigilant about getting those stories told.”

Developing HBCU students for the film industry not onlygives students unprecedented opportunities but according to Milner it brings adiverse perspective to the table.

Milner said that it’s important to have African-Americansinvolved in creating productions that tell stories of black life.

“If you don’t have writers that look like us, they’rewriting about what they have heard about our experience,” said Milner, “I thinkit’s very, very important for us to…have that talent that is writing…thecontent of who we are.”

HBCU in LA has been training individuals since itslaunch in 2016 with goals to fulfill this need.

The HBCU in LA 2020 application opened Oct. 1stand will close on Jan. 3rd, 2020.

For more information on Stacy Milner and the HBCU in LA internship program, visit http://www.eicop.org.