Disney Cast Member Courtnee Collier recently penned an article for the Disney Parks Blog speaking on her journey at an HBCU and how she continues to apply her lessons to her work. The recent Disney employee-lead initiative to deepen relationships with HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) is aimed to inspire future generations with “purposeful career paths,” “black talent pipelines” and volunteering and mentoring opportunities.
Disney Works with HBCUs
Collier, an employee of The Walt Disney Company, shared a more behind the scenes look at Disney’s efforts in the HBCU initiative. Disney believes that “inclusion is a critical part of fostering ideas and decisions from all people to help us grow, innovate and create the best stories.” and giving the public more of a “backstage” look at those endeavors bolsters the overall commitment.
Recently, Disney hosted several “virtual career exploration sessions” for students of historically Black colleges and universities where Collier was an attendee and host as a part of Disney’s HBCU strategy task force (led by Kristi Breen, Vice President, Disney International, and Campus Programs and Disney Cruise Line Recruitment.).
Avis Lewis, Vice President of Human Resources, Walt Disney Imagineering and Consumer Products, Games and Publishing, also connected with students to share all of the possible opportunities laid out for them at Disney. Career paths exist not only at the Disney Parks but also within consumer products, gaming, publishing and more.
Students attending Florida A&M University, Howard University, North Carolina A&T State University and Hampton University will see Disney’s efforts in creating those purposeful career paths for HBCU students. By focusing efforts on the upcoming generations, Disney is creating a “robust, long-term pipeline of Black talent through the development of student internships, mentorship opportunities, and inclusive hiring practices.”
Courtnee Collier’s HBCU Experience
Collier inevitably was touched by her experiences at Virginia’s Hampton University, and now applies her lessons to her current work with Disney. Throughout her six-year-long Disney career, Collier has remembered how important it is to support efforts from HBCU students and provide them opportunities.
Collier also notes that she, herself, would have highly benefitted from something like these virtual sessions, allowing her to network, apply for internships and grow within her professional career aspirations. Collier states in her article, “I am truly proud and grateful that Disney is taking this step to strengthen its relationships with HBCUs.” We are proud of her, too. Collier is an upstanding member of the Disney social team, and her work is unparalleled in communication, kindness, and professionalism. Any student would be lucky to learn from her.
These virtual activations with students are only one of the many ways Disney is continuing to work with HBCUs. The Disney Parks Blog promises to bring us more information and backstage looks at how their work continues with diversity and inclusion efforts.
Leave us a comment about what other diversity efforts you’d love to be a part of.