In celebration of the record-breaking success of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther,” The Walt Disney Company (No. 36 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) is donating $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).
The donation will help expand Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s youth STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs, supporting the high-tech skills that were a major theme in the plot of “Black Panther” and are essential in helping youth succeed.
“Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther’ is a masterpiece of movie making and has become an instant cultural phenomenon, sparking discussion, inspiring people young and old, and breaking down age-old industry myths,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company.
“It is thrilling to see how inspired young audiences were by the spectacular technology in the film, so it’s fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance STEM programs for youth, especially in underserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of America will use this one-time grant to further develop its existing national STEM curriculum, and establish new STEM Centers of Innovation in 12 communities across the country. The curriculum and new centers will serve and inspire kids and teens, with an emphasis in the following communities: Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Harlem, NY; Hartford, CT; Memphis, TN; New Orleans, LA; Oakland, CA; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Washington, DC; Watts, CA.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Centers of Innovation provide youth with hands-on, advanced technologies that stimulate creative approaches to STEM exploration, including 3-D printers, robotics, high-definition video production and conferencing equipment. In addition, a fully dedicated STEM expert will offer individual and group support, using real-world applications to help Club members develop their STEM skills and critical thinking.
“From hands-on interactive programs to critical thinking, Boys & Girls Clubs of America is committed to providing thousands of young people with the tools they need to prepare for a great future,” said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “Thanks to Disney’s support, we can expand our outreach and allow more youth to find their passions and discover STEM careers.”
Helping children and teens learn new skills for the future, like STEM, is a focus area of The Walt Disney Company’s social responsibility efforts. The company is dedicated to delivering comfort, happiness, opportunity and inspiration to children and families around the world.