The House of Mouse gives some serious cheddar to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s youth STEM (science, technology, education, and technology) programs by donating $1 million dollars. Building upon the phenomenal box office success of Black Panther and the high-tech, Afrocentric theme of the film, Disney leaped at the opportunity to pounce on the important issue of underserved youth and technology. “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.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Centers of Innovation, will use this one-time grant to fund existing STEM curriculum and establish new STEM Centers of Innovation 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. The purpose of these centers will be to provide youth immersive learning opportunities in STEM related fields such as robotics and high definition video production. “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.”
Disney’s Black Panther has become more than just another comic-book feature film. The powerful theme of a technologically advanced country helmed by black leaders and cultivated by black innovators has inspired a new generation of youth to consider STEM fields. Big props to The Walt Disney Company for investing in our youth and the new digital workforce. Wakanda forever!