The Future Is Fellowship: Investing in the Next Generation of BIPOC Women Leaders

2022 is a year of action. We’re thrilled to announce our first action step: Mission North’s inaugural PR fellowship, which we’re calling “The Future Is…” 

Over the past 18 months at Mission North, we’ve established and activated commitments to advancing equity within our organization and in the broader marketing and communications industry. We’re engaged in ongoing, intensive work to learn and unlearn behaviors, and to create opportunities for people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to contribute, grow, earn and thrive in their careers. Through this work, we’ve recognized the need to actively build a more progressive future for our industry—specifically, by creating pathways for individuals who’ve been historically excluded from leadership positions. 

As we considered where we could make the most impact, we identified two factors that influence the power structures and advancement opportunities in our industry: 1) Women—specifically Black women, indigenous women, and women of color (BIPOC)—are underrepresented at leadership levels; and 2) Many entry-level candidates are eliminated from the hiring process due to lack of internships or relevant work experience, which limits the diversity of talent pools.

We believe the future is BIPOC women—and this year, the Mission North Future Is… Fellowship will support future talent with a $15,000 scholarship funded by Mission North and its partners: Bill Bourdon, Shannon Hutto and myself. We’re partnering with the PRSA Foundation to offer a current college student the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while offsetting some of the financial burden of tuition and other education expenses. 

In addition to the scholarship, Mission North’s 2022 fellow will participate in a four-week remote internship with us. She’ll receive a $5,000 stipend, hands-on work experience, mentorship from our team, and opportunities to connect with people and companies in our extensive network.

We are looking for applicants who will be juniors or seniors in fall 2022, and who are studying communications in college with an interest in tech or science communications. The application and full criteria for this year’s program can be found here. Please share this fellowship with your networks and encourage eligible students to apply before March 14, 2022. 

If you would like to contribute to future scholarships, our fund is open for donations here. And if you are interested in setting up your own scholarship, please reach out—I am happy to share our experiences and connect you with the PRSA Foundation. 

The fellowship is the first of many steps we are taking towards fostering a more diverse and equitable industry. Stay tuned—we’ll be hard at work this year to create more opportunities for next-generation talent, and to elevate voices that have been excluded for too long. We’ll make an outsized impact if we do this work collectively. We hope you’ll join us in spreading the word and in taking action. 

Want to chat more about this initiative? Please contact me and let’s engage directly!

Are you interested in joining the Mission North team? We’re hiring! Check out our open positions here.

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