In an effort to bolster its commitment to equity and creating systemic social change in the film and TV industry, CAA has launched announced CAA Scholars. The new signature initiative supported by the CAA Foundation Community Fund (CFCF) provides multi-year scholarships, fellowships, year-round programming, and mentorship to a diverse group of students attending college, university, or trade institute/programs.
“From supporting our partner public schools to volunteering in reading and mentor programs, investing in students has always been a core pillar of our work,” said Natalie Tran, Executive Director, CAA Foundation. “The launch of the CAA Scholars program allows us to continue investing in students and lean into our 25 years of relationships with nonprofits and in the community. We also know this program will have a ripple effect as these scholars go on to be successful professionals within our industry.”
For its inaugural year, CAA will select 10 scholars. The agency will also partner with College Track, Step Up, UNCF, Hispanic Federation, Brotherhood Crusade, and Point Foundation for the initiative. As for the diversity of the candidate pool, Scholars will represent a diversity of experience, geography, race, ethnicity, gender, and identity. The first cohort of CAA Scholars includes students attending such universities as Fordham University, Humboldt State University, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Southern University A&M, Baton Rouge UCLA, UC Merced, UC Santa Cruz, and the University of Southern California, among others.
CAA will also activate its global employee base to contribute to the program, helping create long-term, measurable impact on the Scholars through mentorship and real-world experience, in addition to providing pathways to employment within the entertainment, media, and sports industries, and beyond.
“We are so excited to partner with and convene this remarkable group of non-profit partners,” added CAA Foundation Executive Deborah Marcus. “Our goal is to help reduce some of the financial burden associated with accessing a post-secondary education and create community among this diverse group of learners, as they embark upon and navigate their futures. We look forward co-creating programming with our partners that will best support our Scholars’ needs while connecting them with resources and relationships within our agency and our industries.”
This continues CAA’s spotlight on diversity and inclusion. More than a decade ago, CAA began actively recruiting at top-tier colleges and universities, HBCUs, colleges with high Latino populations as well as women’s colleges. CAA also launched THE HUBB in 2018, an invite-only networking and professional development summit designed to provide diverse internship and career-ready college students with the tools and resources needed to successfully enter the music business.
CAA also led an industry-wide effort to host the Film and Television Careers Summit at California State University at Los Angeles, working with various campuses and diversity organizations to identify high-potential students for a day of workshops and experiences geared towards helping create in-roads to careers in entertainment. Last month, CAA Sports, in partnership with the Oklahoma City Thunder, announced the Thunder Fellows Program, a partnership designed to unlock new opportunities in sports, technology, and entertainment for Black students in the Tulsa area.