The Howard University School of Business has announced that it is the recipient of a $4.9 million gift from Warner Music Group / Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund.
The WMG/BFF SJF was founded in June 2020 in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, whose deaths sparked nationwide and international protests for social justice.
According to the school’s press release, the gift will fund the creation of a new music business center at the HBCU, providing a space for curriculum development, internship opportunities, executive-in-residence and certification programs.
“The music industry is ever evolving but one constant has been the influence that Black culture and Howard University has on the landscape,” said Assistant Dean of Impact and Engagement and Associate Professor of Marketing, Yuvay M. Ferguson, Ph.D. “It is important for us to own this influence as artists, curators, and business professionals. This new academic center is going to give the next generation of Bison the advantage of exposure and insight. Our goal is for these students to have the benefit of walking a path blazed before them by Bison in the industry like Tarik Brooks, Joi Brown, Mark Pitts, Julian Petty, Young Guru, Sydney Margetson, Jazz Young and Sean Combs.”
The center will offer a one-year fellowship program for high potential students interested in pursuing careers in the music industry. Students will also have the opportunity to engage with industry leaders via its residence program.
“As a Howard alum, I could not be prouder to have played a role in bringing this much-needed music center to my alma mater,” said Julian Petty, Fund Advisory Board member and EVP and Head of Business & Legal Affairs, Warner Records. “It will also serve as an important step forward in creating a better pipeline of Black executives in the music business, and I am confident that it will help nurture the next generation of industry leaders.”