The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has announced the launch of a new paid internship program for students enrolled in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

As part of the summer program, which runs through July and August, the performance rights organization will offer five HBCU students the opportunity to work remotely in various departments at ASCAP, including marketing & communications/events, membership, data strategy, international affair, finance, licensing and global technology solutions.

“We have a responsibility to seek to nurture talent and empower the next generation of Black leaders in the music business, just as we do on the creative side,” Nicole George-Middleton, ASCAP's senior VP of rhythm & soul, said in a statement. “Our goal is to provide experience within ASCAP and to help our interns connect with the larger industry as they pursue their careers.”

Initial partners in the program are Howard University (Washington, D.C.), Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta), Morehouse College (Atlanta), and Bennett College (Greensboro, N.C.). ASCAP plans to continue and expand the initiative moving forward.

Applications are available through each of the participating college and university career services offices. The deadline for submission is June 29. Internships are expected to begin the second week of July.

“This program is a natural extension of ASCAP’s ongoing work to create and evolve a culture of inclusion and belonging that reflects and serves the incredible diversity of our ASCAP membership," ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said in a statement. "By creating a new pipeline for college students to gain music industry work experience, we hope to provide meaningful mentorships and opportunities to new generations of Black leaders who will influence the future of the music business.”