JBL/HARMAN, in collaboration with the Black-owned agency Culture Creators, is launching JBL Campus SoundSessions. The new mentorship program will focus on expanding opportunities for minority college students aspiring to build careers in music production, marketing, business, technology or engineering. The chosen students will also be given a chance to win a $25,000 scholarship toward their education.
Starting Jan. 26 and running through Apr. 6, 2021, select HBCU (historically Black colleges and universities) students will be able to virtually attend six curated conversations featuring JBL executives, engineers and influential music industry speakers who will share their respective career journeys, challenges and other insights. Accepted students who participate in all of the 60- to 90-minute SoundSessions will receive an official certificate of completion to cite on their CVs. In turn, they will also become eligible to apply for $50,000 in JBL SoundScholarships through a business case study competition.
“As a brand dedicated to elevating life’s experiences, it is important that we invest in the evolution of equality and representation in the music industry by breaking down barriers and providing access to resources that will inspire and teach the next generation of industry changemakers,” said Ralph Santana, chief marketing officer at HARMAN, in a statement. “We are thrilled to launch the JBL Campus SoundSessions as a way to support HBCU students and provide them with resources that will help elevate their career paths. A major challenge for people of color is the limited availability of mentors within their communities. Together we hope to motivate these young students to visualize the options for their future and ensure anything they dream is attainable.”
“The opportunity for Culture Creators to partner with JBL in the development of the JBL Campus SoundSessions is a natural fit given our work as a boutique Black-owned agency committed to creating professional pathways and opportunities for minority students enrolled at HBCUs,” Culture Creators founder Joi Brown commented to Billboard. “We aim to provide a safe space for students to learn from top industry executives and go behind the velvet rope while providing the best professional development tools and helping universities bridge the gap between theory and practice. This will allow students to learn and gain the resources needed to be successful along their career paths.”
The JBL Campus SoundSessions’ curriculum will also tie into various cultural moments throughout its run, including National Mentorship Month, Black History Month and Women’s History Month. The program will also be promoted and available to all HBCU campuses, with students able to apply at JBLCampus.com/HBCUSoundSessions.