The Howard University School of Business has announced a generous $4.9 million gift from Warner Music Group/Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund (WMG/BFF SJF). The monies from this gift will fund the creation of a new music business center.
“I’d like to thank the Warner Music Group and the Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund for this significant gift to launch the music business center at Howard University. The contributions of African-American artists to the music and entertainment business are significant, but people of color are still underrepresented on the management side of the industry,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick in a written statement. “This gift to the School of Business honors the historic legacy Black people have made in the industry while making a crucial investment in today’s students who will become the leaders of tomorrow.”
The new music business center will serve to prepare the diverse students of Howard University for careers on the management side of the music industry. It will provide a space for curriculum development, internship opportunities, executive-in-residence, and certification programs.
“We are very excited about this investment from the Warner Music Group / Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund,” said Howard University School of Business Dean Anthony D. Wilbon, Ph.D. “Through the center, we will prepare Howard students for management leadership positions and create a pipeline to help diversify all levels of this influential business. Our goal is to prepare students with the skills necessary to succeed, provide the networking opportunities to gain exposure to industry leaders, and create long-term impact in the entertainment board rooms.”
The Warner Music Group/Blavatnik Family Foundation Social Justice Fund (WMG/BFF SJF) was established last year in June 2020 in response to the brutal killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and other Black people that sparked protests for social justice. The strategy is focused on the key pillars of education, criminal justice, and cultural and performing arts, and the Fund will invest in organizations around the globe that build more equitable communities.
“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.”