Support Underrepresented Students in Advertising

The AAF has developed HBCUs for Advertising to remove the financial, academic, and logistical barriers that may exist at often underfunded HBCUs and support underrepresented students along their advertising career journey. This initiative is pertinent and critical to ensuring that these students are not missing out on opportunities that could be essential to their professional development.

For Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC), Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) aren’t just places to learn, they’re places of power. HBCUs were among the first academic institutions to provide Black students access to higher education and have matriculated some of the most influential figures in their respective fields. The encouragement, enlightenment, and growth that powers students on campuses and classrooms across HBCUs have the potential to flourish or falter. Regarding advertising, between 1978-2014, the percentage of Black Americans that made up the advertising workforce went from 5% to merely 5.8%. Today, Black people remain significantly underrepresented in the ad industry. As an incubator for Black success stories, a large number of untapped Black talent can be found at HBCUs.

By supporting HBCUs For Advertising, your organization is making a conscious decision to invest in this underrepresented community that will directly affect change in the representation and opportunities of Black professionals in the advertising industry.

How You Can Support

Endow the Wow: Sponsor the HBCUs for Advertising Program

  • Sponsoring empowers student’s full potential to bring a wow factor and fresh thinking into classrooms and eventually in creative campaigns. The AAF currently has over 140 college chapters across the nation, with only six (6) of those being HBCUs. Sponsoring the program will enable the AAF to actively pursue and recruit more HBCUs interested in starting an AAF college chapter on their campus. Your support will provide students and faculty the much-needed financial support to cover the annual fees and direct costs associated with starting and maintaining a college chapter. This invaluable network of peers will serve as an important pipeline of diverse talent for your organization and provide students with a solid foundation for success.

Elevate, Don’t Relegate: HBCU Students Will Connect, Learn, and Stay Up-to-Date on the Latest Advertising Trends

    • HBCU students who are interested in pursuing a career in advertising are at times limited in courses and degree programs. AAF’s E-courses and online learning offerings will supplement the HBCUs current curriculums, some of which do not have formal advertising departments.

    Represent, Showcase, and Share: Industry Professionals Must Commit to Visibility and Representation

        • Representatives from your organization will further enhance the student experience by participating in both virtual and on-campus events. These events should highlight your company culture, untapped careers in advertising, and cultivate a mentoring relationship. Sponsors will benefit from the pipeline of HBCU talent, faculty, and the campus community.


        How Your Investment Will Work

        • Provide funding for HBCUs to start an AAF College Chapter on their campus.
        • Provide the chapter with an operating budget. These funds will be used to defray travel costs, event registrations, and meeting related expenses.
        • Provide HBCUs equipment, software and other logistics to function as an ad lab.
        • Support faculty training in order to enhance their curriculums.

        Foster the Flow & Participate

        This program eliminates the excuse of not being able to find talent and fill positions. HBCUs for Advertising opens a free-flowing pipeline of talent that will have a breadth and depth of experience, insights and tenacity to achieve more.

        By supporting HBCUs for Advertising, your organization will have an opportunity to support and engage with students from multiple HBCUs. This program offers your organization the opportunity to tap into a pool of talented HBCU students and enable the students and faculty to benefit from your mentorship.

        To participate in the HBCUs for Advertising, please reach out to:

        Erica Blake
        Program Manager, Mosaic Center


        Participating Schools

        • Alabama A&M University
        • Albany State University
        • Alcorn State University
        • Bowie State University
        • Florida A&M University
        • Harris Stowe State University
        • Howard University
        • Morehouse College
        • Morgan State University
        • Virginia State University

        Participating Companies

        • Amazon Ads
        • The Trade Desk
        • TikTok
        • UM