T. Howard Foundation becomes Kaitz Newest Grantee

As part of its continuing mission to serve as a catalyst for increasing diversity in three distinct areas in the media and telecommunications industry – workforce, programs and programming – the Walter Kaitz Foundation (WKF) has announced that the T. Howard Foundation is its newest diversity partner. T. Howard joins the Emma L. Bowen Foundation, the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) as an organization receiving funding from WKF.

The T. Howard Foundation, under the leadership of Jo Pamphile, (left) president &. CEO, has a mission to promote diversity in media and entertainment by increasing the number of diverse and underrepresented groups and underserved communities within the industry. Specifically, T. Howard recruits college students for internships in all facets of media operations.

Their comprehensive programs for diverse, underrepresented, and underserved college students include:

• an internship program that gives students industry knowledge and experience, professional development, and makes
them aware of career opportunities in the industry;

• a talent development program that supports young professionals and recent college graduates to help ensure
that they are better prepared and qualified for employment, training and advancement opportunities; and

• a diversity advancement program that assists partner companies in their efforts to attract, identify,
and secure the best diverse talent for their full-time hiring needs.

Below is a Q&A with Pamphile that outlines the organization’s goals and how the partnership with WKF furthers their mission and vision.

1. What does the addition of the WKF as a partner mean for T. Howard?
The partnership with the Walter Kaitz Foundation will enable us to enhance and expand the programs and services, and opportunities that the T. Howard Foundation makes available to underrepresented college students and to our alumni. Programs such as mentorship and opportunities, as well as scholarships, professional development webinars and our intern orientation can be enhanced and expanded.

2. Tell us how your missions (T. Howard and Kaitz) are linked?
The Walter Kaitz Foundation and the T. Howard Foundation share the mission to increase diversity in the media industry. Both missions are committed to working with the industry to provide ways in which they can improve diversity via training, internships and professional development and work closely with the industry to respond to its changing needs.

3. Who is the typical (or not so typical) T. Howard intern?
The Internship Program team is in the field from September to mid-November visiting colleges and universities across the country recruiting college students to apply for internships in the media industry. They recruit from public and private colleges, HBCUs and Ivy League schools, encompassing all majors from communications, marketing, advertising, finance and accounting and legal. Consequently, each T. Howard intern is unique in their own way by home state, major, ethnicity, gender, skills and experience.

4. How has the T. Howard Foundation evolved under your leadership?
The T. Howard Foundation started as a strictly summer internship program. When I came to the Foundation, I worked with my team to develop the program in the areas of recruitment, screening and training so that both the intern and the host company would have a meaningful experience.

Once accomplished, host companies began asking if we could help them fill entry level positions with diverse talent. We responded and started professional development services to help the interns prepare for employment opportunities.

As a result, the internship program is now a year-round program and we accept job postings and provide career counseling and coaching. Last year we placed 164 interns and 153 alumni were hired. We now have more than 1,200 T. Howard alumni.

The Foundation has an annual Meet & Greet at Cipriani, the day of our Diversity Awards Dinner. We bring our alumni together with media companies who are seeking diverse talent. Last year we scheduled interview time and resume books for the HR professionals who attended. We host three to four meet & greets every year.

5. How do you view the business imperative for diversity and inclusion today?
Although companies continue to struggle with diversity and inclusion, the good news is that the analysis of performance data show that companies with a more diverse team are financially more successful.

This has transferred the discussion from human resources to finance and accounting departments for those companies that have experienced the positive impact of a diverse workforce.

This has placed a value-added component to diversity and inclusion. Consequently, internships are proving to be mutually beneficial for the intern and the host companies.