Stacy Milner didn’t see a path for Black youth in entertainment so she created one via the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program. With its signature program, HBCU in LA, EICOP works with the biggest celebrities, agencies, networks, and studios to educate, recruit and develop a culturally and ethnically diverse workforce. The organization brings college students from minority-focused higher education institutions across the country to the city of Los Angeles to explore opportunities in the entertainment industry.
What is this program about?
This program is about changing the lives of diverse talents from HBCUs and other underrepresented folks to have access and opportunity inside of Hollywood’s coveted inner circle. It is about opening the door and creating a pipeline of talent that is ready to launch their careers and the industry. I’m a veteran of the industry and wanted to open the door for those to come after me and that’s exactly what I set out [to do] and did with this program.
What message is being given to the students involved in the program?
The biggest message is that we’ve been looking for you and we want you. I had a lot of folks behind me, because when you work for the top brass of the studios, there are a lot of people that you know in your network, and when I pitched the idea of what I wanted to do, everyone is like, “Stacy, this is a no-brainer. We need this.” I had top executives across the industry and notable HBCU alumni on our board, and they are all helping us to drive this engine forward, and we’re doing it in a big way. Really it was studio representatives, executives, and HBCU notables across the industry that said, “How do we help? How do we help make the impact here?” They were the ones who helped me get to the end of the meetings to be able to pitch this project. We’re sitting right now with about 25-plus industry partners, so all the major studios, agencies, and even some of the unions are a part of what we’re doing.
Where can people find you?
Our website is www.EICOP.org and our social media is @hbcuinla, we’re [also] on LinkedIn and across all different channels. We’re excited that come May 31, we’ll kick off our HBCU in LA Hollywood Summit. That’ll be three days of welcoming the HBCU community [and] bringing the HBCU community and Hollywood together. HBCU leaders, faculty, and all of our various industry partners [will] host three days of curated sessions and panels. We’re going to have an HBCU in LA city-wide reception on June 2.