The Driving Force Internship program provides HBCU students with multimedia career development with the goal of increasing automobile industry diversity, equity and inclusion
A unique internship was created in 2020 and is now returning for fall 2022 between the Department of Mass Media Arts at Clark Atlanta University, automobile manufacturer General Motors (GM), and the Black Automotive Media Group (BAMG).
Dubbed The Driving Force (TDF), the 10-week internship is designed for students interested in covering the automobile industry; and incorporates instruction in editorial content, video content production, and social media outreach, augmented by GM executive presentations.
TDF evolved following discussions between automakers and the Black Automotive Media Group (BAMG) related to increased diversity, equity and inclusion for Black media in the automotive sphere. These efforts have created additional opportunities to help prepare the next generation of automotive media professionals.
TDF is led by respected automotive media experts Kimatni D. Rawlins, BAMG founder and publisher of Automotive Rhythms Communications; Greg Morrison of Bumper2Bumpertv; and other key journalists and publishers including Marcus Amick and Teia B. Collier.
“The goal of TDF is to extend educational opportunities to HBCU students who may not be aware of the myriad media paths in automotive communications,” said Rawlins. “My automotive journalism career began with an internship with a major auto manufacturer, so I am thankful for the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience, and the experiences of fellow BAMG members with Clark Atlanta interns.”
Supported by General Motors, the TDF internship, kicking off September 28th, is designed to highlight career opportunities as journalists, videographers, photographers, publicists, marketers, and digital and social media pundits covering the auto industry. Participants will showcase their work on various platforms at the end of the internship, and will also liaise with GM communications executives, designers, and product planners through a series of presentations and interviews.
“We are excited to enter into the second year of partnership with BAMG to support the amazing students of Clark Atlanta University,” said Michelle Malcho, vice president Product and Brand Communications, General Motors. “We look forward to learning together and helping to prepare them for exciting careers in communications and journalism.”
TDF’s mission parallels that of the Department of Mass Media Arts at Clark Atlanta University, which provides students with rigorous academic and professional training, complemented by a strong liberal arts education.
“We continue to move with momentum to ensure our scholars at Clark Atlanta University have access to a world-class education and that mission includes offering initiatives that focus on technology and enhancing their analytical thinking skills,” said Clark Atlanta University president, George T. French, Jr., Ph.D. “We want our students to exercise their creativity, be competitive in the world of technology and be included in the technology career pipeline. Initiatives such as this bring them one step closer to that goal.”
Clark Atlanta student, Joshua Paul Williams was a participant in the inaugural TDF session. “The business experience I inherited from participating in The Driving Force Multimedia Internship was far more than I could have imagined,” said Williams. “The program focused on individually developing each student’s communications and networking skills which has given me lifelong connections, practical lessons, and an expanded perspective.”
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