The Driving Force provides HBCU students with multimedia career development with the goal of increasing automobile industry Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
In 2020, a unique internship program was formulated by the Black Automotive Media Group (BAMG) to expose students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to career opportunities within the automobile industry. Dubbed The Driving Force (TDF), the 10-week internship is designed for students interested in covering the automobile industry. TDF was created following conversations between automakers and the BAMG to highlight the potential to provide a pipeline for the next generation of automotive industry media professionals. As the internship has progressed, a focus on the dearth of minority representation across all auto industry professions is now a core tenet of the program’s curriculum.
For the fall 2023 academic semester, TDF is proud to announce the inaugural academic session with Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC), with sponsorship by Hyundai Motor America.
“BAMG’s collaboration with FAMU creates new career pathways for FAMU students,” said Kimatni D. Rawlins, BAMG founder and publisher of Automotive Rhythms Communications. “Data from the U.S. Census predicts minorities will be the ‘Future Majority’ by 2045. What will the landscape of professional employment look like at that time? Through TDF’s internship, we can help prepare students of color and support automobile manufacturers for the rapidly changing demographic profile of the United States.”
The Driving Force internship exposes interns to a broad spectrum of potential careers within the automotive industry. Written vehicle evaluations, video content creation, including hosting for traditional and social media platforms, and video advertising projects are among the core segments the curriculum will cover. Sessions will be augmented by presentations that showcase additional career opportunities within the corporate hierarchy of Hyundai Motor America, as an example of the complex inner workings of a major automobile manufacturer.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to instill mobility training into the educational backgrounds of HBCU students seeking entry into the automotive world,” said Randy Parker, CEO of Hyundai Motor America. “Hyundai is committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the automotive industry, and we value the collaboration with FAMU on this internship program.”
For more than 130 years, FAMU has served the citizens of the State of Florida and the nation through its provision of preeminent educational programs and has a storied history of producing outstanding journalists, public relations professionals, and visionary graphic artists.
“We are excited to partner with The Black Automotive Media Group in collaboration with Hyundai to offer our students a unique experience to learn more about media careers in the auto industry,” FAMU Dean Mira Lowe said. “Through The Driving Force internship, SJGC students will sharpen skills, make connections, and showcase their talent to industry executives and professionals, thereby opening new doors to opportunities that may not have been on our students’ radar.”
This fall’s TDF instructors are veteran automotive journalists Kimatni D. Rawlins and Marcus Amick, and TDF internship alumna Tia Knowles.
About Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai Motor America focuses on ‘Progress for Humanity’ and smart mobility solutions. Hyundai offers U.S. consumers a technology-rich lineup of cars, SUVs, and electrified vehicles. Our 830 dealers sold more than 724,000 vehicles in the U.S. in 2022, with nearly half built at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. For more information, visit www.hyundainews.com.
About Florida A&M University School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC)
The Florida A&M University School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC) is renowned for its commitment to excellence in journalism education. With its state-of-the-art facilities and dedicated faculty, SJGC offers a wide range of programs for aspiring journalists, public relations professionals, and graphic designers. With a focus on academic achievement and experiential learning, SJGC is preparing its students to be ethical, impactful, and confident storytellers and leaders.
About the Black Automotive Media Group
The BAMG is a distinguished group of African-American publishers, writers, editors, media talent and entrepreneurs representing over 100 years of combined experience in the automotive sphere within television, radio, print, experiential marketing, and social media content creation. BAMG members either work for or own various automotive media platforms targeting diverse audiences. BAMG’s core objective is to level the playing field and help foster opportunities for Black professionals who work in and around the automotive industry. www.AutomotiveRhythms.com.