Disney Is Donating $1 Million From 'Black Panther' to Fund STEM Programs for Kids
It’s not quite vibranium, but it could make a huge difference nonetheless.
They may not have the benefit of vibranium, the rare earth metal that helped transform the fictional country of Wakanda into a Afro-futurist utopia in the monstrously successful movie “Black Panther,” but kids in underserved communities across the country will soon get a major technological investment from another source.
On Monday, Disney — the studio behind “Black Panther” — announced it was donating $1 million to help fund Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering (STEM) programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of America locations in underserved communities across the country, CNN Money reports.
The $1 million donation, compared to gargantuan “Black Panther” earnings in its first month (over $700 million and counting), is relatively small, but could go a long way for kids in 12 communities, including Oakland, New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Washington D.C.
“[I]t’s fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance STEM programs for youth, especially in underserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want,” Disney chairman and CEO Robert A. Iger said in a statement.
Kids of color, especially black children, are more likely than their white counterparts to live in poverty — and are vastly underrepresented in STEM fields.
Across the country, nearly one in three black, Latino, and American Indian students tested below fourth grade level in math, compared to just one in 10 white students, according to a 2012 study.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America launched its STEM program in 2014 as part of its Great Futures Campaign, which operates in more than 4,000 communities across the country.
With the Disney donation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America will be given one-time grants to establish STEM centers in 12 of their locations, where students will be able to take advantage of technologies such as 3-D printers, robotics, and high-definition video production and conferencing equipment.
Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, and quality education is goal number four. You can join us and take action here.
As “Black Panther” continues to wow audiences, viewers should also be on the lookout for the next generation of inventors at Boys & Girls Clubs of America — who may soon develop Wakanda-inspired technologies, such as remote piloting, bullet-absorbing suits, and maybe even vibranium.