General Motors’ brand GMC has teamed up with a nonprofit organization called the Marcus Graham Project to help promote equality and diversity in the marketing, media and advertising industry.
The Marcus Graham Project (MGP) is a non-profit organization that was founded to help promote diversity in the media industry via exposure, training and mentorship. Through its new partnership with the organization, GMC will sponsor the upcoming iCR8 Boot Camp for three years starting in 2022, which is described by the MGP as an educational course that will provide “diverse aspirants in the fields of marketing and media with relevant, real-world exposure and experience to solidify meaningful careers within the industry.”
Lincoln Stephens, Co-Founder and Chairman of the MGP, said GMC’s support for the program is welcome, as General Motors has demonstrated its commitment to workplace diversity in the past. GM was also one of Stephens’ first clients when he started the MGP more than 14 years ago.
“When GMC approached us offering their support of the program ahead of our 15 year anniversary, it felt like a perfect marriage from the beginning, due to the true interest in the brand’s commitment to building a pipeline of diverse marketing professionals,” Stephens said in a statement. “It is also serendipitous given that General Motors was my client when the Marcus Graham Project was conceptualized and founded in 2007.”
This year’s iCR8 boot camp will task participants with creating a marketing campaign for one of GMC’s vehicle nameplates. Through this assignment, MGP says pupils will be “exposed to the campaign development process, have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with GM and GMC marketing stakeholders to learn about amplification strategies, and see the end-to-end rollout of a core pillar program.” This will provide them with invaluable real-world experience as they work toward their eventual goal of earning a placement or job with a major corporation, ad agency or another type of employer.
In addition to GMC, organizers say the boot camp team will also function as a catch-all pop-up ad agency, providing consulting services for other major brands, as well minority-owned small businesses and nonprofits.
Tarshena Armstrong, GM’s director of diversity marketing and development, said GMC is now beginning to interact with more diverse customer bases, so making a diversity push within its media department will directly benefit the brand.
“General Motors is proud to work with an impactful organization such as the Marcus Graham Project to help create opportunities and pathways for diverse talent in media and marketing, especially those in their early careers,” Armstrong said. “GM and its global brands are continuously reaching and engaging with increasingly diverse audiences, which is why it’s crucial that our teams are reflective of the customers and communities we serve.”
Applications for the iCR8 boot camp will be accepted until November 5, 2021. The 11-week course will begin in Dallas on Monday, January 17th, 2022.