Disney Will Donate $1 Million of Black Panther Proceeds To Youth STEM Programs
Get ready little Princess Shuris across the nation! Disney announced on Monday that they would be donating $1 million of the proceeds from the film Black Panther to S.T.E.M. programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
In Black Panther, Princess Shuri is the brain behind creating weapons, her brother T’Challa’s Black Panther suit and even the country of Wakanda’s efficient train system from the country’s natural resource, vibranium…all while being just 16 years old (according to the comics)!
So, according to the New York Times, Disney’s $1 million donation to S.T.E.M. (acronym for science, technology, engineering and math) programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America makes sense because of the impact Shuri’s role has had on young people of color. I mean, what other young female character of color has had such a central role in helping the hero of a film in this way? Basically, Princess Shuri had the country of Wakanda lit.
Robert A. Iger, chief executive of the Walt Disney Company, echoed this in a statement.
“It’s fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance S.T.E.M. programs for youth, especially in underserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want,” he said.
Co-stars Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o tweeted their thanks to the studio giant on Twitter.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America said the donation would be used to create new S.T.E.M. innovation centers in 12 cities that include Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles and of course, Oakland, Calif., where parts of the film took place. For those of us who have seen the film, this donation seems to be a real life extension of what happens at the end of the movie.
Chrissy Booth, the senior director of youth development programs for the organization, said the 12 chosen cities were target markets for Disney.
“The organization’s S.T.E.M. curriculum gives young people the chance at an early age to have hands-on experiences, like building bridges and light bulbs and creating rock candy,” Ms. Booth said. “Children then move on to programs that focus on computer and environmental science and digital literacy.”
I can’t wait to see what all the future Princess Shuris in the world have in store for us!