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FUTURE NOW Media Foundation
FUTURE NOW Media Foundation
FUTURE NOW Media Foundation
FUTURE NOW Media Foundation is a 501(c)3 leadership incubator that mentors, trains, and connects college students and recent graduates to become the best and brightest future leaders in the content, business, and technology sectors of the industry. FUTURE NOW Founder, Margaret “Peggy” Kim is one of the most prominent Asian women in the industry and has been operating the organization full-time as a solo-preneur with an army of volunteers for the past 7 years. The organization has grown year-over-year, and has served 600+ students through the annual FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference, and thousands more through the year-round programming that FUTURE NOW offers for FREE to students and alumni. We are working towards several outcomes that aim to support and empower underrepresented Asian and other minority emerging voices in the media industry: Increase diversity in the media industry on screen, behind the screens, and in the boardroom by providing resources, training, mentorship, and networking opportunities to underrepresented groups. Promote media literacy by teaching students to analyze and create media content. Students have access to skill-building workshops, talks, and informational newsletters and podcasts to better prepare them for an internship or employment opportunity. Lead by example to create inclusive norms within the organization that students will bring with them as they enter into the workforce. By working towards these outcomes, the FUTURE NOW Media Foundation hopes to create a more equitable media landscape that promotes stories from across the world.
About the Organization:
$100,000 - $500,000
When Margaret Kim entered the industry in 1991, she quickly realized that representation was lacking and power was concentrated in the hands of a small group of individuals who held the seats at the table. Kim had to work hard to gain respect and overcome many obstacles that were in front of her because of her identity as an Asian woman. Now, she hopes to reduce these barriers for future AAPI leaders by addressing one of the greatest obstacles, lack of access. Underrepresentation of marginalized identities in media and entertainment is a profound injustice. It limits the stories we consume, reinforces stereotypes, and erases the rich diversity within our communities. When certain voices are silenced or misrepresented, it distorts public perception, perpetuates biases, and hinders progress towards inclusivity. Even with the increased dialogue around diversity, equity, and inclusion in today’s modern day, the industry is rooted in tradition and cultural norms that continue to create high barriers for entry for AAPI students. Multiple studies have highlighted the pervasive lack of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) representation in media and entertainment; a study by the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism found that only 3.4% of speaking roles in top-grossing films from 2007 to 2019 were filled by AAPI actors. Another report by the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC) revealed that AAPI individuals represented just 3.9% of all series regulars on broadcast scripted television during the 2020-2021 season. In addition, a study conducted by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company found that among the top 118 U.S. technology companies, AAPI individuals accounted for only 4.8% of the executive and senior leadership positions. In an industry reliant on networking, AAPI students start at a gross disadvantage. Addressing this issue is vital for building an inclusive and equitable society. FUTURE NOW recognizes the importance of supporting and empowering students from marginalized communities, including AAPI individuals, to address the lack of representation in media and entertainment.
FUTURE NOW Media Foundation’s programs are designed to dismantle the barriers that hinder marginalized Asian students and provide access to resources and connections to support their success in the media industry. Our flagship event is the annual FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference, now in its seventh year. The conference features keynotes, panels, workshops, mentoring sessions, and info sessions with recruiters. Participating students come from across our network of 700+ colleges and universities, ranging from community colleges to Ivy League schools and the over 100 HBCUs. We are very intentional in widely casting the net in order to cultivate and serve a truly diverse pool of talent, who are passionate and determined. The conference offers a unique opportunity for college students and recent graduates to interact with industry professionals and secure job or internship opportunities. The rigorous application process, which involves submission of a resume, personal essay, recommendation letter, and work sample, ensures that attendees are highly motivated. These materials are then included in a talent resource portfolio, which is provided to recruiters and sponsoring companies to identify suitable candidates. Sponsoring companies include Paramount, ROKU, Media Link, A + E Networks, Yahoo!, AMC Networks, Disney Advertising, and more. In addition to the conference, FUTURE NOW offers year-round programming...monthly Leadership Talks, workshops, Speed Mentoring events, and Meet the Recruiters Info Sessions, and more. The events are accessible for posterity through the FUTURE NOW Media Podcast, which was established by alumni in 2018 and is syndicated across nine platforms. Our formal 9-month mentoring program, now in its fourth year, connects students monthly with industry executives, managers, and professionals. The Campus Ambassador Program, which also launched in 2019, grows our impact by providing college students a structure to develop leadership, networking, and marketing skills by sharing about FUTURE NOW's programming and events to their peers on campus. Our program is unique because we support students in their career at every stage from recruiting to career progression and truly build a diverse membership that represents what an ideal industry makeup would look like, rather than isolating diverse voices in a non-diverse feeder program.