ATLANTA — More than 57% of NFL players are Black but behind the scenes, diversity is lacking. Fewer than 13% of VP level executives are diverse and just 39% are for lower level front office staff.
But Mercedes-Benz Stadium is changing the game.
That’s why they’re teaming up with Spellman, Morehouse, Morris Brown, and Clark Atlanta to help students move from the classroom to the C-Suite.
One such student is Kristen Mosley, who initially thought she wanted to be a math teacher.
The Spellman College Senior hadn’t thought much about a career in sports, until she was selected for the AMBSE Sports and Entertainment Fellowship.
The six-week program takes students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities across Atlanta through every aspect of the sports and entertainment business.
Mosley said, for her “seeing, no matter sports or entertainment, you need to have HR, you need to have a legal department,” was eye opening.
She adds that the program is proving there’s a place for her in sports, and showing her what it means to be in the room and have a seat at the table.
Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Latonda Henderson said, ultimately, that’s the point.
“This is really our opportunity to level the playing field – it’s our opportunity to put actions behind our commitments,” she said.
Henderson graduated from Spellman and thinks it’s smart to look for top talent in the stadium’s backyard.
“These are really wonderful institutions that are often overlooked. People assume that we go to these institutions because we couldn’t get into another college. No, we choose to go to these exceptional institutions,” said Henderson.
Now she wants these kids to choose a career in sports and entertainment.
“If you do not have a partnership with HBCU students, you are not looking in the right places. These are phenomenal students and what we know is that all you have to do is open the door,” she added.
As for Mosley, she said it all adds up.
“I have loved learning what it means to be part of a good work environment. That good business practices translate to good relationships in the community and giving back,” she said.
Applications are open now for the next class of HBCU fellows.
It is a competitive field – they had around 600 applications this last round.
If you’re interested in checking out the program, visit the following link here.