Penske Entertainment seeks to increase racial diversity in motorsports – Indianapolis News | Indiana Weather | Indiana Traffic

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A special project at Penske Entertainment is in full gear for the Indianapolis community.

Each year, tens of thousands of people from around the world descend on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy 500.

None of it would be possible without the work that goes behind the scenes. Its leaders say they want to make sure they reflect their diverse community.

“We needed to change the culture and the expectations that folks have about maybe this sport is not for me. Maybe basketball is for me, or football is for me,” said Jimmie McMillian, the chief diversity officer of Penske Entertainment.

To do that, Penske Entertainment has created the Diverse Leadership in Motorsports Program, which focuses on providing internships to black and brown students.

They’re looking for college students interested in its different departments, including engineering, marketing, and operations.

Organizers say these students will have the opportunity to work full-time in the industry after they graduate.

McMillian said, “Particularly for students of color and women in motorsports, a field that for far too long has been viewed as being an isolated sport with perspective to diversity, primarily being a white-dominated sport.”

McMillian says it’s important to reach all communities despite some challenges.

“Because you don’t see or you haven’t traditionally seen folks in the room that look like us, you might think, well, either they’re not interested, they don’t like it, or they don’t know enough about it to be in charge of it,” he said.

McMillian says they also hope to foster a more diverse community on the stands. He also says interested applicants for the 2024 cohort should apply by the end of December.

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