In 2019, NuContext Founder & Executive Producer Angela Guice traveled to legendary Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to film a new music video for Lizzo. It was Lizzo’s vision to celebrate HBCU marching band culture and the joy of homecoming. Bringing this vision to life at Southern University, the first state-funded institution for Black people in Louisiana, and home of the incomparable Human Jukebox and Fabulous Dancing Dolls was a no-brainer. Once the NuContext crew and Director Alan Ferguson landed in Louisiana, it was clear that Southern University was a special place full of creativity with some very talented students.
“I immediately felt at home at Southern University,” says Guice. “Throughout filming, we had the pleasure to spend time with the incredible students. Many were eager to learn and inspired with the production process. One of those students was Chaselynn Grant, who we are proud to welcome as our first recipient of our NuContext HBCU to Hollywood program. We are thrilled to have Chaselynn join us in Hollywood this summer."
The new internship includes a $5,000 scholarship to cover travel, living expenses and continuing education for a six to eight-week internship opportunity in Hollywood with NuContext. “We want to make sure that all qualified students have the ability to get real world experience, mentorship and make connections for future careers in the entertainment business,” adds Guice.
“This is an amazing internship opportunity for our students to learn about the film industry and the production process,” says Tamara Foster-Montgomery, Director of Career Services at Southern University. “Our students are creative, reliable and innovative thinkers who are equipped with skills, gifts, and talents that will take them to the next level. Southern University continues to produce scholars who are knowledgeable and eager to learn in this fast-paced and competitive industry.”
“I am humbled to be selected as NuContext’s first Intern,” says college student Chaselynn Grant. “I look forward to working with the staff and learning new things about the film industry. I plan to move to California after I graduate from Southern University and A&M College. I view this internship as the first steppingstone into learning more about my future career. I want to thank Ms. Guice for selecting me for this internship and always giving back to HBCU students. I hope that this internship inspires not only HBCU students, but also young women that if you continue, there is never a limit to what you can do. No matter what you do, someone is always watching and supporting you.”
Born and raised in South Mississippi, NuContext’s Guice understands how important it is to provide the “foot-in-the-door” opportunities, and how few and far between these moments exist for underrepresented students who have a dream of working and thriving in Hollywood. “Creating a diverse and inclusive work force in the entertainment industry is top of mind for everyone in our business,” explains Guice. “And when you start asking yourself how you can impact meaningful change? The answer is to start with one person. All it takes is someone to say ‘Yes.’ And that can change someone’s entire career path and future. I’m proud to have seen this happen for so many young people, including myself, and we are thrilled to partner with Southern University Baton Rouge to help provide these opportunities for their students. But this is just the beginning.
“There are so many under-represented students out there with big dreams,” concludes Guice. “My hope for this initiative is to get other production companies and studios involved with sponsoring students from across the country. Through these partnerships, we can create lasting and life-changing opportunities for young people, and for our industry.”
Southern University in Baton Rouge is the flagship of the Southern University System, the only HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) system in the nation.