AT&T and the Marcus Graham Project Join Forces to Launch Advertising Agency and Connectivity Research Program
Dallas, Texas, July 12, 2010 — AT&T* announced today that it will be the 2010 sponsor of The Marcus Graham Project’s iCR8 boot camp, a 10-week program that provides aspiring advertising and marketing leaders with the opportunity to gain the exposure and experience necessary to solidify careers within the industry.
As part of the program, boot camp participants created a full-service agency called MetaTHINQ, for which they will implement a full-scale market research study focusing on connectivity, and provide real-world marketing and advertising solutions for AT&T, Globe Aware, Passport and other clients.
The Marcus Graham Project (MGP) is a Dallas-based nonprofit organization and national network of diverse professionals focused on developing and mentoring the next generation of diverse thought leaders within the advertising, media and marketing industry. MGP and AT&T recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion at all levels. According to a 2008 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, only 16 percent of employees in advertising and marketing were people of color. AT&T's support of MGP reaffirms its continued focus on diversity and inclusion in the workforce, which are essential components of a successful business strategy.
“We are proud to support The Marcus Graham Project and its mission,” said Jennifer Jones, vice president of diverse markets, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “By supporting unique programs like the 2010 iCR8 boot camp, we are continuing AT&T’s commitment to the diverse communities we service and attempting to make a real difference in terms of diversity within these professional fields. Additionally, the research findings from the project will be used to help us better target and meet the connectivity needs of these segments.”
As part of its sponsorship, AT&T will underwrite a research study to be rolled out by MetaTHINQ. The curriculum based campaign, will give the MetaTHINQ team the opportunity to better understand technology usage, the importance of connectivity and the existing barriers to leveraging technology within diverse communities across the country.
Six MetaTHINQ team members will begin their journey on a cross country tour from Dallas, Texas on July 12, and drive through a set of routes bound for Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; and Washington, D.C. respectively. Along the way the students will conduct market research interviews and forum discussions, as well as meet with industry and community leaders who will share their insight on technology usage as it relates to their specific communities. The culmination of their work is a final research study they will share with telecommunications industry professionals and communities across the U.S.
"We were excited to know that a company literally in our own backyard has taken an interest in what we are doing. It truly gives us encouragement to know that a global organization has taken notice of our efforts and we hope that other corporations follow their lead in advancing diversity,” said Lincoln Stephens, founder, The Marcus Graham Project.
In addition to diversity and inclusion being essential parts to business success, AT&T understands that continued broadband adoption in the U.S. is crucial to empower communities across the country and support the development of a competitive workforce. AT&T’s involvement with the iCR8 boot camp is another way it creates awareness about the importance of broadband access.
For more information on MetaTHINQ, the cross country tours and the research initiative, please visit http://www.metathinq.com. For additional information on The Marcus Graham Project and its programs, please visit http://www.marcusgrahamproject.org.
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