Graduate season is upon us and today, we launched our annual series The Graduates 2020, celebrating the newest additions to the industry. For some graduates however, opportunities are harder to come by. Barriers are higher and certain networks are more difficult to break into for many creatives from BIPOC communities. Whether you went to university or not, there are an increasing number of initiatives dedicated to tackling the lack of diversity in the creative industries. So if you are fresh out of uni, school, or looking for new opportunities as an experienced creative; hopefully there’s something in this list to incite excitement in your next step ahead.
Separated into four sections – Jobs and creative funding; Learning opportunities; Networks and platforms; Mentorship programs – this international list includes dozens of organisations addressing the diversity imbalance in our industry. From a scheme devoted to increasing the number of women of colour in the digital space, an initiative providing paid roles for BIPOC people in the advertising production industry, several mentorships for underrepresented creatives, and a fund supporting South Asian arts workers impacted by COVID-19, scroll down to find a wide range of possible opportunities.
If you have any feedback on this list or would like to be included, please feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Job and creative funding opportunities:
Arts Jobs Online
A jobs board for a myriad of arts careers across all levels.
Black Art Futures Fund
Founded in 2017, BAFF has distributed more than $36,000 in funds raised from individuals to small Black arts organizations and fiscally-sponsored projects across the US.
Channel 4 commissioning
Channel 4 Director of Programmes will order a series of original films in response to the killing of George Floyd in the US and its impact on Black Britons, as told by Black British filmmakers.
Giving underrepresented technologists a voice, Code Untapped is changing the way underrepresented technology talent is found, supported and showcased.
The Commissioner Programme
Ensuring television content and commissioning teams better reflect modern Britain, this leadership programme is designed to broaden the diversity of TV commissioning by bringing in new voices and perspectives.
An employability programme for young Londoners, Create Jobs is transforming London’s workforce by supporting and developing individuals who are underrepresented in the creative and digital industries.
Working towards a day when Britain’s society is truly reflected in our creative industries.
An industry-led talent development programme in digital product design for talented unemployed or underemployed young people aged 18-25 year olds from Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest.
Bringing talented people from underrepresented backgrounds into creative companies and helping them succeed there.
An inclusive agency providing runners for the UK’s film industry. Over 60% of film crew started as a runner and Just Runners is committed to investing in diverse futures.
No Trace BAME Initiative
Created to address the lack of representation of crew from BIPOC backgrounds within the advertising production industry. No Trace BAME Initiative support and offer opportunities in the form of mentoring and short-term paid roles in junior/trainee/assistant/entry level positions.
Created to champion greater cultural and ethnic diversity in the advertising industry and Ogilvy’s output.
The Other Box
Founded in 2016 and run by British South Asian creatives, the organisation runs training and consultancy on D&I, bias and culture-change as well as a jobs board on its website. It also supports a creative and diverse community of over 3,500 people of colour and people from other underrepresented backgrounds.
A diverse, creative online Facebook group including writers, presenters, film crew and photographers circulating job opportunities (including entry-level positions), to support BIPOC creatives looking for work in the UK’s film and TV industry.
Resourcing Racial Justice
A coalition of BIPOC innovators, change makers, activists, artists and social leaders dedicated to social change. Together, the group has created a new UK wide-funding pool to support individuals and communities working towards racial justice.
A jobs board and platform aiming to bridge the gap for Black talent within the UK’s creative industry.
The South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund
The South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund will distribute project grants of at least $1000 (up to $2000 depending on financial need and availability of funds) to assist United States-based arts workers of South Asian descent across the arts.
A recruitment and consultancy agency helping young people aged 16-25 break into the media industry.
Tower Hamlets EBP and Inspire!
A local education charity working in the London Boroughs of Hackney, Camden and Islington to improve young people’s access to the world of work, enhancing future career prospects.
We Are Stripes
A career progression initiative aiming to address the ethnic diversity imbalance in the creative industry, starting with the creative advertising sub-sector.
Opportunities for learning:
Black Girls CODE
Devoted to showing the world that Black girls can code and so much more. Black Girls CODE introduces computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities in programming languages such as Scratch or Ruby on Rails.
Black Girl Fest Academy
A seven month community-focused creative programme. Created by Black Girl Festival, the academy aims to inspire and enable Black women aged 17-25, equipping them with the tools they need to create events for their communities.
Brixton Finishing School
Disrupting how the creative industry recruits, Brixton Finishing School offers free ten week programmes for 18-25 year olds hoping to work in the advertising industry.
D&AD Shift - New Blood Shift London
D&AD New Blood Shift is a free, industry led night school programme for new creatives. If you are over 18 and don't have a degree level qualification, Shift is for you.
Part funding body, part lobbying group, part advice & networking facilitator, the Digital Orchard Foundation is designed to both pump-up and streamline the work that is happening to support underrepresented groups in film and television through new events, advocacy and training for production and crew.
Last year 92% of creative jobs in the UK were held by the most ‘advantaged’ in society. Ideas Foundation helps to move the creative, tech and communications industries in a more diverse direction.
M&C Saatchi Saturday School
With a focus on ensuring under-represented groups have access to training, opportunities and the rewards of entrepreneurial careers, M&C Saatchi offers the basics of business in how to become a creative entrepreneur to BIPOC women of colour and young people from the ages of 16 - 25.
The Other Box
Through CPD membership courses, consultancy and brand partnerships, The Other Box facilitates an honest conversation to better understand the importance and value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
A class for around 30-40 creative young BIPOC people on entering the world of advertising and media.
Networks, platforms and publications:
A pursuit of inclusion, diversity, awareness and opportunity within the VFX, animation and gaming industries.
A print magazine, platform & community exploring womxn within the MENASA region, diaspora and beyond.
A lifestyle platform telling stories through the eyes of Black British women, elevating their voices through content, community and commerce.
BIPOC Creative Directory
A platform and directory of creatives including photographers, stylists, fashion editors, makeup artists, hairstylists, manicurists and set designers.
Black Girl Fest
Amplifying the voices and experiences of Black British women and girls through community-based events.
Black Femme Film
A film club and safe space for marginalised movie-lovers to come together and enjoy great films.
The online global home for African Caribbean British creative professionals on the screen and stage, in sound and literature, both up front and behind the scenes.
British East Asian Media
Connecting and supporting those of East Asian and Southeast Asian heritage working in the media industry in the UK.
An award-winning global not-for-profit consultancy, helping to grow inclusive cultures to unlock the potential for innovation, creativity and profitability.
The Creative Society
This scheme provides large scale national programmes and regional workshops, striving to find the best possible outcomes for young people.
Female Muslim Creatives
A non-profit arts organisation seeking to support Muslim women artists.
Assessing the ways we make and experience film and digital art, Film Pro hopes to enhance the diversity of the UK and worldwide arts sector.
A non-profit community, directory and platform dedicated to creatives of colour in Greater Manchester.
An online and print publication committed to sharing perspectives from women and non-binary people of colour.
A platform for entry-level creatives to gain insight and access into the industry, job opportunities and enhancing digital skills and wellbeing.
In Other News
An online collection of positive Black British stories.
A global community of artists and art lovers from the diaspora.
Providing a gateway for diverse creatives from underrepresented backgrounds to excel within the fashion, film and television industries.
Bringing brands together with diverse, next generation talent in the hopes of making the world a better place.
Los Angeles Urban League Young Professionals
A commitment to corporate, social, and community contributions to enhance the African-American business climate in Los Angeles.
Promoting unity through music, LoveMusicHateRacism celebrates diversity through educational programmes and events.
Mama Youth aims to change the misrepresentation of people from underrepresented groups in the media.
Encouraging the media and creative industry to share their time, knowledge and creativity to benefit underrepresented communities and young people.
An inclusive creative community centring Muslims across its print and online platforms.
Spotlighting Black cinema with a selection of short films from Black filmmakers.
Aiming to push inclusivity in the creative industry through talks, podcasts, events and community.
People of Craft
A growing showcase of creatives of colour and their craft in design, advertising, tech, illustration, lettering, art and more.
Challenging inequality, discrimination and the lack of diversity in the creative industry, Pitch showcases some outstanding talent.
A community of creative, like-minded people working in advertising, media, fashion, arts, film and photography. POCC’s mission is to accelerate equality and positively change the experiences of people of colour within these industries.
Project Noir Hub
A network and pop-up members club curating events and creating space for people of African, Caribbean and Asian descent. The network is built of professionals who work in TV, film and the visual arts.
A creative arts company working in film, audio, text and performance. Roaring Girl combines high quality creative work with practical activism.
An online platform promoting diversity and challenging everyday perceptions for those working in TV or pursuing a career in the industry.
Scottish-Asian Creative Artists’ Network
Promoting the visibility and supporting the development of Scottish-Asian artists from across the diaspora and across the arts sector.
Shades of Noir
An independent program that supports curriculum design, pedagogies of social justice through representation, cultural currency and accessible knowledge. Additionally, it creates safe physical spaces and opportunities for marginalised groups.
A not-for-profit limited company, using positive action and quotas to effect real change in the creative industry.
An independent, Black-owned magazine and inclusive platform amplifying the voices and visibility of talent from underrepresented backgrounds.
Actualising what self-care and self-love really means through monthly events where you can meet the thy.self community.
A photo series and list of trailblazing Muslim women.
Women of Colour
A group for women of colour in the UK creative industries dedicated to supporting and learning from each other.
Women of Color Unite
A social action non-profit organisation focusing on fair access, fair treatment and fair pay for women of colour in all aspects of the entertainment and media industries.
A place for business leaders, tech professionals, students, teachers and parents to view advice on how to take steps towards creating a more inclusive technology industry.
Young Urban Arts Foundation
Helping disadvantaged young people fulfil their potential by engaging with the arts.
A platform dedicated to showcasing films, documentaries and talent from diverse communities in the UK.
An award-winning mentoring charity and network helping marginalised young people overcome hurdles to work in the creative and cultural industries.
Creative Mentor Network
Working with young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, Creative Mentor Network aims to address the barriers many face in pursuing a fulfilling career in the creative industries.
Do That Thing
A mentorship for BIPOC creatives in the UK, running a series of events to uncover and address the politics which holds back representation in the creative sector and beyond.
A creative industry mentorship project, Routes In is designed to open up the creative industry in the hopes of making it more inclusive and diverse by supporting every route to success.
The Us Programme
A project aiming to educate and inspire young females mainly from under-represented backgrounds to achieve their goals, whatever they may be.
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.