Filmmaker Spike Lee and leading talent agency The Gersh Agency .... - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Thursday, January 12, 2023

Filmmaker Spike Lee and leading talent agency The Gersh Agency ....


Filmmaker Spike Lee and leading talent agency The Gersh Agency have announced the creation of the SPIKE FELLOWS PROGRAM, a fellowship to support students at the Atlanta University Center Consortium (AUCC), which consists of three Historically Black Colleges and Universities — Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Clark Atlanta University. 

    “It is with great honor, privilege, and excitement to announce the Spike Fellows in association with my partners The Gersh Agency and the AUCC. From the jump, from the get-go, I knew when (not if) I opened a crack in the door, I was bringing as many Black and Brown folks with me in front and behind the camera,” said Lee. 

    As a proud “Morehouse Man” (Class of ’79), Spike received his B.A. in Mass Communication at Clark College and took classes at Spelman College. 

    “I know firsthand the education one receives at a Historically Black College and University. I am who I am because of my grandmother (Zimmie Jackson) and my mother (Jacquelyn Shelton Lee) who both graduated from Spelman College. I am who I am because of my grandfather (Richard Jackson Shelton) and my father (William Lee) who both graduated from Morehouse. It’s on the campuses of Spelman and Morehouse where they met, fell in love, and got married. As my elders often told me, ‘Deeds not words’, Spike added. 

    Like Lee, Gersh has a long history of supporting social issues, both as an agency and in support of its clients. “As industry leaders, we’ve always taken seriously the responsibility to build a more diverse, dynamic ecosystem in which people of all ethnicities, backgrounds and experiences can thrive,” says Gersh Senior Managing Partner, Leslie Siebert. “We are honored that Spike has chosen us to be his inaugural partner, and we are proud to welcome the five inaugural Spike Fellows into our organization.” 

    The SPIKE FELLOWS PROGRAM is based on the principle that access plus exposure will create opportunities. The inaugural class of Spike Fellows will consist of five graduating students from AUCC who will receive academic debt relief, industry mentorship, post-graduate internships, and full-time employment, all provided by Gersh. 

    Jayson Council, Head of Culture at Gersh, will lead the Fellowship program. “I joined Gersh to lead the charge in identifying powerful opportunities and signature moments to advance cultural competence and accelerate social impact. As an HBCU graduate, I am extremely proud of Gersh and Spike for their commitment to growing opportunities for AUCC graduates.” 

    The fellowship program will begin in January 2023 with five fellows selected by a panel including Spike Lee, the AUCC community, and Gersh management. 

    Having made a multi-year commitment, Lee and Gersh intend to expand the program in the future with additional resources and fellows. 

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