In 2006, Patricia Henry was a high school senior working through a complicated mix of feelings about sex.
So when her school introduced her to a program called Reel Works—which recruits underserved teenagers and, via after-school, in-school and workforce programs, teaches them the filmmaking skills that can act as a precursor to a career in media—she found a creative outlet through which she could channel her curiosity.
Our Spring 2019 NICKterns headed down to Burbank High School to partner with local high school student Ana Cristina Varela to bring her vision of a mural to life. Ana is a star BHS animation student and a product of our animation mentorship program.
Last month, 300 Viacom employees gathered on the outdoor pavilion of their Buenos Aires office, clad in sunglasses to temper the summer sunshine. A mix of long-time Viacom employees and those that joined the company via its 2016 acquisition of broadcaster Telefe, they browsed informational stations about Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) devoted to the interests of women, parents, the LGBTQ community, and aspiring next-generation professionals.
With inclusive benefits packages, strong workplace protections, and a supportive internal culture, Viacom is working to stitch equality into its company fabric.
By Stuart Winchester
Walking among the 2 million revelers at last year’s New York City Pride Parade was a yellow-clad contingent of 350 marchers clustered around floats sponsored by VH1 and Comedy Central. These employees, media members and corporate partners marching on behalf of Viacom underscored the company’s dedication to supporting, promoting and delivering equality to the LGBTQ community.
Decked out in glow sticks and pom-poms, Team Viacom gave it their all and biked their way to fundraise thousands of dollars for Cycle for Survival’s Media and Tech Ride to help fund cancer research for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. At Equinox in Los Angeles and New York, hundreds of innovators from brands such as Google and Facebook gathered together to rally behind one goal— to beat rare cancers. With employees from Viacom’s Los Angeles and New York offices, each team had two bikes to ride as they swapped members to tackle the four hour long session.
Viacom, in partnership with The BEAT (the African American Employee Resource Group), hosted a career day for over a dozen girls from Figure Skating in Harlem (FSH). The girls, grades 7-11, were exposed to the world of media and entertainment and a peek into Viacom’s culture. The event was all part of Viacommunity’s (Viacom’s corporate social responsibility arm) All Good, All Year Initiative. All Good, All Year aims to engage employees each month with at least one volunteer event.
The week before Valentine’s Day, the common area of Viacom’s Hollywood office was buzzing with activity as employees volunteered their lunch hour to write out Valentine’s Day cards and fill backpacks with toiletries and water bottles for the young people serviced by My Friend’s Place, a homeless youth shelter up the street from the Hollywood office.
Viacom’s Corporate Social Responsibility branch, also known as Viacommunity, recently partnered with the “I Have A Dream” Foundation to engage in a service opportunity in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.