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Vox Media Partners with UM to launch the Media 101 Certificate Program

The new program brings educational opportunities in advertising and media to communities of color 

Today Vox Media announced a new partnership with UM, the global media agency network of IPG Mediabrands, to launch the UM Worldwide Media 101 Certificate Program, a program that will create more professional development opportunities and facilitate entry into the advertising and media industries, initially through Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The program was first announced in Adweek.

“For Vox Media, the Media 101 Certificate Program is the newest extension of our company’s commitment to supporting the next generation of media leaders and, notably, voices who were historically excluded from newsrooms, advertising, and technology,” says Ryan Pauley, Chief Revenue Officer.

Beginning later this year, the Media 101 Certificate Program will include a series of virtual training sessions designed to educate college students on the media and advertising landscape. Classes are taught by UM experts, who will cover the fundamentals of the media agency business such as strategy, analytics, and media buying, as well as Vox Media creators and business leaders who will offer students perspectives from the leading modern media company.

“The Media 101 Certificate Program brings the urgency and dedication we have to DE&I in our workplace into the classrooms of historically underserved Black and Brown communities — voices that our industry needs and that deserve to be amplified and immersed in the work,” says Chris Clermont, Vox Media’s head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. “By focusing on education and learning alongside in-office commitments to change, we strive to broaden the pool of talented people interested in media, marketing, and advertising, while ensuring that the workplaces they’ll join are as strong, equitable, and welcoming as they can be.”

The program is part of UM’s campus engagement initiative, CurriculUM, which partners with colleges and universities to attract talent and cultivate marketing and advertising leaders. “To effectively attract diverse talent, we must go beyond the traditional methods of recruitment like career fairs on college campuses,” said UM Chief Diversity Officer Jeff Marshall. “Competition for top talent is fiercer than ever, and we are focusing our efforts on developing meaningful connections with nextgen leaders in their classrooms. By providing students with industry education, mentorship and bespoke programming, we are not only educating them on career opportunities in advertising, but also building a natural pipeline for diverse talent.”

Vox Media is also home to a slate of programs that elevate, train or mentor promising talent such as the Vox Media Fellowship Program, Vox Media Writers Workshop, and on-demand training program Brainery. Additionally, Vox Media has been supporting journalists of color through the sponsorship of events hosted by organizations such as the Asian American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, and National Association of Hispanic Journalists, along with industry events hosted by Vox Media’s Employee Resource Groups.

The partnership between UM and Vox Media builds on Vox Media’s revenue and advertising division’s continued efforts to build a more diverse, inclusive and equitable industry. Last year, the organization created a pro bono advertising services fund for projects aligned with racial equity and justice, and launched the Concert Equity Collective that enables ad partners to support stories across Black and Latinx-run media properties; Vox Media donates a portion of revenue from the Equity Fund to the ACLU in support of racial equality. Vox Media’s brand studio, Vox Creative, also strives to lead by upholding equitable creative standards, such as adhering to a framework that ensures brand partners align with the company’s values and following guidelines that make on-camera talent recruiting more inclusive and ensure a fair, equitable process.

About Vox Media

Vox Media is the leading independent modern media company. For a decade, the company has remained at the forefront of the media industry by building successful brands, a suite of sophisticated publishing and marketing technologies, and a culture that prioritizes diversity, inclusivity, and equity.

Our portfolio features the most relevant and respected editorial properties including Vox, New York Magazine, The Verge, The Cut, Eater, Vulture, The Strategist, Polygon, SB Nation, Intelligencer, Curbed, Grub Street, and Recode. The company is also home to the award-winning nonfiction production and distribution studio, Vox Media Studios, along with innovative technology that powers the business: the Concert advertising marketplace, Chorus technology platform, and Coral commenting tools.

Vox Media has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Media, an Inc. Company of the Year, Digiday’s Best Company for Parents, and one of the Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign.