Joint initiative of The BrandLab and Signal Theory enters second year with applications opening Dec. 15.
Signal Theory has teamed up with The BrandLab KC, a nonprofit organization bringing diverse voices to the advertising industry, to enter into the second year of the Resonance Scholarship. The firm named the scholarship to underscore that effective communication can’t happen without resonating with people of various backgrounds and perspectives.
“Creating meaningful change to how the face of our ad community looks doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a long-term commitment.”
John January, co-CEO of Signal Theory
Applications for the 2022 Resonance Scholarship open Dec. 15, 2021, and close on Jan. 24, 2022. The Resonance Scholarship awards $10,000 annually in post-secondary financial support and recipients are guaranteed a paid summer internship with Signal Theory.
“Creating meaningful change to how the face of our ad community looks doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a long-term commitment,” said John January, co-CEO of Signal Theory. “Through the Resonance Scholarship and with each recipient, we are investing in a future where Kansas City’s creative community can begin to alter both who is shaping brands and how they can be more inclusive.”
The 2021 Resonance Scholarship was awarded to Dacia Hindsman, who graduated from Kansas City’s Paseo Academy of Fine Performing Arts. Currently, Dacia is in her first year of college at Langston University in Langston, Okla.
“Being awarded the inaugural Signal Theory Resonance Scholarship has provided me both the opportunity to focus on my education as well as help build a community of professionals to help mentor and support me as I continue my coursework and explore a career in advertising,” said Hindsman. “I’m so grateful for the financial support and the guaranteed internship with Signal Theory to gain real-world agency experience.”
Hindsman is a graduate of The BrandLab KC, a program that works with students who are racially and ethnically diverse and/or those who are from lower-income backgrounds. The BrandLab KC collaborates with school districts throughout the Kansas City area, including Kansas City Public Schools and districts in Kansas City, Kan., south Kansas City, Independence and Winnetonka.
“We’re so grateful for the incredible partnership of change-makers like Signal Theory,” said Maggie McCracken, CEO of The BrandLab. “The high costs of education can become barriers for many young people. Opportunities like the Resonance Scholarship support our incredible network of talent as they pursue careers in marketing and advertising.”
The U.S. advertising industry has historically lacked diversity. According to Statista, in 2020 less than 15% of people in the advertising and public relations industry were people of color. Yet, 61% of U.S. consumers report that it is important to see racial diversity in advertising.
Signal Theory has created a focused effort to increase diversity within the firm by establishing a goal that 20% of its staff will self-identify as a professional of color by 2025. To support this initiative, it has broadened its recruiting and hiring efforts to ensure candidate pools for open positions include a diverse representation of ethnicities and backgrounds. Additionally, to ensure accountability, the firm elevated the chair of its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee to its leadership team in 2021.
Resonance Scholarship Details and Requirements
- Eligible students must be currently enrolled in The BrandLab’s Kansas City program or be a graduate of The BrandLab’s Kansas City chapter.
- Students must attend an accredited two- or four-year college or university program and declare and work toward a major that loosely pertains to advertising and marketing.
- Scholarship funds must be used toward class hour credits.
- They must have successfully completed at least one internship with The BrandLab.
- Eligible students must be high school seniors or college freshmen, sophomores or juniors.
Each year, a committee of The BrandLab and Signal Theory leaders will interview scholarship finalists before selecting one winner for a $10,000 award or two co-winners receiving $5,000 awards. Applications for the 2022-23 academic year open Dec. 15, 2021, and close Jan. 24, 2022. Students can apply for the Resonance Scholarship and view full eligibility requirements and details here.
Signal Theory and The BrandLab will host a virtual information session in January 2022 to provide more information and answer questions for interested students, educators, parents and others in the ad/communications industry.
About The BrandLab
Founded in 2009, The BrandLab is a multi-market nonprofit organization building a movement to change the face and voice of the marketing and advertising industry. The BrandLab’s vision is an industry that thrives with the insights and creativity of people from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. This vision is achieved through four core pillars: exposure, access, opportunity and equity. To learn more, visit www.thebrandlab.org.