Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

A Sustainable Media Accelerator for Diverse Creators

New York is a city of Media Makers – and there’s a growing community of content creators that are ready to bring their diverse voices, perspectives, and stories to the world of media. SustainableMedia.Center is setting out to discover new voices, and to use the resources of the SustainableMedia.Center to coach, mentor, and lift up remarkable content creators from diverse, underserved, and economically disadvantaged communities.

We will research, design, and stand up a purpose-built accelerator for media makers and content explorers across a diverse collection of platforms and media formats. Our mission is to empower diverse voices and develop on-the-ground learnings about how media makers can be supported and self-sustaining as they grow a community of voices in the media ecosystem.

Working with a team of CSM Fellows, we’ll set out to learn emerging makers’ needs. Who are they? What skills do they have, and what support do they need? Looking at podcasting, independent film, TikTok makers, Instagram entrepreneurs, bloggers, newsletter writers, gaming, NFTs, and the emerging metaverse. And then, of course, there’s book publishing, music creation, television. What are the platforms that emerging diverse creators are drawn to?

We believe independent and diverse media is the underpinning of a vibrant democracy.

We will interview makers across a spectrum of platforms, formats, backgrounds and interests. What do they need? What do they feel they’re not getting? Would they join a media accelerator program? What would they need for it to be worth their while?

Phase 2: Accelerator Cohort Submission and Delivery

Plan, budget, recruit, and launch the Sustainable Media Accelerator, as New York’s first and only media accelerator with a focus on diverse creators and voices. This is a three-year program, slated to invite a wide array of media startup creators and teams. We expect no less than 60 applications each year, with the delivery of services and support to meet the needs of media startups and continent creators from underserved communities.

Based on the development of the curriculum from our ascertainment efforts, we will investigate creator opportunities working in narrative fiction and non-fiction, and publishing platforms including Instagram, TikTok, documentary, YouTube, Podcasting, Newsletters, Music, and Gaming as well as creatives with a subscription/donor base such as Patreon. The accelerator will include mentors from the creative community including rising voices from web, tv, radio, podcasting, book publishing, gaming, and other emerging media.

Partnership Members

The Sustainable Media Accelerator is using the network of SustainableMedia.Center to organize a team that can coordinate the Phase 1 research, and then evaluate and organize the results into a programmatic framework, offerings, and services that will support and meet the needs of our community.

Our Academic partners will be funded to field the research program, and our industry and media partners will collaborate to build the Phase 2 accelerator. Our conversations are ongoing, and the initial response has been enthusiastic. There is a need for this initiative, and we expect to launch with a group of partners and members who are among the most successful and generous media makers and academic thinkers in this critically important space.

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