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EICOP: Stacy Milner is Bridging the Gap for Future Entertainers of Color

Stacy Milner saw a void for Black Youth in entertainment and believed that she had a solution. Mahatma Ghandhi said it best, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” For Stacy, that change was to create a blueprint for young creatives of color. As the CEO and Founder of Executive Temps, Stacy has been leading the charge for 30 years. 

In 2015, Stacy founded the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program (EICOP). With its signature program, HBCU in LA, EICOP works with the biggest celebs, agencies, networks & studios in an effort to educate, recruit and develop a culturally and ethnically diverse workforce. The organization brings college students from minority-serving institutions across the country to the city of Los Angeles, where the heart of all entertainment lives.

When asked about creating EICOP, Stacy replied, “I imagine a workplace where alums from HBCUs have equal access and opportunity to become executives, creatives, entrepreneurs, and board members at the highest levels of the world’s most innovative companies. It was important for me to create EICOP to eliminate systemic, geographical, and financial barriers diverse students face in accepting internships and other early career opportunities in the entertainment, media, communication, sports, music, and technology industries. Having served alongside the Chairmen of NBC and Paramount, I saw the inequities and lack of diversity first-hand and knew a diversity pipeline program was the solution if the industry was ever going to have a workforce that was reflective of the communities it serves.” 

Stacy was recognized in Variety’s 2021 Women Impact report.  Stacy elaborated on the steps, she wanted to take to bridge the gap in entertainment for young people. “I essentially had the industry go back to its roots that originated with the founding members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) going into a joint venture with the University of Southern California (USC) to establish the first film school in the nation. The purpose was to preserve the art of moving pictures. Knowing this, I realized the industry recognized the importance of sourcing its future talent from institutions of higher learning. The unfortunate reality, at the time, was that they did little to no recruiting on the campus of HBCUs. Thus, it was critical for the industry to see HBCUs as centers for diversity. 

In short, Stacy created the space for young people of color to not only believe they could have a seat at the table of inclusion and diversity she believed it was just as important to navigate the maze that is the entertainment industry wisely and skillfully. Stacy explained, “HBCU In LA is the only LA-based program of its kind. It’s an innovative 10-week immersive internship program that creates access and opportunities for students from HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions to gain access to early career and internship opportunities across all aspects of the entertainment industry. The program provides paid housing, paid internships, and educational programming that is not taught in the classroom. “It’s significant because it’s creating real diversity, equity, and inclusion while establishing a pipeline of talent ready for hire in today’s global creative workforce. We are proud to boast a 90% conversion rate from intern to hire. Executive Temps is a full-service staffing agency. For over 30 years, we have been providing staffing support, temporary and full-time, exclusively to the entertainment industry.”

When asked to summarize her definition of success, Stacy summed it up by saying, “For me, success is seeing the vision in my mind’s eye in manifestation. And I would also say success is making a difference in the lives of others. What are you doing? What is your legacy? What will you leave behind that makes a difference in your community and the world? I have also learned that success evolves; you go from one level of success to the next.”

 

 

Candis JohnsonInterview Done by: Candis Johnson Candis Johnson is an author and freelance journalist from NJ. She is the editor of the Literary Magazine series SOUL as well the erotica anthology Erogenous Zone. She has a passion for music and the artists who create it.

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