Disney donates $1 million to STEM programs to celebrate ‘Black Panther’

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Black Panther
"Black Panther" promotional photo. (Facebook/BlackPantherMovie)

In celebration of the massive success of Marvel’s newest superhero film, “Black Panther,” Disney is donating $1 million toward the expansion of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs across the nation.

The company is giving the hefty donation to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), a non-profit organization that supports young people and trains them in special skills to help them become successful.

Disney is giving the pledge to 12 BGCA communities across the country, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Harlem, Hartford, Memphis, New Orleans, Oakland, Orlando, Philadelphia, Washington, and Watts.

“It’s fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance STEM programs for youth, especially in underserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want,” said Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

“Thanks to Disney’s support, we can expand our outreach and allow more youth to find their passions and discover STEM careers,” said Jim Clark, BGCA president and CEO.

The donation will help advance STEM programs that help youth learn high-tech skills, which were a major theme in the story of “Black Panther.” In the movie, protagonist T’Challa’s younger sister Shuri, played by Letitia Wright, is a young genius inventor who creates many of the high tech gadgets utilized by the characters.

The movie not only features a connection to STEM but also stresses the importance of helping underserved communities in the areas of technology and modern science. At the end of the movie, King T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, decides to create outreach centers so he can use the advanced technology of his country to help underprivileged young people.

Boseman himself went on to Twitter to praise Disney’s decision to make a huge donation to STEM programs. “You can never go wrong when you invest in kid’s futures,” he wrote.