Uplifting Diverse Voices with Disney Future Storytellers

At Disney, we are storytellers. We foster a magical environment where diverse voices can shine and be heard. As part of this mission, the Disney Future Storytellers program was created. Disney Future Storytellers is The Walt Disney Company’s commitment to inspiring the next generation of storytellers and innovators. From arts programming to STEM education, Disney is helping bright minds build their talents and skills and become who they imagine they can be.

In 2022, Disney announced the creation of the Disney Storytellers Fund at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University’s (FAMU) School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC). Through this fund, selected scholars are supported with tuition and housing scholarships, a stipend, specialized programming, mentoring, leadership development, and more. Scholars also have the opportunity to pursue internships and professional opportunities at Disney.

Meet Edna! She was part of the inaugural cohort for the Disney Storytellers Fund at Florida A&M University. Through the program, she was able to make connections and grow her skills. After graduating from Florida A&M University, Edna obtained an internship with ABC News and is now a full-time associate producer with ABC News Live.


What inspired you to pursue a career with Disney?
To put it simply, I love a good story! During my time as a Disney Storytellers Fund scholar, I experienced the commitment to creating and sharing different, new stories to a variety of audiences and I wanted to be a part of that.

How did your HBCU experience prepare you for your current role?
Florida A&M University instilled in me the value in showing up as your best self on a basis of personal pride. FAMU also taught me how to not just be excellent, but how to care. And it's through that lesson of excellence with caring, I am committed to showing up to work with my best foot forward. It's not just a job, or just a task or just a story. In journalism, we are working with real truths, and I feel I have a duty to not just the subject, but also the viewer, to be absolutely honest and ethical and to care.

Why is Disney’s commitment to HBCUs important to you?
HBCUs were created out of necessity in a time where simply wanting to learn could end in vast consequences depending on your identity. That's an extremely heavy legacy, one that isn't always acknowledged. Working somewhere that not only recognizes HBCUs' contributions and also tangibly commits to supporting them is an honor.

6T9A0058_Edna Rutland
013A9032_Edna Rutland

Why is Disney’s commitment to diversity and inclusion important to you?
Diverse and inclusive environments give people space to share greater parts of themselves. Being in these environments at Disney, I've felt encouragement on all levels to share my own experiences and views while listening to others. This results in more thoughtful and meaningful work.

What advice do you have for HBCU students and alumni interested in a career with Disney?
My advice would be to use that network! HBCU students are everywhere and especially here at Disney. Reaching out, making real connections, and asking questions goes a long way. That being said, don't limit your network to just familiar faces. Disney is great at creating environments where people can genuinely connect.

To learn more about Disney Future Storytellers please visit here. To learn about open roles with ABC and The Walt Disney Company, click here!