You’ve seen the record breaking box-office sales that Marvel Studio’s Black Panther received after the first week— almost a billion and still growing. To celebrate all of that success, the Walt Disney Company is donating $1 million of the movies proceeds to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s youth STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs. High technology was sparked in the film every time we saw the Black Panther’s younger sister Princess Shuri, played by Letitia Wright on screen. Shuri is the gadget inventing genius behind some of Wakanda’s most advanced technology. In honor of this theme, Disney is moving forward with the donation.
“It is thrilling to see how inspired young audiences were by the spectacular technology in the film, so it’s fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance STEM programs for youth, especially in undeserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Disney.
The grant will further stimulate the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s existing hands-on and advanced STEM curriculum. Innovation of new centers will offer individual and group support, serving in urban communities throughout the nation. Creative technologies like 3-D printers, robotics, and high-definition video production are some of the assets that will be available.
“I’ve never really seen a character like that in a script before,” Wright says. “I never saw a young black girl being interested in engineering or science or math or wanting to heal people. I saw lots of stereotypes, and that’s clearly the difference in why I really wanted to play that part,” said Wright.
Letitia’s role as Princess Shuri most likely will encourage youth to want to be technologic innovators. Disney hopes that STEM will help children and teens learn new skills for the future.