New digital media entrepreneurship program will support Syracuse-based Black entrepreneurs

A pilot digital media entrepreneurship program launching this month will support Black entrepreneurs based in Syracuse. 

The program, Black Media Mogul Maker, seeks to identify and fortify a new class of media entrepreneurs and owners of entertainment, marketing, news and other media businesses in the city of Syracuse. Applications will be accepted online beginning July 21. For more information, visit

The program is co-sponsored by the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Center of Hope International Inc., a local nonprofit. Daniela Molta, assistant professor of advertising at the Newhouse School, will serve as program director.

“Our goal is to provide a roadmap, skills and community to foster Black media ownership in Syracuse, in effect bridging the digital divide, creating generational wealth and diversifying the stories that shape culture,” she says.

“It’s well documented that Syracuse struggles with one of the highest poverty rates in the country,” says Bishop Dewberry, president of Center for Hope International. “We believe digital media entrepreneurship to be one of the most accessible types of business ownership—at its simplest, media owners can create wealth with a phone, internet connection and social media presence.”

Black Media Mogul Maker will comprise a 10-week training program for up to 25 Syracuse-based Black founders and creators, plus mentorship, resource sharing and community building. The program will run Sept. 15 – Nov. 13 at at New Life Temple of Praise, 5013 South Salina Street, Syracuse.

“Newhouse School faculty and staff are dedicated to elevating opportunity for diverse communicators,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “This program has the added benefit of helping those in our own community, strengthening our commitment to social embeddedness in and around Central New York.”

A virtual information session, where prospective participants can learn more about the program and how to apply, will be held July 21 at 6 p.m. Newhouse alumna Kelsey Davis ’19, G’20 will be the keynote speaker. Davis founded media company CLLCTVE while she was a student and operated the company in the city of Syracuse. For more information about the session and to register, visit

“Over the last 100 years, some of the greatest innovations and media empires have been created by underappreciated entrepreneurs who saw what others didn’t see,” says Sean Branagan, director of the Newhouse Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship. “Syracuse actually has some history here, and we want to help make that happen again.”