VMLY&R has announced that Kapria Jenkins has been appointed as Executive Director for the Detroit Experience Studio, overseeing a new educational program designed to address a longstanding lack of diversity in the industry.
Opening fall of 2022, the Detroit Experience Studio (DES) is a WPP grant-funded, multi-touchpoint education and exploration studio for Detroit’s Black and brown high-school youth designed to introduce them to marketing, advertising and design via an experiential curriculum.
Jenkins brings 20 years of leadership experience in philanthropy, communications and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Prior to this appointment, Jenkins served as development director for buildOn, a global education nonprofit, driving all aspects of philanthropy in the Detroit region and expanding programming in the US and developing countries. From 2016 to 2020, Jenkins served as the director of corporate philanthropy for The Children’s Center in Detroit, where she was dually charged with serving on the core team that leads and drives the entire agency as well as stewarding all aspects of corporate philanthropy and volunteerism.
“The students in Detroit are amazing! There’s so much brilliant, young creative talent in this city,” said Jenkins. “I’m impressed by WPP’s and VMLY&R’s commitment to advance racial equity, and I’m humbled to play a part in magnifying BIPOC voices and transforming the advertising industry.”
Through the DES program, students will receive a dedicated industry partner as a mentor tailored to their needs and interests. Whether students want to deepen their talents or simply explore if this field is right for them, DES exists to promote creative leaders and provide a path for students to flourish.
“Minority voices are massively underrepresented in advertising,” said Nikeisha Beckford, Chair of DES’s advisory board and one of its key architects. “We believe that through DES and with Kapria’s leadership as executive director, we have a really unique opportunity to help create greater access and opportunities for Black and brown youth in Detroit.”