Black Panther has been a runaway success at the box office, with fans helping the movie to not only exceed all expectations but also make history. It is because of the movie’s success that Disney, which is Marvel Studios’ parent company, has decided to make a $1 million donation to youth STEM programs, with the money going specifically to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in an effort to help the organization grow their educational curriculum. Disney’s goal with donating the money is to not only help grow the organization’s STEM education but to also “establish new STEM centers of innovation in a dozen communities.”
In a statement from Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger announcing the donation, he said that he believed that Black Panther was a “masterpiece of movie making.” The movie featured not only a “predominantly black cast” with a story that was steeped in the culture of Africa, but the nation of Wakanda was also technologically advanced, featuring a female “tech-savvy innovator” who was responsible for creating so much of the modern tech in the nation. With the Wakanda nation being so steeped in technology and culture, it makes sense that Disney would want to make a donation in order to benefit STEM programs.
As CNBC reported, Bob Iger explained that he believes it is “thrilling to see how inspired young audiences were by the spectacular technology” that was featured in Black Panther. It is because of the inspiration that audiences got from the movie that Disney feels it is fitting for them to show their own brand of appreciation and help “advance STEM programs for youth, especially in under served areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want.”
In a statement from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America CEO and president Jim Clark, he said that they are very thankful for the support from Disney because it will allow them the opportunity to not only expand their current outreach but also help more young people “find their passions and discover STEM careers.” The organization was not the only one to offer their appreciation for Disney’s donation, as Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman also took to Twitter to thank Bob Iger and Disney for what they have done, calling it an investment in the future of these children.
Since Black Panther premiered in theaters earlier in February, the movie has been a box-office success, pulling in $242 million just during the President’s Day weekend. At the same time, the movie’s current worldwide gross has reached more than $708 million to date. As a whole, Black Panther has shown Disney and Marvel Studios that a superhero steeped in African culture and technology can be not only successful but also inspiring.