The push for more diversity in motorsport has been snowballing in the past year, and it means more opportunities have been opening up for people of color — including a new initiative pushed by 23XI Racing in NASCAR, called the SPEED Institute.
SPEED stands for Scholarship, Professional Education, Executive Development, and the whole institute is designed to provide a variety of new opportunities for students or job seekers who want to enter motorsport.
“It’s an exciting time for us at 23XI Racing to announce our SPEED Institute and continue to build on our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in motorsports,” said Denny Hamlin, co-owner of 23XI Racing. “When we created 23XI, this was an important focus for our company and our vision for the future. We want to create an avenue for students to feel welcome in motorsports and help open doors for them, either through working with us directly or by working with our partners to find opportunities to learn and grow. We are fortunate to have a great group of partners who not only support our on-track efforts, but support us off the track with our DEI efforts, and the SPEED Institute is the next step in that growth.”
Among the different services offered will be:
- Scholarship programs for students with an interest in automotive and motorsport-related goals, like marketing, communications, human resources, finance, engineering, or trade schools.
- Paid internships designed to give graduate and undergraduate students hands-on experience in the motorsport world. Those internships can be completed in person and virtually, depending on the nature of the work.
- Fellowships for graduate, undergraduate, or doctoral students pursuing STEM fields; those students will be hired upon completing their degree.
- Diversity recruitment and executive development, which means the team will make an effort to eliminate biases in hiring practices and seek out qualified job candidates in underrepresented communities.
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Right now, the program is being developed, but you can learn more at 23XI’s website.