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Black music is comforting, innovative, majestic, powerful, and it is super influential. Look at fashion, language, dance; every strata of our culture is permeated with Black music. If you have a pulse, Black music has probably touched you in some shape or form, and we should celebrate and acknowledge the collective efforts and creativity of the people who produce and market Black music globally

—Dyana Williams, co-creator of Black Music Month

June is Black Music Month, and at MMI, we are celebrating the Black creators who have shaped American culture, composed the soundtracks to social movements past and present, and continue to connect us into the future.

This year, MMI teamed up with The Hershey Company for The Beat of the Future: Elevating Black Youth Through Music—a Black Music Month campaign featuring limited-edition Kit Kat® Bar and Hershey’s Cookies 'N' Creme Bar packaging designed by three amazing Black women artists. 

The campaign and partnership seeks to honor the rich music legacy of Memphis by celebrating not only the music of Memphis’ storied past, but also the transformative role that music plays for youth across the city. Over the past several months, a group of students in our MMI Works program had the opportunity to participate in virtual learning sessions with members of the Hershey corporate team. Youth met regularly with Hershey employees in branding, marketing, and sustainability to learn about developing campaigns, how music works in advertising/storytelling, and creative career pathways. Feedback MMI's youth shared was incorporated into the campaign, limited edition packaging, and microsite—as well as their own original content!

Be sure to check out this music video for “Risk,” created by several of the 2021 MMI Works interns! The song is featured on the Beat of the Future microsite landing page. You can watch all of the 2021 MMI Works music videos on our YouTube channel. 

On May 21, MMI and Hershey hosted a kickoff event at MMI HQ. We celebrated with team members from Hershey, friends, MMI Works students, and community partners with musical performances, food trucks, and, of course, lots of chocolate. Check out the recap video below! 

To everyone who came out and celebrated with us, thank you. Thank you for supporting us, this partnership, and the young people whose voices guide everything we do.


Special shoutouts to these amazing vendors and community partners who made the day so special:

Da Sammich Spot

Sun Of A Vegan, llc


Freeman Photography

MKM Balloons

Memphis Youth Arts Initiative

Harmonic South String Orchestra

Students from Central High School, Cordova High School, Southwind High School, and Ridgeway High School

And, of course, our Hershey and MMI families in Memphis and beyond.


The limited-edition bars are still available at Target stores nationwide and, but not for long! Collect all six while you can!