By Chinwe Ohanele

As we reflect on 2023, it stands out as a time of remarkable progress and innovation for the Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property (MIIP). The year was defined by strategic advancements, significant partnerships, and impactful initiatives, all aligning with our core mission to ensure that intellectual property education reaches all communities—no matter where they are. This included scaling within the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) ecosystem, establishing key partnerships, and continuing to positioning MIIP as a critical contributor in IP education.

Expanding Awareness and Engagement

This year, we broadened our horizons and strengthened our presence in the intellectual property community. Our engagement and participation in the California IP Alliance, US IP Alliance, and Entrepreneurship Founder Network were not just about creating awareness, but also about building bridges. These platforms provided us with opportunities to share our insights, learn from others, and contribute to the broader dialogue on intellectual property. 

Partnership with United Negro College Fund

Panelists discuss "Democratizing Intellectual Property" at UNCF's UNITE Conference.

Panelists discuss “Democratizing Intellectual Property” at UNCF’s UNITE Conference.

A highlight this year was establishing a critical partnership with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). This collaboration is set to play a critical role in the HBCU Futures Collaborative, scaling its reach and impact across the HBCU ecosystem. The partnership underscores our commitment to diversity and inclusion in IP education, ensuring that it reaches a broad and varied audience. We look forward to deepening the partnership in 2024.

San Diego Comic-Con Presentation

In a notable outreach effort, we presented at the San Diego Comic-Con, emphasizing the importance of intellectual property in the creative industries. This presentation not only highlighted our expertise in the field, but also led to establishing relationships with the Comic Legal Defense Fund and the Fashion Law Institute. These partnerships are a stride towards expanding our offerings in copyright driven industries, further cementing our role as an industry leader.

Educator in Residence Program

Chinwe Ohanale (left) and Diane Sabato at the NACCE Conference.

Chinwe Ohanele (left) and Diane Sabato, Educator in Residence, at the NACCE Conference.

2023 also saw the enhancement of our Educator in Residence program, in partnership with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE). This initiative has been restructured to facilitate culturally relevant and industry-specific curriculum development and educator resources. By doing so, we have ensured that our educational materials remain at the forefront of industry needs and cultural relevance, further enhancing the learning experience for our participants.

Carrying the Momentum into 2024

It has been a year of growth, innovation, and partnership for the Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property. Each step we took was in line with our overarching objectives: to scale within the HBCU ecosystem, establish partnerships to increase the adoption of MIIP materials, and position MIIP as an industry and thought leader in the IP education space.

The journey ahead is filled with promise and potential, and we are confident that the groundwork laid this year will lead to even greater achievements in the future. As we celebrate these accomplishments, we also look forward to continuing our mission of shaping the future of intellectual property education and its impact on society.

Here’s to a year of achievements, and to many more to come!

Michelson 20MM is a private, nonprofit foundation working toward equity for underserved and historically underrepresented communities by expanding access to educational and employment opportunities, increasing affordability of educational programs, and ensuring the necessary supports are in place for individuals to thrive. To do so, we work in the following verticals: Digital Equity, Intellectual Property, Smart Justice, Student Basic Needs, and Open Educational Resources (OER). Co-chaired and funded by Alya and Gary Michelson, Michelson 20MM is part of the Michelson Philanthropies network of foundations.

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