Published January 25, 2022 by Take on Race, Google

$50 million for HBCUs to address the diversity gap in tech

Equity in education and the quality of education that students receive directly correlates to their quality of life, years down the road. According to recent research, inequities continue to disproportionately impact poor and BIPOC communities. Access to education is a fundamental responsibility of communities across the country. Admittingly, addressing the long-standing inequities associated with access to quality of education is not an easy fix, nor one easily addressed by Corporate America. Google is taking steps in the right direction by providing support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The funding that Google is putting forward will support scholarships, invest in technical infrastructure for in-class and remote learning, and develop curriculum and career support programs. Programs like this one can be supported and scaled by other corporations across the country in order to amplify the impact and raise the quality of education and subsequently the quality of life for students everywhere. Join a coalition of companies looking to do exactly that at TakeOnRace.org.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have stood as pillars of excellence for more than 180 years and continue to serve as havens for Black students in pursuit of higher education. Founded to provide Black Americans with a fundamental human right — the access to a full education, they have grown to produce some of the greatest leaders, thinkers and cultural influencers of our time. These institutions are actively shaping the next generation of Black leaders and are helping build a more diverse workforce across all industries, including tech. In fact, 25% of African American graduates with STEM degrees come from HBCUs.

Despite the success of HBCUs, Black professionals continue to be underrepresented across the tech industry. We want to do our part to support these institutions as we work to help close the gap, together. Today, I’m proud to announce a $50 million grant to 10 HBCUs that will help support scholarships, invest in technical infrastructure for in-class and remote learning, and develop curriculum and career support programs.

Here’s a look at what our HBCU partners had to say about the grant and how it will help them:

"With this effort, Google is setting a new standard in corporate philanthropy that directly addresses decades of gross inequities and underfunding at HBCUs and establishes a new path forward to ensuring workforce diversity in STEM, one of our most critical sectors here in the U.S. and within the global market. Google has done it's homework and understands that our HBCUs are great institutions for unrestricted investment" - Dr. Wilson, Morgan State University

"This action speaks resoundingly to the company's recognition of the longstanding and important role that HBCUs have played in preparing their students for achievment in technological areas." - Dr. Simmons, Prairie View A&M University

"The investments that Google is announcing today underscore their belief in our institutions. Along with my colleagues at North Carolina AT&T, I look forward to building further on our rich and productive partnership. We are deeply grateful for Google's generosity. - Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., North Carolina AT&T

This financial commitment is our largest to date for HBCUs. Each institution will receive a one-time unrestricted financial grant of $5 million, providing institutions with the flexibility to invest in their communities and the future workforce as they see fit.

Today’s grant follows a lot of work in the last several years to support HBCUs, including our Pathways to Tech initiative. These initiatives are designed to build equity for HBCU computing education, help job seekers find tech roles, and provide opportunities to accelerate their careers.

This grant further solidifies our commitment to providing access and opportunities for underrepresented groups in tech. We’ll continue to partner closely with HBCUs to achieve this shared goal.

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