Silicon Valley giants power up digital equity at HBCUs
HP with support from Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel and Microsoft hosts first-ever HBCU Tech Conference to expand career opportunities for Black students
HBCUs have encapsulated a multigenerational groundswell of history, culture and pride so powerful that even Beyoncé channeled their high-stepping, homecoming marching band energy to break the internet at Coachella. But of all the waves of momentum HBCUs have inspired through adversity over many decades, none are more impactful than their massive cultivation of Black academic excellence and talent designed to do nothing less than change the world.
Now, in the midst of a global pandemic that has accelerated digital disruption in communities of color and America’s racial reckoning, people in those same communities have leveraged their buying power to apply pressure on corporations to accelerate advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.
In June, HP, one of the world’s leading makers of personal systems, printers and 3D printing solutions, launched the HP PATH initiative to accelerate digital equity for 150 million people by 2030. Most recently, HP has stepped up to empower HBCUs to meet 21st century student needs by sponsoring the first-ever HBCU Tech Conference with support from other tech leaders, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel and Microsoft. Collectively, they are invested in co-creating solutions with the institutions to understand the opportunities and their unique challenges.
HP’s annual HBCU Business Challenge has engaged 380 students across 46 HBCUs to develop business plans tackling real world challenges, and select participants later accepted positions with HP. In addition, HP has joined the HBCU Business Deans Roundtable and leveraged its membership with the New York Stock Exchange to create the first partnership between the exchange and HBCUs. HP also advocated for the “IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act,” endorsed by the Congressional Black Caucus in August, to further investments in infrastructure at HBCUs. HP also committed to doubling the number of Black executives inside the company by 2025.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which already partners with five HBCUs, has made a five-year commitment to sponsor at least 10 scholarships annually through its Executive Leadership Council. Intel has made a $9.5 million commitment to providing HBCU faculty and staff with access to Intel technology and experts.
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