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Here’s How Tech Companies Are Partnering with HBCUs

Heba Mahmoud, Sr. Manager, Diversity Initiatives, Consumer Technology Association
Tech companies are making significant commitments to addressing diversity in the tech industry, and several prominent tech companies are supporting and encouraging Historically Black University and Colleges, ensuring they have the resources need to continue preparing top talent for the tech sector.
Last week, 46 Historically Black University and College (HBCU) presidents and chancellors joined government officials and industry leaders for the second annual HBCU STEAM Day of Action.  During the event, executives from Lyft and Intel, shared some of the ways they partnered with HBCUs, including meeting with the students at these schools, giving talks centered on STEM education, helping students network with key industry players and providing internship opportunities for the students.
Intel also shared that they are currently working to build an AI Center of Excellence at Prairie View A&M University, which will help give students valuable experience prior to joining the workforce. From a development perspective, it’s also important that HBCUs are part of the design process in technology, and Lyft shared that they currently engage HBCU deans and students to ensure products are inclusive for all who will use them.
Intel and Lyft are members of the HBCU Partnership Challenge, which is a public pledge that industry leaders take to incorporate HBCUs within their diversity and inclusion efforts.  During the HBCU STEAM Day Welcome Breakfast, hosted by CTA, AirBnB and Microsoft, also CTA members, joined the challenge. This year’s STEAM Day of Action also marked the 75th anniversary of the United Negro College Fund, a philanthropic organization that funds scholarships for African-American students and general scholarship funds for 37 private historically black colleges and universities.
For the industry to meet its potential, different voices, backgrounds and perspectives must be blended into the workforce, and CTA is proud to continue pushing the industry forward on these efforts. As an organization, we are looking to provide resources that push the boundaries of innovation and change the industry for the better.
For more information about what CTA is doing to advance diversity and inclusion in the technology sector, please visit our website.