Monique Lenoir | September 13, 2021 - Bloomberg Live in collaboration with UNCF (United Negro College Fund) will host, “HBCUs: The Path to Prosperity,” a virtual event, on Wednesday, Sept. 15. Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic, economic fallout and a reckoning on race highlighted the critical role that historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) play in the workplace and the economy. The online event will convene leaders from government, higher education, philanthropy and business to discuss how to ensure these institutions get the funding and support needed to continue their mission to educate and uplift diverse talent.
“For decades now, historically Black colleges and universities have not received sufficient funding from the government,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We know that HBCUs are incredibly effective at developing talent and investing in these institutions is a smart economic investment in America’s future.” In 2020, Michael R. Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the Greenwood Initiative to help increase generational wealth for Black Americans and to address systemic inequities by making strategic investments across the United States. The Greenwood Initiative’s inaugural investment was funding totaling $100 million to America’s four historically Black medical schools to help increase the number of Black doctors. Within the past six months, Greenwood has made additional investments to create more pathways for students from HBCUs to go into STEM fields and to support the four historically Black medical schools’ mobile unit COVID-19 vaccination outreach in their communities.
“We greatly support efforts to increase awareness of how HBCUs impact the U.S. economy and improve our nation’s ability to compete globally. More than 100 public and private HBCUs with 250,000 students have produced stunning results, even though they are often under-resourced and little-known outside their local communities and the regions of the Sunbelt where they are clustered. At UNCF, we say that HBCUs punch above their weight,” explained Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “Diversity and more voices at the table makes us stronger. UNCF’s mission is premised on ensuring the opening of more doors of opportunity for students of color. I’m happy to see that we and Bloomberg Live can work together to improve the outcomes of HBCUs and their students through this event. Black students and communities constantly strive to find success, and this event will help us broaden their ability to achieve that. For 77 years, UNCF has worked with our HBCUs, raised $5 billion to support them and their students and helped more than 500,000 students earn college degrees. Every day, we reaffirm the truth and wisdom of the words that ground all that we do: ‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.’®”
The “HBCUs: The Path to Prosperity” digital event will shine a light on the systemic barriers these institutions face and provide insight on the strategies needed to invest in the organizations that develop Black talent. Speakers for the event include HBCU graduates, presidents and advocates including U.S. Rep. Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., (D-NC 12th District), founder, Bipartisan HBCU Caucus; Martha L. Karsh, Founder, Karsh Family Foundation; Walter Kimbrough, Ph.D., president, Dillard University; Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., president and CEO, UNCF; Charles Phillips, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Recognize; Asahi Pompey, global head of corporate engagement and president, Goldman Sachs Foundation; U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC); Ruth J. Simmons, Ph.D., president, Prairie View A&M University; Robert F. Smith Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Vista Equity Partners, and more. “HBCUs: The Path to Prosperity” virtual event will begin at 1 p.m. EDT. Registration for the event can be found here. Follow the conversation on Twitter with @BloombergLive and #BloombergEquality. About Bloomberg Live Bloomberg Live brings together the expertise of the largest newsroom in the world with the immense data and analytical power of Bloomberg Intelligence and Bloomberg Global Data to enable our celebrated moderators and speakers to produce compelling, news-making conversations.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20% of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.