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Further Diageo partnerships expand support for HBCUs

Further Diageo partnerships expand support for HBCUs

 March 01, 2023

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Continuing its commitment to inclusion and diversityDiageo North America is providing an additional $1.75 million in endowments to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions.

The additional funding is an expansion of the company’s initial $10M in endowments granted to 25 HBCUs in 2021. This unique endowment and development program works to shape a more equitable society and address educational barriers in underrepresented communities across the U.S.

Investing in talented students 

The initiative provides direct grants for talented students in need and funds development programs that complement traditional learning. These resources will be available to students and faculty, and include lectures and mentorship from Diageo executives, skills training to cultivate future-ready talent, and bringing together leaders across public and private organizations to create solutions that help advance sustainable growth across these institutions. 

Diageo recognizes the critical role HBCUs and minority-serving institutions play as ladders of opportunity for underrepresented communities. Expanding our program to additional higher education institutions further affirms our recognition and commitment to address structural barriers to educational and economic opportunities in the U.S.," said Diageo North America Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations, Stephanie Childs. “We believe our additional investments, will help provide students with employable skills and support the development of the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders.”

Priceless power of higher education

The three new HBCU schools, Tougaloo College in Jackson, MS; Cheyney University of Pennsylvania in Cheyney, PA; and Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA will each receive $250,000 in grants for need-based scholarships.

“The power of higher education is priceless. Diageo’s impactful gift will provide meaningful opportunities to transform a student’s educational journey, career trajectory, and life,” said Tougaloo College President, Dr. Carmen J. Walters. “More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid to help meet the cost of their education. This partnership will be a valuable asset to Tougaloo’s ongoing work and contribute to breaking down financial barriers that impede deserving students from pursuing their dream of an education. An investment in scholarships is an investment in tomorrow’s leaders.”

“We greatly appreciate Diageo’s contribution to support Cheyney’s efforts with providing students the financial resources and opportunities to help them achieve academic success. We have thrived on the strengths of our public-private partnerships and Diageo’s endowment will help enhance our mission to offer students a unique learning experience, creating professional pathways for their future,” commented Cheyney University of Pennsylvania President, Aaron A. Walton.

“At Southern University, we pride ourselves in providing an accessible learning environment for all students, ensuring that they are prepared to compete in a global marketplace. The Diageo Endowed Scholarship Fund will aid in our mutual commitment to providing our students with valuable resources and in helping to shape a more equitable society,” added Southern University System President-Chancellor, Dennis J. Shields.

Supporting Minority-Serving Institutions

As part of the expansion, Diageo will also provide funds to Minority-Serving Institutions. The Miami-Dade College (MDC) Foundation was awarded $1 million to create a permanent endowment fund and provide financial aid to talented students in underrepresented communities across various disciplines and majors - including supply chain management and hospitality training.

Ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion

Diageo HBCUs consortium

In 2022, Diageo joined a consortium of leaders across HBCUs, corporations and research organizations with the aim to advance growth opportunities for these institutions focusing on cultivating a pipeline of future-ready talent by reimagining career guidance, upgrading facility and technology infrastructure, and exploring innovative financial models for sustainable growth. Diageo North America is also part of the Congressional HBCU Partnership Challenge helping advocate for positive policies at higher education institutions.

Diageo’s Learning Skills for Life program provided employability skills and hospitality training to more than 900 people in underrepresented communities in 2022 through a variety of community partnerships, and across Diageo's work with Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

In addition to these initiatives, Diageo continues to promote diversity and equal representation in the spirits industry through its work with Pronghorn, a standalone business venture and ten-year action plan dedicated to the development of Black entrepreneurs and minority owned brands. The work in this space includes actively participating in Pronghorn Spirits Academy internship program for Black students attending HBCUs and other universities.

The company and its brands celebrated the advancement of the HBCU community through talent and sports, as the official spirits partner of the 49th Annual Bayou Classic in New Orleans.

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