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​​​​​​​Adams, Hill Announce Alaska Airlines Joins HBCU Partnership Challenge

Sep 7, 2021
Press Release
Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is the first airline to join the challenge

Washington, D.C. – Ahead of September’s HBCU Braintrust event, Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12), and Rep. French Hill (R-AR-02), co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus, announced that Alaska Airlines is joining the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Partnership Challenge. The HBCU Partnership Challenge is an effort to promote greater engagement and support between private companies and HBCUs.

“At Alaska Airlines, we are on a journey to ensure everyone belongs, and has the opportunity to be their best self. We’ve also made a commitment to achieve goals for diverse representation in leadership,  inclusive culture, and public leadership to enable a pipeline of diverse talent in and beyond aviation. That’s why we are proud to be the first airline to join the HBCU Partnership Challenge,” said Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines CEO. “We still have a lot of work to do, but we’re grateful to partner with HBCUs and the HBCU Caucus to learn and to deepen our ability to develop, attract, and grow phenomenal talent.” 

In addition to joining the HBCU Partnership Challenge,
Alaska Airlines recently established commitments and specific goals to increase BIPOC representation in leadership, continue to cultivate an inclusive culture, and to lead publicly by supporting education on the path to equity. The airline also recently unveiled the “Our Commitment” aircraft in partnership with UNCF, as a public reminder and accountability for these commitments. The stunning aircraft features the profiles of the next generation of leaders – the children, grandchildren and mentees of Alaska employees, as well as quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela in typography inspired by Civil Rights Movement-era posters. Alaska Airlines is also supporting the bipartisan IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act, the landmark HBCU infrastructure bill led by Adams and Hill in the House of Representatives, to ensure the support needed to fuel excellent and diverse talent for all career paths.

“I’m proud to welcome Alaska Airlines as the first airline to join the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus’ HBCU Partnership Challenge,” said Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12), founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus. “Right now, our HBCUs are facing a major challenges due to the pandemic and a need for capital infrastructure improvements. It’s the perfect moment for private and public partners to come together to support our HBCUs. I applaud all of our private partners for taking the pledge at such a critical time, and leaning in to create 21st century opportunity for the institutions and students who need our help the most. Through the power of partnerships, our HBCUs will soar to greater heights than ever before.”

“I applaud Alaska Airlines’ commitment to the HBCU community by joining the HBCU Partnership Challenge,” said Rep. French Hill (R-AR-02), Co-Chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus. “The HBCU partnership challenge demonstrates the strength of public private partnerships and philanthropic support for America’s HBCU community. This support is a vital part of further bolstering our HBCUs and bringing their needs to the forefront of Congressional priorities.”

Alaska will officially join the HBCU Partnership Challenge at the HBCU Braintrust event next week. The Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus’ Partnership Challenge encourages participating organizations to make greater investments in HBCUs. In addition to the Partnership Challenge, the Caucus hosts numerous events every year including HBCU STEAM Day of Action, HBCU Day, and the Diversity in Tech Summit. For more information, please contact Sam Spencer (

About Alma Adams 
Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. represents North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District (Charlotte) and serves as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Agriculture. Additionally, she serves on the House Financial Services Committee and the House Education & Labor Committee, where she serves as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee. In 2015, she founded the first bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Caucus in Congress.

About Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines and its regional partners serve more than 120 destinations across the United States and to Mexico, Canada and Costa Rica. The airline emphasizes Next-Level Care for its guests, along with providing low fares, award-winning customer service and sustainability efforts. Alaska is a member of oneworld. With the global alliance and the airline's additional partners, guests can travel to more than 1,000 destinations on more than 20 airlines while earning and redeeming miles on flights to locations around the world. Learn more about our climate impact goals at Read about Alaska Airlines at and Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK).