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Adams, Hill Announce American Airlines Joins HBCU Partnership Challenge

Sep 14, 2021
Press Release
“I’m proud to welcome American Airlines, Charlotte’s hometown airline, to the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus’ HBCU Partnership Challenge,” said Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12)

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12), and Rep. French Hill (R-AR-02), co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus, announced that American 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.

“Our team is the strength and the spirit of our airline, and we know how important it is to be intentional about recruiting diverse talent to bring a range of experience and perspectives to the work we do,” said Doug Parker, Chairman and CEO of American Airlines. “We’re proud to join Rep. Adams in the effort she’s leading to deepen connections between companies and HBCUs, and we appreciate the commitment of the coalition of policymakers involved in creating more and better opportunities for businesses to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. We look forward to listening and learning so we can continually improve our existing engagement with HBCUs, and we appreciate the chance to be involved in this initiative.”

American works to build a strong and diverse pipeline of talent through community partnerships dedicated to encouraging and mentoring people of color and women who are traditionally underrepresented in the aviation and aerospace industries. By supporting organizations like the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, Women in Aviation International, National College Resources Foundation and engagements at HBCUs and Hispanic Serving Institutions, American remains committed to the diverse communities we serve. Additionally, American has a leading, multipronged implicit bias training program in place for its team, which examines ways to recognize and mitigate implicit bias and establishes cultural expectations.

“I’m proud to welcome American Airlines, Charlotte’s hometown airline, to 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. With the power of partnerships, our HBCUs will continue to succeed in the 21st Century.”

“I applaud American 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. I have seen first-hand how private partnerships with HBCUs can be impactful. This support is a vital part of further bolstering our HBCUs and bringing their needs to the forefront of Congressional priorities.”

American will officially join the HBCU Partnership Challenge at an HBCU Caucus event today. 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.