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Congresswoman Alma Adams

Representing the 12th District of North Carolina

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Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina Becomes Third Entity to Take Bipartisan HBCU Caucus Partnership Challenge

May 2, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, co-chair of the Bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Caucus, (D-NC) and Caucus member Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC), announced that Blue Cross and Blue Shield North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) will become the first North Carolina company and third entity to take the caucus’ HBCU Partnership Challenge. The previously announced Challenge and survey are an effort to promote equal support for HBCUs and the students they serve. Intel Corporation and Lyft have also taken the challenge this year.

“North Carolina HBCUs contribute $1.7 billion to our state’s economy and their graduates earn a total of $20.7 billion over their lifetime. Ensuring HBCU graduates have equal access to opportunity must be a priority,” said Congresswoman Adams. “The Bipartisan HBCU Caucus is committed to leveling the playing field for HBCUs and the students they serve but we can’t do it alone. We’re proud to continue working with Blue Cross and Blue Shield North Carolina to ensure our schools have access to the same federal resources and private sector opportunities as their peer institutions. Together we will create a better equipped and more inclusive workforce.”

“By building bridges across communities and business sectors, and by forging relationships between private and public organizations, I believe we can work together for the betterment of our HBCU students,” said Congressman Mark Walker. “We are thankful that Blue Cross and Blue Shield has taken the HBCU Partnership Challenge and we look forward to continuing our efforts to promote the great work and value of HBCUs in North Carolina and across the country.”

Earlier this year, Blue Cross NC announced that the company would contribute $50 million toward community health initiatives in 2018. Already, Blue Cross NC has invested $4 million in the nursing programs at HBCUs North Carolina Central University, Fayetteville State University, Winston-Salem State University, and North Carolina A&T State University. These investments are designed to engage and leverage HBCUs to address the state’s nursing shortage. The money invested by Blue Cross NC will be used for scholarships, educational resources and technology enhancements.

“Blue Cross NC looks forward to participating in the HBCU challenge and further supporting these excellent institutions,” said Jasmine Smith, Senior Manager, Diversity and Inclusion Marketing. “Representatives Adams and Walker are tremendous advocates for our state’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and we are fortunate to have them representing our state in Washington, D.C.”

Last September, during the first annual HBCU Braintrust, the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus issued the HBCU Partnership Challenge. The Challenge encourages participating organizations to make greater investments in HBCUs. Following the issuance of the Challenge, the Caucus conducted a survey to learn more about current HBCU engagement with corporate America. After the conclusion of the survey, the Caucus will work with industry to establish best practices to continue diversifying our workforce. Please see the attached document for more information about the Challenge criteria.