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HBCU STEAM Day Brings Schools, Companies, and Congress Together; Ford Joins HBCU Partnership Challenge

Mar 15, 2021
Press Release
Hundreds of HBCU and industry leaders participate in week of action on the Hill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Fourth Annual HBCU STEAM Day of Action saw engagement in both houses of Congress and across the political spectrum. The Bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus, co-chaired by Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) and Representative French Hill (AR-02), hosted HBCU STEAM Day. The hundreds of HBCU and industry leaders participating in HBCU STEAM Day met with over 30 members of the Senate and the House of Representatives over the course of the week.

Today, Rep. Adams is honored to announce that Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) will be joining the HBCU Partnership Challenge. “I welcome Ford and Ford Credit to the Congressional HBCU Partnership Challenge,” said Rep. Adams. “It is vital that government and industry work together to ensure that HBCUs and their graduates have equal access to 21st century opportunities. Ford and Ford Credit taking the HBCU Partnership Challenge pledge speaks to their long-term commitment to HBCUs and their students, both as a vital source of workforce talent and as an integral part of communities across our nation.” 

“Ford Motor Company and Ford Fund are both proud of and grateful for our longstanding relationship partnering with and recruiting from HBCUs,” Ford Chief Diversity Officer Lori Costew said. “The HBCU Partnership Challenge will serve to amplify our efforts.”

Last week, Diageo, Ford Motor Credit Company, The Hustlers Guild, Maximus, and Siemens joined the HBCU partnership challenge, a corporate commitment to the idea that diversity creates a stronger workforce, and that HBCUs play a critical role in creating the business leaders of the future. As co-chair of the HBCU Caucus, Rep. Adams also leads the HBCU Partnership Challenge, which has grown to 56 companies. For more information on the partnership challenge click here.

On Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and a bipartisan group of legislators participated in “Pandemics and Partnerships: How Public and Private Sector Engagement can Propel a COVID Recovery” panel discussion. Video from the panel is available here.

“I am honored to see my congressional colleagues on both sides of the aisle join the Bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus STEAM Day of Action," said Rep. Hill, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus. "It is important to always fight for our HBCUs and their STEAM programs – especially during the COVID-19 crisis. As the co-chair of the HBCU Caucus I will continue to advocate for STEAM programs and HBCUs across the country. In Arkansas, HBCUs represent a total economic impact of $179 million, produce 1,920 jobs, and represent $1.7 billion in lifetime earnings. I will continue to celebrate and bolster HBCUs so we may continue to see even more diverse and qualified STEAM graduates.”

“Last week, HBCU presidents, deans, and distinguished faculty members came to fifteen HBCU STEAM Day sessions to advocate for more equitable federal resources,” said Congresswoman Adams, Founder and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus. “They were joined by corporate leaders who made a commitment to creating strategic and sustainable partnerships with HBCUs. Thank you to all of my colleagues, Democrats and Republicans alike, who recognize the importance of HBCUs and their STEAM programs."

“As the proud Representative of seven of our nation’s most prominent Historically Black Colleges and Universities, I know the power of HBCUs in cultivating our youth and shaping our workforce,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “As the Vice Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus, I was thrilled to participate in the fourth annual HBCU STEAM Day of Action to continue our advocacy in ensuring our students have the educational resources they need to thrive!”

“We have four awesome HBCUs in Nashville – TSU, Fisk, Meharry, and ABC – that have joined the many HBCUs facing challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic," said Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN). Meharry has been integral in Nashville’s efforts in testing and administering the vaccine. The federal government sent millions to HBCUs to assist students and schools in response to the crisis but we must continue that commitment to fund and engage HBCUs because repercussions will be felt long after this year.”

Monday, March 8th through Friday, March 12, HBCU and business leaders met with Republican and Democratic Members of Congress in the House and Senate as part of HBCU STEAM Day of Action. Leaders representing nearly 100 HBCUs, organizations, and companies participated in these days of advocacy.

The bipartisan Congressional leaders who participated in this year’s STEAM Day meetings include:

  • Co-Chair of the HBCU Caucus Rep. French Hill (R-AR)
  • Vice Chair of the HBCU Caucus Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)
  • Co-Founder and C0-Chair of the STEAM Caucus Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
  • House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby C. Scott (D-VA)
  • Senate Subcommittee on Agriculture Appropriations Chairwoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
  • Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR)
  • House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott (D-GA)
  • House Subcommittee on Agriculture Appropriations Chairman Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
  • Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
  • House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
  • Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
  • House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
  • House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA)
  • House Energy and Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
  • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
  • House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR)

Congresswoman Alma Adams represents North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District (Charlotte, Mecklenburg County). In 2015, she founded the first bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Caucus in Congress. She is a double graduate of North Carolina A&T, the largest HBCU by enrollment in the United States.

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