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Rep. Alma Adams Announces the Companies Joining the HBCU Partnership Challenge at the Third Annual HBCU STEAM Day

Feb 28, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) announced the companies joining the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Partnership Challenge at the third annual HBCU STEAM Day of Action on Capitol Hill, to be held on March 3 & 5. The HBCU Partnership Challenge is an effort to promote greater engagement and support between private companies and HBCUs.


“I am excited to announce that Autodesk, Citi, The Farm Credit, Honda, The NC Electric Cooperatives, and Prudential are joining the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus’ HBCU Partnership Challenge. These companies recognize that diversity creates a stronger workforce, and that HBCUs play a critical role in creating the business leaders of the future,” said Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12), founder and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan HBCU Caucus. “There is no workplace diversity, especially within STEAM fields, without HBCUs. I am proud these companies are joining us at the third annual HBCU STEAM Day of Action to make a greater investment in their outreach to and partnership with HBCUs.”


Companies joining the partnership challenge are excited for the opportunity.


“We at Autodesk are proud to be taking part in the HBCU Partnership Challenge,” said Carmel Galvin, CHRO and SVP, People & Places at Autodesk, Inc. “We believe that diversity fuels innovation, and HBCUs serve as both an engine and catalyst for creating the innovators of tomorrow. We look forward to expanding our efforts to contribute to curriculum development, student mentoring and hands-on training at HBCUs. These efforts inspire us as much as they support the bright and promising individuals at these institutions.”


“I am very pleased that Citi has joined the Bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus as a corporate member,” said Citi Chief Financial Officer Mark Mason. “The Caucus strives to address the unique challenges that HBCUs face; making sure their needs are heard in Washington. As a Howard alum, I have personally experienced the benefits of an HBCU education, and I understand how important it is to build a strong pipeline of diverse talent.

“In the Fall, we hosted a two day symposium with HBCU students and have broadly hosted tailored on-campus events including hackathons, teaching courses and supporting accelerator programs for black women in STEM. More broadly, Citi recently established representation goals for black employees in the U.S. and for women globally. It’s no secret that in corporate America there is still much to be done. At Citi we are committed to an inclusive future and are taking the steps needed to accelerate progress,” concluded Mason.


Farm Credit is committed to deepening its engagement with HBCUs, and participating in this partnership challenge provides a great opportunity to strengthen those relationships,” said Farm Credit Council President and CEO Todd Van Hoose. “Many Farm Credit institutions offer scholarship programs for HBCU students, engage in curriculum building and recruit directly from these colleges and universities. Through our participation in this challenge, we will elevate our partnerships and find new opportunities to develop the next generation of diverse leaders in agriculture.”


“For three decades, Honda has supported HBCUs and recognized the critical role the institutions play in our society,” said Yvette Hunsicker, vice president of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity, and Human Resources for Honda North America, Inc. “Honda is proud to continue to advance our leading commitment to HBCUs by joining the Partnership Challenge. Having touched the lives of more than 170,000 HBCU students and awarded more than $12 million in grants in support of HBCU education programs, we look forward to working with the HBCU Caucus to ensure a spotlight remains on these important institutions.”


North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives strive to build a brighter future for people, businesses and communities throughout our state, and we recognize the critical roles of diversity and inclusion, as well as STEAM education, in making this vision a reality,” said CFO Lark James. “We’re proud to join the HBCU Partnership Challenge to further engage HBCUs and invest in talented and innovative leaders who will strengthen our industry and our state.”


The Bipartisan HBCU Caucus’ Partnership Challenge encourages participating organizations to make greater investments in HBCUs. The new partners will be officially announced at the third annual HBCU STEAM Day. During STEAM Day, HBCU and business leaders will meet with Republican and Democratic Members of Congress in the House and Senate. Over 50 HBCUs, organizations, technology companies, and industry leaders are sending representatives to participate in these days of advocacy. For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Sam Spencer (