Google Gifts $50 Million to HBCUs

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Google announced a $50 million unrestricted grant to 10 HBCUs Thursday. The funds will go toward supporting scholarships, career support programs and technical infrastructure for in-person and remote learning.

 Leaders of the institutions receiving the funds applauded the gift.

The grant shows “a firm commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and an appreciation of the value HBCUs bring with regards to the talent and ingenuity of our students, faculty, staff and alumni,” Larry Robinson, president of Florida A&M University, said in a press release.

The move follows Google’s Pathways to Tech initiative, announced in February, which created an HBCU Tech Advisory Board intended to boost equitable computing education for HBCU students and open up opportunities for Black employees in tech fields.

Google is among a wide range of companies and philanthropists who have made hefty donations to HBCUs after protests swept the country last summer. Public figures such as Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix, and MacKenzie Scott, a writer and the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, have given millions of dollars to HBCUs.

“These institutions are actively shaping the next generation of Black leaders and are helping build a more diverse workforce across all industries,” Melonie Parker, chief diversity officer at Google, said in a press release. “This investment further solidifies our commitment to providing access and opportunities for underrepresented groups in tech.”