Diageo North America joins the Congressional HBCU Partnership Challenge

Diageo North America joins the Congressional HBCU Partnership Challenge

9 Mar 2021

Diageo North America signed on to the Congressional Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Partnership Challenge to advocate for positive policies and share best practices for partnering with these higher education institutions. By joining this initiative, the company takes another step to deepen its commitment to develop future Black leaders and help shape a more equitable society.

In September 2017, Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus, rolled out the HBCU Partnership Challenge. The initiative was created with the recognition that strengthening public-private investments in these academic institutions is necessary not only for their sustainability, but for the future career prospects of their students and the advancement of diversity and inclusion within all sectors of employment.

“We are thrilled to join the Congressional HBCU Partnership Challenge, and we look forward to working with members of the Caucus and other organizations to help effect positive policy and make a lasting impact on HBCUs. I am convinced that the kind of broader opportunity Diageo will offer is the key for African American students to be able to change the world for the better and make bold, new and exciting ideas come to life.” Erica J. Johnson, Director, Federal Affairs & Diageo USVI at Diageo North America and Hampton University Alum

“As an HBCU grad, I’m proud of the partnership Diageo announced. This is an incredible step in furthering Diageo’s commitment to diversity and inclusion to colleges and universities that have a legacy of producing some of our most recognized leaders. I look forward to the development of new young leaders as a result of this investment in our HBCUs.” Perry Jones, President, Diageo North America Supply and Grambling State University Alum

Recently, Diageo North America established an innovative program and pledged $10 million to fund permanent endowments at 25 HBCUs across the country, enabling these institutions to provide much needed financial assistance to thousands of students for perpetuity. With the goal of helping to change the complexion of the beverage alcohol industry, the program will include an internship platform to build a pipeline of talented Black leaders. The company is also exploring the creation of Innovation Hubs at select institutions to provide students and faculty with an experiential approach and resources that complement traditional learning.

The company will continue to build its relationship with the Black colleges and the Congressional HBCU Caucus.