Private and public sector join consortium to help HBCUs develop sustainable growth and cultivate a pipeline of future-ready talent

Private and public sector join consortium to help HBCUs develop sustainable growth and cultivate a pipeline of future-ready talent

28 Jun 2022
Higher Education Thought Leadership Consortium

Leaders across Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), corporations and research organizations established the Higher Education Thought Leadership Consortium, convened by the Professional Pipeline Development Group, aiming to advance growth opportunities for these institutions with a focus on cultivating a pipeline of future-ready talent by reimagining career guidance, upgrading facility and technology infrastructure, and exploring innovative financial models for sustainable growth.

The consortium came together at the New York Stock Exchange to discuss the critical issues that disproportionately affect HBCUs and explore collaborative solutions. This session was preceded by over a year of work streams with the thought leaders, researchers, and co-founders, including higher education institutions and Diageo North America, among other corporations.

“The under-told truth is that the HBCUs are the best return on investment in higher education. The numbers are clear. While making up only three percent of the country’s colleges and universities, we enroll 10 percent of all Black students, produce nearly 20 percent of all Black graduates, and remain the number one driver for economic mobility among low-resource Black people. We have an important collective story but not nearly enough storytellers. That is why the Higher Education Thought Leadership Consortium is so powerful. The private sector need not only look to HBCUs as a quality, inclusive talent pipeline; they must also articulate the business and moral imperative for their customers and clients around the world. Diageo is one of the flagship companies leading the way.”

Tony Allen, Ph.D.

President, Delaware State University Chair, President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities

“Best Buy is committed to developing diverse talent and getting them ready for the careers of the future. As founding members of the Higher Education Thought Leaders Consortium, it’s incredibly important to us that we support HBCUs by closing the tech literacy gap and increasing access to tech. We are honored to partner with HBCU administrators, higher education institutions and other companies to accelerate the career and financial success of HBCU graduates and their alma maters.”

Amelia Hardy

Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, Best Buy

“T-Mobile is committed to improve access and equity in education and elevate HBCUs through innovative use of technology. We are proud to join the efforts of the Higher Education Thought Leadership Consortium to ensure we provide the right solutions to meet students’ needs and improve their success and experience in higher education.”

Anne Clancy MBA, EdD

Higher Education Advisor, T-Mobile

“We’re elated to be founding members of the Higher Education Thought Leadership Consortium to help advance talent development and bring equity in infrastructure and financial resources to these institutions. We are confident that this collaborative work will support HBCUs to attract, anchor and develop a talent pipeline equipped with the proper resources to assist in securing the future success of their students.”

Dr. Danielle Robinson

Head of Community Engagement and Partnerships, Diageo North America

By taking part in this initiative, Diageo North America furthers its commitment with HBCUs to help shape a more equitable society, by providing opportunities for future leaders and making a sustainable impact in underrepresented communities. Last year, Diageo North America launched an innovative program and pledged $10 million to fund permanent endowments at 25 HBCUs across the country, providing financial assistance to students to help shape future Black leaders. The company also joined the Congressional HBCU Partnership Challenge to advocate for positive policies at higher education institutions. In addition, the company continues to promote diversity and equal representation in the spirits industry through its work with Pronghorn, a standalone business venture and ten-year action plan dedicated to the development of Black entrepreneurs and minority owned brands.

While the Higher Education Thought Leadership Consortium aspires to grow, it is currently comprised of over 30 leaders representing the HBCU community, private corporations and research organizations including:

  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Southern University
  • North Carolina A&T
  • Cheyney University
  • Denmark Technical College
  • Delaware State University
  • Tugaloo College
  • Livingstone College
  • Diageo North America
  • Best Buy
  • HP
  • White House HBCU Advisory Council Leadership
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Institute for Data, Systems and Society (MIT-IDSS)
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
  • Moody’s
  • T- Mobile

More information on Diageo's commitment to championing inclusion and diversity.