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Bloomberg Live and UNCF Collaborate to Shine Spotlight on HBCU Funding Barriers with “HBCUs: The Path to Prosperity”

The following article was sponsored by the United Negro College Fund.

The Sept. 15 virtual event features notable speakers including three HBCU presidents, U.S. Rep. Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., (D-NC 12th District) and Kevin Liles, Co-Founder & CEO, 300 Entertainment

Bloomberg Live in collaboration with UNCF (United Negro College Fund) will host, “HBCUs: The Path to Prosperity,” a virtual event, on Wednesday, Sept. 15. Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic, economic fallout and a reckoning on race highlighted the critical role that historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) play in the workplace and the economy.

The online event will convene leaders from government, higher education, philanthropy and business to discuss how to ensure these institutions get the funding and support needed to continue their mission to educate and uplift diverse talent.

Speakers include the following:

“For decades now, historically Black colleges and universities have not received sufficient funding from the government,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg L.P. and Bloomberg Philanthropies. “We know that HBCUs are incredibly effective at developing talent and investing in these institutions is a smart economic investment in America’s future.”

In 2020, Michael R. Bloomberg and Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the Greenwood Initiative to help increase generational wealth for Black Americans and to address systemic inequities by making strategic investments across the United States. The Greenwood Initiative’s inaugural investment was funding totaling $100 million to America’s four historically Black medical schools to help increase the number of Black doctors. Within the past six months, Greenwood has made additional investments to create more pathways for students from HBCUs to go into STEM fields and to support the four historically Black medical schools’ mobile unit COVID-19 vaccination outreach in their communities.

“We greatly support efforts to increase awareness of how HBCUs impact the U.S. economy and improve our nation’s ability to compete globally. More than 100 public and private HBCUs with 250,000 students have produced stunning results, even though they are often under-resourced and little-known outside their local communities and the regions of the Sunbelt where they are clustered. At UNCF, we say that HBCUs punch above their weight,” explained Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “Diversity and more voices at the table makes us stronger. UNCF’s mission is premised on ensuring the opening of more doors of opportunity for students of color. I’m happy to see that we and Bloomberg Live can work together to improve the outcomes of HBCUs and their students through this event. Black students and communities constantly strive to find success, and this event will help us broaden their ability to achieve that. For 77 years, UNCF has worked with our HBCUs, raised $5 billion to support them and their students and helped more than 500,000 students earn college degrees. Every day, we reaffirm the truth and wisdom of the words that ground all that we do: ‘A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.’®

The “HBCUs: The Path to Prosperity” digital event will shine a light on the systemic barriers these institutions face and provide insight on the strategies needed to invest in the organizations that develop Black talent. Speakers for the event include HBCU graduates, presidents and advocates including U.S. Rep. Alma S. Adams, Ph.D., (D-NC 12th District), founder, Bipartisan HBCU Caucus; Martha L. Karsh, Founder, Karsh Family Foundation; Walter Kimbrough, Ph.D., president, Dillard University; Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., president and CEO, UNCF; Charles Phillips, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Recognize; Asahi Pompey, global head of corporate engagement and president, Goldman Sachs Foundation; U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC); Ruth J. Simmons, Ph.D., president, Prairie View A&M University; Robert F. Smith Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Vista Equity Partners, and more.

“HBCUs: The Path to Prosperity” virtual event will begin at 1 p.m. EDT. 

Registration for the event can be found here

Follow the conversation on Twitter with @BloombergLive and #BloombergEquality.