British-based beer and liquor maker Diageo pledged $10 million to be donated to 25 HBCUs across the US. The company told The Associated Press it was motivated by the protests for racial justice last summer.
Diageo, which makes and sells brands like Smirnoff vodka, Guinness beer, and Johnnie Walker whiskey, says its donations will create endowments at the schools to provide financial support to students in an effort to relieve the burden of debt on HBCU graduates.
“We are proud to partner with these esteemed institutions and to do our part to help shape a more equitable society by providing opportunities for future leaders,” Diageo’s North American division President Debra Crew said.
“This initiative further deepens Diageo’s commitment to making a long term and sustainable impact on underrepresented communities.”
The schools included in the donation are: Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Bowie State University, Clark Atlanta University, Delaware State University, Dillard University, Fisk University, Fort Valley State University, Florida A&M University, Grambling State University, Hampton University, Harris-Stowe State University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Kentucky State University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina Central University, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, University of Virgin Island, Winston-Salem State University, and Xavier University.
David Hall, President of the University of the Virgin Islands told Business Wire, “This partnership is a message that the private sector, as well as the public sector, must come together to ensure that HBCUs are supported at the appropriate level so we can fulfill our special and unique mission to society.”
The company is also working on developing a pipeline for HBCU grads to break into the beverage alcohol industry.
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