MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FedEx announced a commitment to give $5 million to four Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Mississippi and Tennessee.
The initiative will help prepare students at Tennessee State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University and LeMoyne-Owen College for jobs upon graduation.
Part of it will also go to help those students, staff and faculty members who have been hit hard by the pandemic.
“With many students and families struggling right now as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our hope is that this timely investment will help keep more students in school and provide future access to leadership, educational and employment opportunities,” said Judy Edge, corporate vice president of Human Resources at FedEx. “This contribution further deepens our commitment to creating more equitable communities by breaking down barriers to work and making a sustainable, long-term impact on underrepresented groups.”
The company said this new announcement builds on their commitment to these schools. They currently have endowed scholarships at JSU, TSU and LeMoyne-Owen College, a career readiness program at MVSU and leadership summits at both TSU and JSU.
“We are very excited on behalf of the University and especially our students. This is a significant investment by FedEx,” said Thomas Hudson, president of Jackson State.
He said the money will go to scholarships allowing students to complete their degrees. A portion will also support those who suffered financially because of COVID-19.
“You know a lot of our students, the jobs they work, whether it’s in the service industry, retail industry or restaurant industry they use those jobs to really help their tuition and unfortunately those have been the jobs most affected by the pandemic,” said Hudson.
HBCUs have been in spotlight with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris being an HBCU graduate and now people learning more about HBCUs.
FedEx already had a relationship with the four schools through endowed scholarships and a career satellite location.
“HBCUs will broaden our pipeline and allow us to have more diverse candidates. We are working on our future workforce,” said Rose Flenorl, FedEx’s manager of Global Citizenship.