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Google gives $5M donation to FAMU with goal to increase diversity in tech

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 12:30 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Florida A&M University announced Thursday it is receiving a $5 million donation from Google as part of an initiative to increase the number of underrepresented groups in the tech industry.

FAMU is one of 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities sharing the $50 million, unrestricted grant, the press release says.

The grant will provide FAMU with financial support for scholarships, technological infrastructure support, career readiness and curriculum development.

“Google’s $50M investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) shows a firm commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and an appreciation of the value HBCUs bring with regards to the talent and ingenuity of our students, faculty, staff and alumni,” said FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “FAMU is proud to be a part of this historic partnership with Google and fellow HBCUs which will help produce the next generation of leaders and innovators in information technology and computer science.”

The press release says Robinson and other HBCU presidents have talked to Google about internships and other opportunities for graduates and students over the last three years.

Melonie Parker, Google’s chief diversity officer, says the grant shows Google’s commitment to diversity in the STEM industry.

“I’m delighted to provide our HBCU partners with a $50 million unrestricted grant. These institutions are actively shaping the next generation of Black leaders and are helping build a more diverse workforce across all industries,” Parker said. “This investment further solidifies our commitment to providing access and opportunities for underrepresented groups in tech.”

The investment is part of Google’s “Pathways to Tech” initiative, which was announced earlier in 2021 and seeks to improve computing education at HBCUs, help job candidates find tech roles and ensure that Black employees feel included in the workplace and have an opportunity for growth.

The other HBCUs receiving a $5M donation from Google include:

  • Claflin University, S.C.
  • Clark Atlanta University, Ga.
  • Howard University, D.C
  • Morgan State University, Md.
  • NC A&T State University, N.C.
  • Prairie View A&M University, Texas
  • Spelman College, Ga.
  • Tuskegee University, Ala.
  • Xavier University, La.

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