Seven colleges and universities across the country are collaborating with American multinational financial services company Wells Fargo to help students fight hunger, student loan debt, and other financial hardships.
Specifically designed for students of color, the $5.6 million initiative will “address the widening racial wealth gap,” while boosting financial inclusion and future economic success.
The seven participating schools are:
- Allen University, South Carolina
- Bowie State University, Maryland
- Lincoln University, Pennsylvania
- Miles College, Alabama
- Morris Brown College, Georgia
- Southern University at Louisiana, and
- University of Illinois — the only institution in the list that is not an HBCU
‘Navigating Complex Financial Challenges’
Taking into account the devastating effect of the pandemic on HBCUs and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), the initiative “Our Money Matters” (OMM) will be administered by the HBCU Community Development Action Coalition.
— Center for MSIs (@CenterForMSIs) June 9, 2021
The short-term goal is to expand to as many as 25 HBCUs and MSIs across the country within the next three years. Over the long term, OMM aspires to create income opportunities for underrepresented students to help bridge the racial wealth divide.
“We hope to support students who may be navigating complex financial challenges and give them a stronger foundation for future success and opportunities for wealth generation,” head of Financial Health Philanthropy at Wells Fargo, Darlene Goins, said in a statement.
Empowering Communities of Color
Wells Fargo is joined by other corporations fighting to combat widespread financial insecurity amid the pandemic.
Earlier this week, multinational investment bank JP Morgan announced 75 annual scholarships over the next five years to combat racial inequality and support minority students in trying to fulfill their dreams.
Billion-dollar companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Apple have also offered support to “expand opportunities for communities of color.”
PwC has committed to hiring 10,000 Black and Latinx college graduates by 2026 to improve diversity within the organization while pledging $125 million to help college students gain full-time employment through digital up-skill training and more.
In January, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a $100 million suite of initiatives as part of the company’s Racial Equity and Justice for HBCUs. Cook said he is proud to be able to “empower communities that have borne the brunt of racism and discrimination for far too long.”