Northeast Baltimore’s Morgan State University received grants from Apple and Google totaling $6.25 million that aim to create equity in tech by building a STEM pipeline at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), the university announced last week.
These initiatives from Apple and Google are designed to curb trends that have led to racial disparities on tech teams. The number of U.S. technical employees who are Black or Latinx rose by less than a percentage point at Google and Microsoft between 2014 and 2019, according to reporting by Wired, based on numbers self-reported by the tech giants. With 25% of Black graduates with STEM degrees coming from HBCUs, grants like these build a relationship with the tech giants that hopefully result in jobs with high incomes.
Apple’s $1.25 million contribution is an innovation grant to support Morgan State’s school of engineering. The three-year grant will be a partnership with Apple to help develop Morgan State’s silicon and hardware technologies curriculum.
Oscar Barton, Jr., dean of Morgan State’s school of engineering, said in a statement that the grant from Apple “bridges the industry-academia divide by providing an opportunity to enhance our programs and curricula.”
Google provided a one-time, $5 million grant through its Pathways to Tech initiative. The money is meant to support scholarships, technological infrastructure support, career readiness and curriculum development at Morgan State.
“With this effort, Google is setting a new standard in corporate philanthropy that directly addresses decades of gross inequities and underfunding at HBCUs and establishes a new path forward to ensuring workforce diversity in STEM,” said David K. Wilson, president of Morgan State University.
The grants are part of a wider donation effort to HBCUs announced ahead of Juneteenth. Google committed a total of $50 million across 10 institutions, while Apple awarded a total of $5 million grants to four institutions.
Donte Kirby is a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.-30-