For over 150 years, HBCUs have produced many of the most educated and prominent Black leaders in the country. While HBCU graduates make up 3% of American college graduates, they produce 25% of all Black STEM graduates in the country. Empowering the next generation of Black leaders starts with investing in the success of HBCUs and its students.

As part of its $500 million, five-year commitment to advance racial equity and economic opportunity, Mastercard has launched new programs, initiatives and grants to provide financial literacy resources and career development opportunities to students at HBCUs. By partnering with institutions that drive inclusive growth within the Black community, Mastercard hopes to scale the critical role HBCUs play in developing the next generation of Black business leaders and innovators. By meeting directly with HBCUs through the In Solidarity work in cities across the United States, Mastercard is creating long-term partnerships to develop programs, financial tools and resources to position students for long term success.

Here are 5 Ways Mastercard Is Empowering HBCUs:

Hosting Recruitment Fairs

Mastercard is hosting recruitment fairs to connect students to career opportunities, career readiness programs, and mentorship opportunities. They’re also providing HBCU grads with the opportunity to join Mastercard after graduation through the Launchers program.

Financial Literacy Fairs

Mastercard’s community empowerment program aimed at achieving financial inclusion for underserved communities, Master Your Card, is providing financial education to HBCU students through Financial Literacy Fairs.

Supporting Black Entrepreneurship

Mastercard provided grants totaling $5 million to Morehouse College and Spelman College to develop the Center for Black Entrepreneurship (CBE). With entrepreneurial programming, thought leadership, networking and mentorship, the CBE will create more opportunities for aspiring Black entrepreneurs.

Investing in Data Science for Social Impact

Through a $5 million grant to Howard University, Mastercard is supporting the creation of the Center for Applied Data Science and Analytics (CADSA) to address racial bias in AI-driven credit approval processes. Through interdisciplinary research, Howard University will focus on the unique challenges and biases in financial services to help create a more inclusive economy.

Diversifying Tech with Morehouse College and the Information Technology Industry Council

Most recently, Mastercard has partnered with Morehouse College and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC) to strengthen the pipeline for recruitment and further diversify the tech industry. Through this partnership, Mastercard hopes to prepare underrepresented students to compete for careers in tech, while also developing strategies to make the tech ecosystem a more innovative and equitable space for people of all socioeconomic backgrounds. 

“For over a century, HBCUs have played a critical role in nurturing professional talent and creating economic mobility in Black communities,” said Salah Goss, Senior Vice President for Social Impact at the Mastercard Center for Inclusive growth. “By investing in HBCUs, Mastercard is intentionally choosing key institutions who we believe can be catalytic in furthering our commitment to ensuring that the digital economy works for the Black community, and for everyone, everywhere.”

This editorial is brought to you in partnership with Mastercard.