The engagement will advance the Center for Black Entrepreneurship, housed at Spelman and Morehouse Colleges, and catalyze the Center’s graduate-level programming at Clark University in Atlanta.

(Black PR wire) WASHINGTON DC- Recently, the Black Economic Alliance Foundation (BEA Foundation), a national non-profit organization that promotes generational wealth creation for the Black community, announced a funding partnership with Cisco, a leading systems technology company. The commitment includes more than $4 million in grants and direct technical services for the development of the Center for Black Entrepreneurship (CBE) and $1 million for the BEA Entrepreneurs Fund. Cisco’s generous commitment advances the future development of CBE graduate programming at Clark University in Atlanta and expands current CBE programming at Spelman and Morehouse Colleges, supporting the next generation of Black entrepreneurial talent in the Atlanta area.

“The Center for Black Entrepreneurship and the BEA Entrepreneurs Fund are tangible solutions to advancing work, wages and wealth in the black community,” said Samantha Tweedy, President of the Black Economic Alliance Foundation. “We are grateful to Cisco for its generous support and strategic partnership to advance the vision of the CBE and invest in black entrepreneurs who will multiply the prosperity of our community and, in doing so, grow the American economy.”

“Preserving the legacy and sustainability of historically black colleges and universities is a company-wide global priority for us,” said Francois Katsoudas, Chief People, Policy and Purpose Officer and Executive Vice President at Cisco. “By supporting the launch of the Center for Black Entrepreneurship and creating the BEA Entrepreneurs Fund, Cisco hopes to inspire future black entrepreneurs at three of our nation’s most prestigious HBCUs, putting our beliefs in social justice into action. Today’s announcement is part of Cisco’s unique and lasting commitment of more than $150 million as part of our partnership with HBCUs across the country, strengthening our workforce and providing a access to education and technology.

The Cisco grant evenly allocates $3 million to staffed faculty positions for the expansion of CBE programming at Spelman College and Morehouse College and the establishment of CBE graduate-level programming at Clark Atlanta University, whose predecessor institution, Atlanta University, was the first in the country. award graduate degrees to black Americans. The investment also includes up to $1 million in financial contributions to the BEA Entrepreneurs Fund. The Fund provides capital to black entrepreneurs and small business owners, and a portion of it is earmarked for CBE graduate candidates. Cisco will also donate technology products and services worth more than $1 million to the three institutions.

“We are proud to be a partner in the launch of the Center for Black Entrepreneurship, a collaborative effort that will help prepare the entrepreneurial visionary leaders of tomorrow,” said Helene Gayle, MD, MPH, President of Spelman College. “Black women have been the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, and Spelman College has a rich history of developing Black women entrepreneurs who are making their mark in the world. We are grateful for Cisco’s commitment which will continue to fuel our entrepreneurial legacy well into the future. »

“Just as Morehouse graduate Martin Luther King, Jr. explained, Morehouse College continues to recognize that equity in our society must include economic empowerment,” said David A. Thomas, Ph.D., President of Morehouse College. “Our collaboration with Cisco and our sister institutions at the Atlanta University Center Consortium will ensure that our faculty have the resources they need to educate, inspire and influence the next generation of entrepreneurs who will reshape our global business system through innovation. and motivation, and that the entrepreneurs we help have the tools to help propel their business into the mainstream. At the same time, we expect these companies to be catalysts that help improve the prosperity and quality of life of the employees, investors and customers they engage.

“We are thrilled to partner with Morehouse, Spelman and the BEA Foundation to expand the impact of the Center for Black Entrepreneurship through the introduction of graduate programs,” said George T. French, Jr., Ph.D., president of Clark University in Atlanta. “This new venture aligns with Clark Atlanta University’s legacy of leadership in higher education by expanding access to aspiring entrepreneurs who have already earned their bachelor’s degree and are looking to further their knowledge and their business skills.

The announcement follows a special event held on the campuses of Spelman College and Morehouse College, which included “demonstration day” presentations of compelling business concepts by students from Spelman’s Innovation Lab and a panel discussion at the Ray Charles Center on the Morehouse campus. . The conversation, moderated by BEA co-founders Dr Tony Coles and Charles Phillips, included Dr David Thomas, Dr Mary Schmidt Campbell (Former President, Spelman College)Melissa Bradley (Acting Director of the CBE; Founder, 1863 Ventures), Aaron Holiday (Co-Founder and Managing Partner, 645 Ventures) and Alfred McRae, (President, Bank of America Atlanta).


About the Black Economic Alliance Foundation

The Black Economic Alliance Foundation is the nation’s leading organization harnessing the collective expertise and influence of Black business leaders to create economic prosperity for the Black community. We partner with public, private and social sector leaders to advocate for policy reimagining, develop investment and philanthropic programs, commission research and enhance national understanding of the inextricable link between the health of the black economy and the entire US economy. The BEA Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the Black Economic Alliance, a nonpartisan coalition of Black business leaders and aligned advocates committed to advancing work, wages, and wealth in the black community. Learn more about the BEA Foundation at foundation.blackeconomicalliance.org.

About Morehouse College
Morehouse College is the only historically black college dedicated to the education of men. Founded in 1867, Morehouse is a private liberal arts institution and the nation’s first producer of black men who go on to earn doctorates. The College is the top producer of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs and was named to the list of U.S. institutions that produced the most Fulbright Scholars in 2019-2020. As the epicenter of thought leadership on civil rights, Morehouse is committed to helping the nation address inequalities caused by institutional racism, which has created social and economic disparities for people of African descent. Prominent Morehouse alumni include Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martin Luther King Jr.; Dr. David Satcher, former Surgeon General of the United States; Oscar-winning American filmmaker Shelton “Spike” Lee; Maynard H. Jackson, Atlanta’s first African-American mayor; Jeh Johnson, former US Secretary of Homeland Security; Louis W. Sullivan, former US Secretary of Health and Human Services; Bakari Sellers, lawyer and CNN political analyst; Randall Woodfin, elected Birmingham’s youngest mayor in 120 years; and U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, the first black U.S. senator from Georgia. For more information, visit https://morehouse.edu.

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the world leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s scenic campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the nation’s leading producer of black women completing doctorates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman #54 among all liberal arts colleges, #19 for undergraduate education, #4 for social mobility among colleges of liberal arts and #1 for 14th grade among historically black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College #3, nationally, in student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, an Institute for Gender and Sexuality Studies, the first Endowed Chair of Queer Studies in a HBCU and a program to increase the number of black women with doctorates. D in Economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and partnerships have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute, and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning. Outstanding alumni include Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, Political Leader Stacey Abrams, Former Spelman President, Former Acting Surgeon General , Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff, and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.

About Clark University Atlanta
Established in 1988 through the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869). Clark University in Atlanta carries on a 150-year legacy rooted in African-American tradition and looking to the future. Through global innovation, transformative educational experiences, and high-value engagement. CAU cultivates elevated lives that transform the world. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson; American civil rights activist, poet and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, television award-winning American and film producer; Kenny Leon, Tony-winning Broadway director; Jacque Reid, Emmy-winning television personality and journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at The Recording Academy To learn more about Clark University Atlanta, visit www.cau.edu.

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