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Google announces $50 million in grants for HBCUs

The money is headed to 10 historically black colleges and universities to help support scholarships, invest in infrastructure, and develop curriculum.

Richard Nieva/CNET

This story is part of Tech for a Better World, stories about the diverse teams creating products, apps and services to improve our lives and society.

On Thursday, Google announced that it will be giving 10 historically black colleges and universities a total of $50 million in grant funds, with a goal of addressing the diversity gap in tech.

"This financial commitment is our largest to date for HBCUs," Google chief diversity officer Melonie Parker wrote in a company blog post announcing the grants. "Each institution will receive a one-time unrestricted financial grant of $5 million, providing institutions with the flexibility to invest in their communities and the future workforce as they see fit."


The full list of HBCUs receiving grant funds: Claflin University, Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, Spelman College, Tuskegee University and Xavier University of Louisiana.

"Google's generous gift to create pathways in STEM for HBCU students will propel them into roles and opportunities that prepare them to be 21st century change agents," said Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell. "Having hosted Googlers from the Google-in-Residence program, and having seen the outcomes of our students who have interned at Google and alumnae who are now employed by Google, we are grateful for their comprehensive approach to building equity in computing education."

"This is a powerful endorsement of our HBCUs," said Harry L. Williams, president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. Williams also noted that Google's $50 million in grants represents the largest gift of unrestricted funds ever awarded to HBCUs by a tech company.

Other recent grants from Google include a pledge of $25 million toward empowering women and girls empowering women and girls back in March, $12 million to fund civil rights groups last summer and hundreds of millions in coronavirus relief during the pandemic.