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Spelman College Participates in the Congressional Diversity in Tech Summit Share a Spelman College Press Release

For Immediate Release

Jazmyn Burton
Assistant Director of News & Communications
Spelman College
Twitter: @SpelmanMedia

HBCU Diversity in Tech SpelmanWASHINGTON, D.C. (July 24, 2019) – Today, Spelman College joined the Congressional Bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities Caucus for the second annual HBCU Diversity in Tech Summit, hosted at Howard University. This annual event is the largest collaboration of government, industry and HBCU leaders.

The summit will bring together 47 companies, 34 HBCUs and members of Congress for conversations around tech diversity, and preparing students of color for careers within emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

Through two days of dynamic strategy sessions, participants will build sustainable partnerships to strengthen course curriculum, close the skills gap and create universal best practices for the recruitment and retention of HBCU graduates.

Spelman, the country’s leading producer of Black women who complete P.h.D.s in science, technology, engineering, and math, has already begun to prepare STEM graduates to fill the estimated 557,100 new computing jobs created between 2016 to 2026.

“Spelman has secured several partnerships with both private and public organizations to help empower students to fill jobs in competitive STEM fields.” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “The opportunity to engage with government and industry during the Diversity in Tech Summit will ensure that our students have access to corporations that are proactively working to diversify their employee pipeline.” 

The conference happens at a time when Spelman, and its partners in the Atlanta University Center Consortium, are developing new curriculum to support the AUC Data Science Initiative, which will offer technical classes for students who want to specialize in data science or learn data analysis to give them a competitive edge in the job market.

“Attending the summit is an opportunity to explore corporate partnerships that could enhance current data science related initiatives, as well as bring visibility to the work that Spelman College is doing to increasing technology opportunities and resources across campus,” said Leyte Winfield, Ph.D., associate professor of organic chemistry and division chair of the sciences, who will represent Spelman at today’s summit.

In addition to the AUC Data Science Initiative, the College recently received a $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop undergraduate data-science-focused units that will prepare students to enter a data-driven workforce.

In February 2019, the Army Research Laboratory granted the College funding to support curricular and research activities related to artificial intelligence and machine learning, with the goal of Spelman becoming a center for local and statewide training.

“HBCUs are integral in preparing African-American students for jobs in competitive STEM fields, but it takes meaningful cooperation between the private and public sectors to truly ensure the tech sector reflects our nation’s diversity,” said Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-7), vice-chair of the HBCU Caucus.“Without engagement with HBCUs, industries miss out on a dynamic, well trained cohort of diverse workers. That is why I am so proud that companies like those participating in the HBCU Caucus’ Diversity in Tech Summit recognize the importance of a diverse workforce.”

About Spelman College 
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News and World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 51 among all liberal arts colleges and No. 1 among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit Spelman College.

Participating Schools & HBCU Advocacy Groups: Howard University, Florida A&M University, Fayetteville State University, Morehouse College , Bowie State University, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Spelman College, North Carolina A&T State University, Bennett College, Central State University, Morgan State University, Barber-Scotia College, Shaw University, Fort Valley State University, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, West Virginia State University, Tennessee State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Alcorn State University, Livingstone College, Norfolk State University, Kentucky State University, Benedict College, Prairie View A&M University, Xavier University of Louisiana, Tuskegee University, Tougaloo College Research and Development Foundation, Saint Augustine's University, Hampton University, Texas Southern University, Lane College, Claflin University, Virginia State University, Jackson State University

Participating Companies: Wells Fargo, eBay Inc., DTCC, ITI, IBM (Global Markets), Federal Street Strategies, Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans, Overland-Tandberg, FICO, Microsoft, TSYS, SIFMA, Nielsen, Pandora + SiriusXM, Amazon, Uber Technologies Inc., Airbnb, Allstate Insurance Company, Intel Corporation, Twitter, Covington & Burling LLP, SAS Institute, Spotify, SAP AMERICA INC., HP Inc., PayPal Inc., McGuireWoods Consulting, Unum Group, Lyft, Advanced Micro Devices, Allscripts, Amazon (Student Programs) (Web Services), Zillow Group, Verizon Media, CTA, VISA, Adobe, AMD, McDonald's Corporation, Facebook,, NCC, Stewart Strategies & Solutions, Twilio, GlaxoSmithKline, Grant Thornton LLP, General Motors Financial, Depository Trust & Clearing Corp

Members of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus:Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC) Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL), Rep. French Hill (R-AR), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX), Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX), Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD), Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC), Rep. Cheri Bustos, (D-IL), Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Rep. André Carson (D-IN), Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-MO), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA), Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-DC), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS), Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Rep. Peter King (R-NY), Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-VI), Rep. David Price (D-NC), Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Rep. David Scott (D-GA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Rep. David Trone (D-MD), Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH), Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)


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