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Spelman Receives $5M Grant from Google Designed to Help Create Pathways and Opportunities for Black Students in the STEM Industry Share a Spelman College Press Release


Jazmyn Burton
Spelman College

Student in class with Google colorful logo

(June 17, 2021) – Spelman College today announced it is one of 10 institutions to receive a $5 million grant from Google, designed to help create pathways and opportunities for increased diverse representation in the STEM industry. The one-time unrestricted financial grant will provide Spelman with financial support for scholarships, technological infrastructure support, career readiness and curriculum development.

A year ago today, Google announced commitments to build sustainable equity for Google’s Black community and beyond, and to make its products and programs more helpful to Black users. Since then, the tech giant has been working to translate its commitments into lasting meaningful change. In an effort to broaden access to opportunities for underrepresented groups in STEM, Google is making a $50 million investment in historically Black colleges and universities across the country.

“Spelman students are immersed in technology across their curricular experiences, as well as in their everyday lives. As leaders, entrepreneurs, practitioners, and creators, they are at the forefront of innovation, which is critical to their success in every industry,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “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. 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 commitment builds on Google’s Pathways to Tech initiative, which was designed to build equity for HBCU computing education, help job seekers find tech roles, and ensure that Black employees have growth opportunities and feel included at work, the company announced.

“I’m delighted to provide our HBCU partners with a $50 million unrestricted grant," said Melonie Parker, chief diversity officer, Google. "These institutions are actively shaping the next generation of Black leaders and are helping build a more diverse workforce across all industries. This investment further solidifies our commitment to providing access and opportunities for underrepresented groups in tech.”

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 & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 54 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 19 for undergraduate teaching, No. 4 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 14th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU, and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s 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 alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president 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 Spelman College.


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