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Walmart and Increase Access to Educational Opportunities for Black and African Americans Share a Spelman College Press Release


Jazmyn Burton
Spelman College

Student on computer looking over her shoulder at camera

Walmart Inc. and recently made a joint announcement highlighting new initiatives aimed at advancing equity in education. These initiatives include monetary investments of $5.4 million and the addition of Spelman and other Historically Black Universities and Colleges to the company’s academic roster for its Live Better U program.

Through the company’s LBU program, in partnership with Guild Education, Walmart will cover tuition for associates enrolled in eSpelman certificate programs in several disciplines including project management, business development and leadership.

Approximately 1.5 million part-time and full-time Walmart and Sam’s Club associates in the U.S. are eligible for the program.
“For 140 years, Spelman College has been a champion for lifelong learning. We are excited to partner with Walmart to expand and extend our offerings to adult learners who are looking to advance their careers, elevate their expertise or explore new fields,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman College. “As a liberal arts college that consistently leads in numerous rankings from innovation and social mobility, to being the top producer of Black women scientists, we are looking forward to assisting Walmart employees who seek to earn the credentials that will catapult careers.”
Approximately 1.5 million full- and part-time U.S. Walmart and Sam's Club employees are eligible to participate in the Live Better U program. Last month Walmart EVP and Chief Sustainability Officer Kathleen McLaughlin reported that around 3,500 employees have completed a course of study through the program since it launched in 2018.
Nearly 10,000 associates have signed up as new participants since Walmart announced in July that it was removing a $1 per day fee for tuition assistance.

By adding HBCUs to its LBU program, Walmart is expanding access to new learning and career pathways for associates.
“These new partners further demonstrate our commitment to create a path for associates to learn, grow and discover their career journey,” said Lorraine Stomski, senior vice president of learning and leadership at Walmart. “As we work to become an even more diverse employer, what better way to fill the pipeline of future talent than with our own associates.”
More than 300,000 of Walmart’s associates are Black and African Americans. According to a recent study, 18% of Walmart’s Live Better U participants are Black, and Black associates who participated in the Live Better U program at Walmart were 88% more likely to receive promotions than non-participants. 

About Walmart
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 220 million customers and members visit approximately 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2021 revenue of $559 billion, Walmart employs 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

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. 24 for undergraduate teaching, No. 4 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges, and No. 1 for the 15th 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 collaborations 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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