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Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation receives $100K grant to launch HBCU program

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WILMINGTON – The Bank of America awards $100,000 grant to the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation (PDFF) to launch HBCU Innovative Solutions Initiative in partnership with Delaware State University.

With the help of the funding, PDFF will expand its Reinventing Delaware initiative to include the HBCU Innovative Solutions Initiative. The 13th annual HBCU Philanthropy Symposium, which will take place at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, from July 30 to August 2, will be the occasion for the HBCU Innovative Solutions Initiative to be unveiled this summer.

The Symposium was created and launched by Delaware State University in July 2010 and brings together institutional advancement professionals with the HBCU community and other minority-serving institutions to guarantee the survival and growth of HBCUs throughout the country.

Similar to Reinventing Delaware, the HBCU Innovative Solutions Initiative will invite a small group of Symposium attendees, made up of HBCU stakeholders, administrators, and thought leaders, to take part in a roundtable pitch competition in order to exchange ideas and work together on creative solutions to further strengthen the HBCU community. A luncheon that is available to everyone attending the Symposium will include a presentation of the top 10 concepts. The most popular concept will be chosen by the public and developed further. Additional concepts will be chosen by a review committee to take part in a program for developing new ideas that will eventually be implemented as institutional or commercial initiatives that will help the HBCU community undergo systemic transformation. One concept will be selected as the winner of this competition and earn a $10,000 investment to help it develop further.

“The HBCU Innovative Solutions Initiative will gather HBCUs’ big thinkers and risk takers around a table to share, collaborate, and innovate. In a world in which one very common complaint among Black Americans is, ‘We aren’t invited to have a seat at the table,’’’ Dr. Tony Allen, Delaware State University president and Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation board member, said. “The Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation and Bank of America are responding by creating a whole new table. The HBCU Philanthropy Symposium, developed by Delaware State University 13 years ago with three HBCUs, to last year over 50 HBCUs attending this national event, is the perfect venue. Our time is now; we have the talent, the ideas, and the will to change our world for the better. This new partnership is an example of the HBCU Moment transforming into a long-lasting HBCU Movement,” said Dr. Allen.

This grant is part of Bank of America’s philanthropic efforts in local communities. Awardees were selected for their commitment to addressing basic needs and workforce development for individuals and families.

“Bank of America is committed to advancing racial equality and economic opportunity throughout Delaware,” Chip Rossi, president, Bank of America Delaware, said. “Our partnership with the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation allows us to expand our ongoing efforts to advance economic mobility through education and workforce development, while making historic investments in our next generation of leaders and HBCUs.”

Registration for the 13th annual Symposium is open until July 7. Visit hbcusymposium.com to learn more.


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