FedEx will gift millions of dollars to historically Black colleges and universities across Mississippi and Tennessee to ready students "for the workforce beyond formal education," the company announced this week.
Approximately $5 million will be donated to four institutions -- Tennessee State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, and LeMoyne-Owen College -- as part of an ongoing effort to "advance inclusion and empower economic opportunity in the Black community," FedEx said Wednesday.
The contribution builds on FedEx's longstanding relationship with historically Black colleges and universities, wherein it works to build "more equitable communities by breaking down barriers to work and making a sustainable, long-term impact on underrepresented groups," according to FedEx.
However, the multi-year commitment will also help relieve some of the financial burden facing students, faculty and staff at each school "who have suffered adverse economic impact due to COVID-19," FedEx said. This may be helpful for keeping already debt-laden students in school, officials said.
"With many students and families struggling right now as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our hope is that this timely investment will help keep more students in school and provide future access to leadership, educational and employment opportunities,” said Judy Edge, the corporate vice president of human resources at FedEx.
Prior to its latest initiative, FedEx had already endowed scholarships at Jackson State University, Tennessee State University and LeMoyne-Owen College. Additionally, FedEx created a career readiness program at Mississippi Valley State University and formed leadership summits in support of the Southern Heritage Classic, an annual football game, for students at Tennessee State University and Jackson State University.