ATLANTA – The Black Economic Alliance Foundation, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Bank of America announced plans to develop the Center for Black Entrepreneurship, the first-ever academic center to assemble, educate, and empower a new class of Black entrepreneurial talent.
Co-located on the Morehouse and Spelman campuses, the Center for Black Entrepreneurship (CBE) is powered by $10 million in funding from Bank of America, which will support the development of an academic curriculum, faculty recruitment, co-curricular programming, and the development of new physical space.
"Morehouse’s priority is empowering leaders to impact society, including entrepreneurs of color who produce new business models, create new industries, and disrupt the status quo as innovators, inventors, and paradigm shifters,” said Dr. David A. Thomas, president of Morehouse College. “The Center for Black Entrepreneurship adds important capacity to support our work with minority-owned businesses and current or future entrepreneurs who are gaining access to capital, creating jobs, leveraging technology, and developing the products and services that enhance the standard of living for us all. We are proud to partner with Spelman College, the Black Economic Alliance, and Bank of America to educate and strengthen the entrepreneurs who will lead change."
The CBE seeks to eliminate barriers among Black entrepreneurs, professional investors, and business builders by leveraging education, mentorship, access to capital and opportunity.
Its funding comes from Bank of America’s $1 billion, four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity, which includes support to minority entrepreneurs, as well as a focus on education, jobs, health, and housing.
“I would like to thank Bank of America for this $5 million gift to Morehouse College,” said, Monique Dozier, vice president of the office of institutional advancement. “Many of our scholars come to us with an entrepreneurial mindset or having had some experience with business. Morehouse has a nationally acclaimed business program that has launched students into careers at Fortune 500 companies, but we do not have an entrepreneurship major. This contribution will allow us to expand our offerings to meet the needs of students who want to create businesses and jobs in communities of color and achieve personal prosperity.”
“Morehouse and Spelman are two of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges primarily serving the Black community and have some of the highest social mobility rates in the country,” said Wendy Stewart, Atlanta market president for Bank of America. “Partnering with these historic institutions will be instrumental in supporting our next generation of entrepreneurs that will ultimately create economic opportunity and generate jobs in Atlanta.”
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About Morehouse College
Morehouse College is the only historically Black college dedicated to educating men. Founded in 1867, Morehouse is a private, liberal arts institution and the nation's top producer of Black men who go on to receive doctorates. The College is the top producer of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs and was named to the list of U.S. institutions that produced the most Fulbright Scholars in 2019-2020. As the epicenter for thought leadership on civil rights, Morehouse is committed to helping the nation address the inequities caused by institutional racism, which has created social and economic disparities for people of African descent. Prominent Morehouse alumni include: Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton "Spike" Lee, Academy Award-winning American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta; Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services; Bakari Sellers, attorney and CNN political analyst; Randall Woodfin, elected as the youngest mayor of Birmingham in 120 years; and U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s first Black U.S. senator from Georgia. For more information, visit: https://morehouse.edu.
About Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News). For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom and register for email alerts.
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.Ds. 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.Ds. 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, Starbucks Group President and COO 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 www.spelman.edu.
About the Black Economic Alliance
The Black Economic Alliance is a coalition of Black business leaders and allies committed to driving economic progress for the Black community through public policy, advocacy, and engagement with government and business leaders. Led by a board that includes executives from a range of industries including media, finance, pharmaceutical, nonprofit, and tech, BEA uses its collective power and business acumen to advance policies that will improve work, wages, and wealth for Black Americans. https://blackeconomicalliance.org/