Florida A&M University (FAMU) President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., will serve as the moderator for a panel on corporate philanthropy and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) during the Third Annual National Summit for Sustainability of HBCUs on Thursday, Nov. 12.
Among the panelists for the “Corporate Philanthropy: A Corporate Response to the Challenges of Today and the Future,” are Carlos Brown of Dominion Energy, Mandell Jackson of Quest Diagnostics and Fred Lowery of Thermo Fisher Scientific. The 90-minute session begins at 11 a.m. The Summit is free and open to the public. To register for the Summit visit https://hopin.to/events/the-3rd-annual-nss.
The event comes just weeks after FAMU announced a $1.5 million donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to operate a COVID-19 testing laboratory for students, faculty and staff from FAMU and the three other HBCUs in Florida. To set up the lab, FAMU received $2.5 million in supplies and equipment from Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Just Project. The University has a number of other initiatives involving large corporations in the works, Robinson said.
“Corporate partnerships and philanthropy will assume increasingly important roles in the financial health of HBCUs and in support of our development of talent needed for their bottom line,” Robinson said. “The HBCU Summit will give us an opportunity to learn more about some exciting examples of partnerships that are not only beneficial to us but also have important societal benefits that help fulfill our institutional mission.”
The National Summit for Sustainability of HBCUs is holding its third annual event virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Founded and organized by FAMU Trustee Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., the one-day event is sponsored by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), 100 Black Men of America Inc., the National Association For Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) and the Black College Football Hall of Fame.
“The National Sustainability Summit for HBCUs is a vehicle to ensure that governmental, corporate and foundation leaders enhance or begin relationships with the HBCU presidents and their administrators,” Dortch said. “Dr. Robinson has been a phenomenal leader as a voice for communicating the challenges and successes of HBCUs especially during these times of challenge from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Among the highlights is the opening session, “2020 Fall Fallout Presidents & Chancellors: HBCUs Leading and Learning,” moderated by Roslyn Artis, J.D., Ed.D., president of Benedict College. Panelists will include Harry Williams, Ed.D., of TMCF, Michael Lomax of UNCF and NAFEO’s Lezli Baskerville, J.D.
That session will be followed at 9:45 a.m. by a “COVID-19 and HBCUs,” presentation by McKinsey Consulting, whose consultants will review key indicators for HBCUs sustainability in a pandemic environment.
During the final session, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., TV host Roland Martin will serve as the moderator for a panel: “Social Justice: A Student & Alumni Forum – The Election is Over: Keep That Same Energy!”. Panelists include Mary-Pat Hector, Melanie Campbell, and City of Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed.