FedEx Corp. has pledged to commit $5 million to four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Mississippi and Tennessee.

The initiative is crafted to create education and job readiness for students at Tennessee State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University and LeMoyne-Owen College, Memphis’ only HBCU.

The initiative, a collaborative effort between FedEx and each school, is designed to help prepare students for the workforce beyond formal education. A portion of the multi-year commitment will be used to offer relief support to help students, faculty and staff at each school who have suffered adverse economic impact due to COVID-19.

“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, corporate vice president of Human Resources at FedEx.

“This contribution further deepens our commitment to creating more equitable communities by breaking down barriers to work and making a sustainable, long-term impact on underrepresented groups.”

The New Tri-State Defender has reached out to LeMoyne-College for comment about the FedEx gift.

Tennessee State University President Dr. Glenda Glover said the “awesome gift” will assist TSU in addressing some of the unique challenges the university is facing directly and indirectly because of COVID-19.

“It is no secret that many of the challenges faced by students at TSU relate to limited funds,” Glover said. “This partnership is a great example of public and private entities collaborating to enhance the higher education experience for African-American students.” 

The initiative builds on the longstanding relationship between the four HBCUs and FedEx. That relationship already yields endowed scholarships at Jackson State University, Tennessee State University and LeMoyne-Owen College; a customized career readiness program established at Mississippi Valley State University; and leadership summits in support of the Southern Heritage Classic for students at both Tennessee State University and Jackson State University.

According to FedEx, the new commitment reinforces the company’s “longstanding commitment to advancing inclusion and empowering economic opportunity in the Black community.

“Through skills training programs, mentoring, and collaboration with leading national and local organizations, FedEx is focused on making the communities it serves more equitable, helping empower diverse voices, and providing access to leadership, educational and employment opportunities.”