Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, the top-selling Black-owned spirits brand in the world, announced the launch of its HBCU Old Fashioned Challenge, a nationwide initiative to raise $1 million dollars for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
Kicked off on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and extending through Black History Month and Women’s History Month in February and March, respectively, the program will raise money to be distributed amongst the country’s top 58 ranked HBCUs to use as they see fit, according to a press release.
Through the HBCU Old Fashioned Challenge, Uncle Nearest not only aims to raise money for these institutions, but to shine a light on their contributions to workforce diversity and the role they play in economic mobility. HBCUs make up less than 3% of college institutions, but they enroll 10% of all African American students, and produce almost 20% of all African American graduates. These graduates have gone on to hold high income jobs, making up 40% of Black judges, 50% of Black doctors and lawyers, and 40% of Black engineers. Underfunding of HBCUs leads to lower graduation rates due to student debt and lack of resources, as well as causes understaffing and underrepresentation of Black faculty members.
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