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Honda Launches Fresh Initiative to Extend Financial Support to HBCUs

Honda announced on Jan. 25, 2024 its launch of a new, multi-faceted initiative called "Drive the Legacy."  According to the company, the program’s goal is advancement of its “longstanding commitment” to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and attract top talent to Honda careers.

According to Honda, “Drive the Legacy” initiative focuses on four key pillars:  (1) educational and career opportunities, (2) program and infrastructure support, (3) outreach and advocacy, and (4) unique experiences that celebrate HBCU culture.

"Honda is proud to support HBCUs in their unique and critical role of providing higher education and opportunities for advancement to the Black community," said Yvette Hunsicker, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.’s Vice-President of Corporate Social Responsibility and Inclusion & Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer.  "Drive the Legacy builds on the special relationship that has developed between Honda and HBCUs and will serve as the foundation for new opportunities we can create for students and the HBCU community."

Honda says its commitment to HBCUs extends through various grant programs. These include supporting STEAM and scholarship programs, research, traffic safety initiatives, early childhood development, mobility and environmental initiatives. Examples of these programs include the Alabama A&M University's STEM Star Scholars Initiative, the Alabama State University Traffic Safety Program, the FASTRAC Program with Tuskegee University and the JELMA Summer Youth Arts Institute at Morgan State University.

"The enthusiasm and talent we've seen from students at institutions like Tuskegee University are truly inspiring," said Jonathan Lessa, FASTRAC Program Lead, Alabama Auto Plant (AAP) Quality Manager and Chair of the AAP African American Resource Collaborative of Honda (AARCH) Business Resource Group (BRG). "While the FASTRAC Program is just one example, it highlights the broader impact of Honda's commitment to HBCUs. Our support goes beyond individual programs; it's about empowering the entire infrastructure and academic fabric of these universities. This approach not only nurtures student potential but also aligns with Honda's vision of fostering diverse and innovative future leaders."

The company states that its “Drive the Legacy” program has awarded over $14 million in grants supporting HBCU education programs, positively impacted the lives of nearly 300,000 HBCU students and funded facility improvements for more than three decades.  

According to Honda, its investment in HBCUs is undergirded by its membership in the HBCU Partnership Challenge, which the company says is a Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus initiative that brings together government, industry and HBCUs to create strategic, more sustainable HBCU partnerships. Honda further states that it also has partnered with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to provide annual scholarship funding to support HBCU students pursuing an education in engineering, supply chain management and manufacturing-related fields.

The company says it supports various grant programs, including the Honda Thurgood Marshall College Fund Immersion Experience, and the Honda DreamCab YouTube series, which awards students with prizes for engaging in an educational quiz show.

Honda notes that  it partners with HBCUs and organizations such as the National Urban League, as well as local UNCF chapters through "Drive the Legacy.”


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