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  • Press Release

ACC Joins HBCU Partnership Challenge and Announces Support for IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act

Kelly Montes de Oca

WASHINGTON (July 1, 2022) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) today joined as an official partner in the HBCU Partnership Challenge, which aims to promote greater private sector engagement with Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). The HBCU Partnership Challenge was launched in 2017 by Representative Alma Adams (D-N.C.), founder and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional HBCU Caucus. ACC joins nearly 100 organizations in pledging its support under the Challenge.

Challenge participants commit to creating partnerships with the nation’s HBCUs as part of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. ACC and its members have been leaders in advancing DEI in the chemical industry workforce, including with the establishment of the Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI).

In 2020, ACC, along with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Chemours Company, and the HBCU Week Foundation, launched FOSSI to increase the number of underrepresented professionals in the chemical industry workforce. FOSSI provides $40,000 scholarships, as well as leadership development, mentoring and internship opportunities, to students pursuing preferred STEM degrees at HBCUs. To date, FOSSI has raised more than $17 million to provide scholarships for over 350 students through 2025. FOSSI scholars are attending more than 40 HBCUs across the nation.

Chris Jahn, ACC President & CEO
ACC is honored to join the HBCU Partnership Challenge. ACC and our members are committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the chemical industry and creating a pipeline of diverse, talented students to build a more sustainable future for all.

Jahn also noted ACC’s support for the Institutional Grants for New Infrastructure, Technology, and Education at HBCUs Act (IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act), introduced last May by Representatives Adams and French Hill (R-Ark.) and Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.).

“ACC is also proud to join in support of the IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act, which will provide needed funding for infrastructure enhancements at HBCUs. I applaud the leadership of Rep. Adams, Rep. Hill, Senator Coons and Senator Scott on these important initiatives,” Jahn added.

The historic legislation would pave the way for the largest federal investment ever made in HBCUs, providing funding for HBCU campus facility improvements, future infrastructure development, and high-speed broadband access. The legislation would also help preserve historic buildings, while helping to build safer, more sustainable campus facilities.

"I want to thank all of our partners that have stepped up to support HBCUs in 2022, including every company that endorsed the IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act, as well as our newest HBCU Caucus Partnership Challenge Members Cisco, Universal Music Group, American Chemistry Council, and Terra," said Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12), founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus. "Right now, our HBCUs are facing a major capital infrastructure and funding challenges. As we continue to adjust to the realities of education in a COVID world, it’s an important moment for private and public partners to continue to commit to support our HBCUs. I applaud all of our private partners for taking the pledge at such a critical time.”

“I am pleased Cisco, Universal Music Group, American Chemistry Council, and Terra have joined the HBCU Partnership Challenge. Our HBCU Partnership Challenger partners are vital to providing and promoting opportunities on behalf of our HBCU students, faculty, and alumni. Thank you to these industry leaders who have pledged their commitment to the HBCU community,” said Rep. French Hill (AR-02), co-chair of the HBCU Caucus.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the multibillion-dollar business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products, technologies and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health, safety and security performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy addressing major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. ACC members and chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development, and are advancing products, processes and technologies to address climate change, enhance air and water quality, and progress toward a more sustainable, circular economy.

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