Southern Company Awards Grants to Historically Black Colleges and Universities for Technology

November 11, 2020

As part of its overall $50 million, multi-year investment in HBCUs, announced in January 2020, Southern Company is providing grants to select HBCUs to fund technology tools, infrastructure, professional development and tech support for the 2020-2021 academic year

Southern Company announced today it is awarding grants to support technology for 21 historically black colleges and universities across several states, through its charitable foundation.

This commitment is part of Southern Company’s overall $50 million HBCU initiative, announced in January 2020, to provide students attending these institutions with scholarships, internships, leadership development and access to technology and innovation to support career readiness. This round of grants will help address challenges created by the pandemic by funding technology tools, infrastructure support, professional development and IT services to select undergraduate HBCUs within the Southern Company system’s service footprint in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia.

“We are thrilled to partner with some of the country’s leading institutions of higher learning as we invest in the next generation of technology leaders,” said Thomas A. Fanning, chairman, president and CEO, Southern Company. “After speaking with many institutions across our footprint, we heard the call loud and clear: new and better technology is needed to deliver quality education to students, now and in years to come. The goal is to provide resources that will stimulate the kind of critical thinking that will allow students to embrace ideas that will drive the change required for success today and into the future. We look forward to seeing what students from these universities will achieve through the grants we are providing.”

Southern Company is honored to be part of a growing group of corporate and philanthropic partners who have increased support for HBCUs in the wake of the pandemic and mounting calls for racial justice. The company seeks to increase the spotlight on these institutions beyond the current moment, underscoring the importance of HBCUs in higher education and in American life. Since Southern Company’s HBCU initiative was launched earlier this year, the company has provided more than $6 million to schools across its service territory.

“We are proud to be among those who are investing in HBCUs. These institutions are at the forefront of critical work around equity and innovation in America, helping us tackle some of our most complex challenges. I am excited to announce this round of grants and look forward to upcoming grant announcements that will be open to these important institutions,” said Chris Womack, who recently became the president of Georgia Power, as of Nov. 1.

As part of the $50 million initiative, this round of allocations will be awarded by the Southern Company Foundation to qualifying institutions in grants up to $500,000. Southern Company intends to open additional grant applications in support of other needs at qualifying HBCUs in the near future. The energy company will collaborate with academic leaders from across its footprint to identify areas of need and channel resources into the programs that will create the most impact.

This opportunity follows the $1 million gift from Southern Company Gas and the Southern Company Gas Charitable Foundation to Morehouse School of Medicine to support the university’s academic expansion and efforts to provide greater equity in health care. The funding enables the medical school to strengthen its educational offerings and research enterprise, including its budding Natural Products Research Center and the development of an Emerging Pathogens Research Team focused on topics such as coronaviruses.  

Southern Company and its subsidiaries are committed to the success of HBCUs. For more information about the technology grants, please contact Anthony Oni, Southern Company Gas vice president of corporate communications, at Hbcu@southernco.com.