The Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation (PDFF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to championing entrepreneurs, accelerating minority-owned businesses, and launching bold ideas, has received a $100,000 grant from Bank of America. The partnership was announced last September by Bank of America Delaware President Chip Rossi at PDFF’s annual Pete du Pont Freedom Award.
The grant will be used to launch PDFF’s HBCU Innovative Solutions Initiative, an expansion of PDFF’s Reinventing Delaware program. The HBCU Innovative Solutions Initiative will launch this summer during Delaware State University’s 13th annual HBCU Philanthropy Symposium, which will be held at The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD, from July 30 to August 2.
The Symposium was established and presented by Delaware State University in July 2010 and brings together institutional advancement leaders with the HBCU community and other minority-serving institutions to ensure the sustainability and advancement of HBCUs nationwide.
Similar to Reinventing Delaware, the HBCU Innovative Solutions Initiative will invite select Symposium guests, composed of HBCU stakeholders, administrators, and thought leaders, to participate in a roundtable pitch competition to share ideas and collaborate on innovative approaches to further strengthen the HBCU community. The top ten ideas will be presented during a luncheon open to the full Symposium audience. The audience will vote for their favorite idea, which will then move on to be further developed. A review committee will select additional ideas to participate in an idea development program to bring the concepts to fruition as either a new business or institutional program that catalyzes systemic change for the HBCU community. At the end of this program, one idea will be named the winner and receive a $10,000 investment to grow the idea further.
“The HBCU Innovative Solutions Initiative will gather HBCUs’ big thinkers and risk-takers around a table to share, collaborate, and innovate. In a world in which one very common complaint among Black Americans is, ‘We aren’t invited to have a seat at the table,’’’ said Dr. Tony Allen, Delaware State University President, and Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation Board Member. “The Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation and Bank of America are responding by creating a whole new table. The HBCU Philanthropy Symposium, developed by Delaware State University 13 years ago with three HBCUs, to last year over 50 HBCUs attending this national event, is the perfect venue. Our time is now; we have the talent, the ideas, and the will to change our world for the better. This new partnership is an example of the HBCU Moment transforming into a long-lasting HBCU Movement,” said Dr. Allen.
This grant is part of Bank of America’s philanthropic efforts in local communities. Awardees were selected for their commitment to addressing basic needs and workforce development for individuals and families.
“Bank of America is committed to advancing racial equality and economic opportunity throughout Delaware,” said Chip Rossi, President, Bank of America Delaware. “Our partnership with the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation allows us to expand our ongoing efforts to advance economic mobility through education and workforce development while making historic investments in our next generation of leaders and HBCUs.”
Sponsorship opportunities are available for the HBCU Innovative Solutions Initiative and will include sponsor-level recognition for both the Symposium events and the idea development program. To secure your sponsorship or learn more about the initiative, contact Stephanie Johnnie at email@example.com.
Registration for the 13th annual Symposium is now open until July 7. Visit hbcusymposium.com to learn more.