Tech giant Intel is continuing its long-standing global diversity and inclusion initiatives with its latest partnership with HBCU North Carolina Central University (NCCU).
According to a company announcement, Intel has pledged a generous $5 million donation — $1 million annually over the next five years — toward building the university’s very own tech law and policy center and empowering the next generation of HBCU tech leaders.
Intel plans to allocate its funds to build up a strong foundation for the center — which consists of key staff, an endowed professorship, need-based scholarships for students experiencing financial hardships, and additional startup costs needed to develop the center.
“As a company and industry, we need to do better to ensure legal and policy jobs are available to all communities, because talent is everywhere but opportunity is not,” said Steven R. Rodgers, Intel’s general counsel, in a press statement. “At the beginning of this year, we began to hold our legal counsel accountable to the Intel Rule, which states we will not retain or use outside law firms in the U.S. that are below average on diversity. And now, through this partnership, we will hold ourselves accountable for extending the talent pipeline. Our investment in NCCU is only the beginning, and we will continue our efforts to provide more equitable access to tech, legal and policy careers.”
— Intel Policy (@IntelPolicy) February 17, 2021
In its announcement, Intel shares that the purpose of the new tech law and policy center is to extend legal and strategic expertise, faculty training, summer internships and Intel’s own mentors to both interested students and faculty members.
Students will have the opportunity to directly engage with Intel executives –who will also serve as guest lecturers providing practical legal experiences — as well as a chance to network and receive mentorship.
Intel’s overall goal is to prepare the next generation of HBCU corporate attorneys by exposing them to corporate law right at the start of their law school careers.
The developing center will equip these students and faculty with more access to diverse professionals in legal and policy fields and further these professions to create more career opportunities for those that belong to underrepresented communities.
Moreover, it will also simultaneously address the discriminatory laws and public policies that are responsible for America’s structural and systemic inequities that still exist today.
To further shape out the center’s development, Rodgers will join the law school’s board of visitors to assist in directing additional resources and support for the law school.
Additionally, Allon Stabinsky — Intel’s senior vice president, chief deputy and general counsel — as well as Rhonda Foxx — Intel’s leader of social equity policies and engagements — will also join the center’s advisory board to help develop its certificate program and curriculum development while driving further Intel engagements.
Historically speaking, HBCUs have trailed behind other educational institutions in regards to access to federal funding and corporate engagement. Though NCCU is only one of six HBCUs with a law school, Intel’s latest initiative will help extend more tech opportunities to HCBU law schools on the East Coast and southern states which is the key to increasing educational and economic equity.
For more information about Intel and its DEI initiatives, click here.