HBCUs: Pillars of Black History

In February, we take time to recognize, acknowledge and celebrate Black History in the United States. A major part of Black history and the development of significant and notable Black people who have made major contributions to society derives from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, known as HBCUs. These institutions were established in the 19th century to provide higher education for African Americans, who were denied access to predominantly white institutions due to racial segregation and discrimination. The first HBCU was Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, founded in 1837. Today, there are over 100 HBCUs in the United States, including well-known institutions such as North Carolina A&T State University, Howard University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Tennessee State University.


HBCUs were created with the belief that education is a fundamental right and that African Americans should have equal opportunities to pursue higher learning. These institutions became centers of intellectual and cultural development – nurturing the talents and aspirations of students and faculty while providing a safe space where scholars, educators, and leaders can flourish and make significant contributions to society. HBCUs continue to play a vital role in empowering African American communities and contributing to the advancement of society.

Since their inception, HBCUs have produced groundbreaking research in various fields – including medicine, engineering, agriculture, and social sciences. These institutions have also played a vital role in promoting diversity in research and academia; through their curriculum, courses, and cultural events, HBCUs ensure that students have a deep understanding and appreciation for their heritage. Further, these vital institutions create jobs, attract students and visitors, and contribute to economic development in their local communities.

U.S. Bank supports HBCUs through comprehensive programming led by our early career recruiting and development team. We host a wide range of fellowships, career, and financial symposiums, mentoring academies, wealth accelerators, internships, and full-time development programs that provide exposure, engagement, and development to students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Over the past 2 years, we have served more than one thousand students through programming, such as our HBCU Wall Street Fellowship program, Technology & Finance Fellowships, our MentorMe Academy, Wealth Accelerator, and Talent Consortium, which allows students from HBCUs to receive personalized career conversations, career master classes, and targeted student insight panels.

We are proud to fulfill our company mission through the strategic initiatives, community service, and dedicated work that we accomplish in partnership with HBCUs across the country.

Article written by: Valerie Davis – Senior Program Manager of Early Career Recruiting and Development at U.S. Bank

A Day of unity and giving: Volunteers make a difference for Foster Care Support

The Atlanta Asian Heritage BRG board members, employees and their families came together in August to show their solidarity and compassion in action at the Foster Care Support Foundation in Roswell, GA. This organization touts an illustrious history that spans more than two decades – a testament to its unwavering dedication to fostering the well-being of foster and relative care families across Georgia. They serve the Georgia Division of Family & Children Services-managed foster homes and private agency care, as well as partnering with other organizations to broaden impact.

Prior to the event, U.S. Bank and Elavon volunteers pitched in by donating clothes and funds collected from a lemonade stand organized by employees’ children. During the event, volunteers rolled up their sleeves to reorganize the foundation's space to make it easier for those seeking assistance to find clothing and essentials. Even the youngest volunteers played an integral role, by aiding in packing clothing, toys, and repairing bicycles—a transformative endeavor that holds significant value for families with foster children. Beyond clothing provisions, the foundation extends its impact by providing vital infant equipment and toys, contributing profoundly to the lives of the children it serves.

This collective volunteering effort showcases the incredible potential of a community coming together for a shared purpose. It's not just about the foundation's commitment to its mission—it shows the enduring power of people's compassion and the tangible change they can create when they work together. We continually strive to support the communities where we live, work and play. Through our Community Possible giving platform, we invest our time, resources, and passion in economic development by supporting efforts to create stable jobs, better homes and vibrant communities.

Year Up interns attend lunch with Greg Cunningham and Tim Welsh to celebrate 10 years of partnership with U.S. Bank and Elavon

In September, current Year Up interns joined U.S. Bank Chief Diversity Officer, Greg Cunningham, and Vice Chair, Consumer and Business Banking, Tim Welsh, to share their “why” impact stories with our leaders and hear firsthand the work that U.S. Bank/Elavon is doing to be an advocate for their future careers and community. “Each of these future leaders has a story as to why they are participating in the internship program but what struck me was that each of them had so much perseverance, resilience and outstanding work ethic” said Tim Welsh.

This event was held as part of a larger celebration of the 10-year anniversary of partnership between Year Up, U.S. Bank and Elavon. Over the past decade, we have worked together to provide a 100% tuition-free job training and internship programs for young adults in the Greater Atlanta area. Since 2012, we have hosted 144 interns and hired 51 of them to full time employment, in roles like IT desktop support technician, quality assurance analyst, sales support representative, scrum master, and project manager.

“The Year Up students we met with were so impressive. Each of these young adults is working hard to pursue their career dreams and I’m so grateful U.S. Bank and Elavon have been able to support them along the way” said Greg Cunningham.

Commitment to access

Our goal is to become an industry leader by providing access to resources, capital, exposure, information, education, and guidance to communities around the globe. In February 2021, we launched U.S. Bank Access Commitment™, a long-term approach led by our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team bringing together the strengths of U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, corporate social responsibility and our business lines to help build wealth while redefining how we serve diverse communities and provide more opportunities for diverse employees.


Contact our Community DEI Team

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