NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation today announced a $2 million commitment to support scholarships for Black, African and African American students, including those at Morehouse College, Spelman College and 10 additional historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) through the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).
These scholarships, funded by the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, align with and build on Ralph Lauren Corporation’s commitments to address systemic racism and racial injustice by creating more pathways for equity within the fashion industry and beyond, beginning with education.
“Students represent the best of the human spirit – passion, curiosity and boundless dreams,” said Ralph Lauren, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Ralph Lauren Corporation. “When all students have an equal chance to succeed, their dreams become realities and inspire us all.”
“The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation works to make the dream of a better life a reality by championing equity and investing in historically underserved communities,” said Roseann Lynch, Ralph Lauren Corporation’s Chief People Officer and Head of the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation. “Our hope is that these scholarships will deepen pathways of access to education for our future leaders and help enable them to pursue their own dreams.”
“Morehouse has a common cause with partners like the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation who believe that equity begins with education,” said David A. Thomas, Ph.D., Morehouse College president. “Through educational investments, which help elevate the creativity and professional competence of talented students of color, we today empower the innovators who will develop the fashions, products and services the world will demand tomorrow.”
“This new scholarship will allow high-achieving students in need of financial support to graduate with less debt, ready to step into their careers,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman College. “We’re extremely proud to join forces with the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation in its effort to increase equity and access in the fashion industry.”
“We are delighted that the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation is expanding its partnership with UNCF and increasing its investment this year to provide more scholarships for African American students,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “African American communities remain disproportionately impacted by the lack of resources needed to go to and through college. Recognizing that need, the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation is fueling our ability to move the needle further for deserving, talented students who want to earn degrees, but just lack the resources to do so.”
In addition to Morehouse College and Spelman College, Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation scholarship grants will benefit eligible students at 10 HBCUs over a five-year period. In collaboration with UNCF, those institutions will be selected using criteria including current unmet funding needs, enrollment rates, proximity to Ralph Lauren Corporation’s U.S. operation centers and institutions that have disciplines and curricula that foster careers in the retail industry. Extending the reach of the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation’s scholarship programs, each scholarship will encourage community service participation.
This effort supports institutions whose values are aligned with those of both Ralph Lauren Corporation and the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation – including dreaming of and pursuing excellence, committing to inspiring and enacting meaningful social change and a devotion to compassion for and service of others.
As a part of Ralph Lauren Corporation’s Global Citizenship & Sustainability goals and its commitment to building a diverse, inclusive and equitable culture, the Company’s work with HBCUs also includes facilitating career pathways for Black talent through internship, recruitment, mentorship and development programs – efforts that are deepening as partnerships with educational institutions and external organizations evolve.
Additionally, in November, the Company launched the Ralph Lauren Pin of Solidarity to consumers in North America. Created by Ralph Lauren’s Black Advisory Council, the pin is intended to be a tangible, timeless symbol of allyship with Black, African and African American communities. One hundred percent of the profits from the sale of each pin will be contributed to the Company’s separate UNCF Ralph Lauren Scholarship Program. The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation is also an annual sponsor of the UNCF Walk for Education.
ABOUT THE RALPH LAUREN CORPORATE FOUNDATION
The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation works to make the dream of a better life reality by championing equity and empowering underserved communities around the world. Established in 2001, the Foundation is committed to making a difference across its core areas of focus: supporting cancer care and prevention, protecting the environment, fostering advocacy & access and strengthening community resilience. It hopes to deliver meaningful change in its communities through its nonprofit partnerships, investments and volunteering programs. For more information, please visit: https://corporate.ralphlauren.com/Foundation.
ABOUT RALPH LAUREN CORPORATION
Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE:RL) is a global leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products in five categories: apparel, footwear & accessories, home, fragrances and hospitality. For more than 50 years, Ralph Lauren has sought to inspire the dream of a better life through authenticity and timeless style. Its reputation and distinctive image have been consistently developed across an expanding number of products, brands and international markets. The Company’s brand names—which include Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Collection, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Polo Ralph Lauren, Double RL, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Polo Ralph Lauren Children and Chaps, among others—constitute one of the world’s most widely recognized families of consumer brands. For more information, go to https://corporate.ralphlauren.com.
ABOUT MOREHOUSE COLLEGE
Morehouse College is the largest men’s college in the United States and the only college with a mission to educate Black men. A private, liberal arts institution founded in 1867, Morehouse is the nation’s top producer of Black men who go on to receive doctorates, the top producer of Rhodes Scholars among HBCUs, and was named to the list of U.S. institutions that produced the most Fulbright Scholars in 2019-2020. Morehouse has the top-rated core curriculum of any HBCU nationwide, according to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, and Academic Influence named Morehouse one of the two most influential HBCUs of the 21st century. Morehouse is one of the top five HBCUs nationally, according to U.S. News and World Report, which also ranked the College among the top 20 liberal arts colleges nationally in terms of social mobility and the top 50 nationally in terms of innovation. Morehouse is the #1 producer of Black male graduates in Georgia in biology, business, engineering, English, foreign languages, history, mathematics, performing arts, philosophy, physical sciences, religion, and visual arts, according to Diverse Issues in Higher Education. As the epicenter for thought leadership on civil rights, Morehouse is committed to helping the nation address the inequities caused by institutional racism, which has created social and economic disparities for people of African descent. Prominent Morehouse alumni include: Martin Luther King Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General; Shelton "Spike" Lee, Academy Award-winning American filmmaker; Maynard H. Jackson, the first African American mayor of Atlanta; Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security; Louis W. Sullivan, former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services; Bakari Sellers, attorney and CNN political analyst; Randall Woodfin, elected as the youngest mayor of Birmingham in 120 years; and U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s first Black U.S. senator from Georgia. For more information, visit: https://morehouse.edu.
ABOUT SPELMAN COLLEGE
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 54 among all liberal arts colleges, No. 24 for undergraduate teaching, No. 4 for social mobility among liberal arts colleges and No. 1 for the 15th year among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Recent initiatives include a designation by the Department of Defense as a Center of Excellence for Minority Women in STEM, a Gender and Sexuality Studies Institute, the first endowed queer studies chair at an HBCU and a program to increase the number of Black women Ph.D.s in economics. New majors have been added, including documentary filmmaking and photography, and collaborations have been established with MIT’s Media Lab, the Broad Institute and the Army Research Lab for artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Rosalind Brewer, political leader Stacey Abrams, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna president Audrey Forbes Manley, actress and producer Latanya Richardson Jackson, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20% of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.