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CMSI Receives $50,000 Gift from Tech Companies to Support Women of Color in MSI Aspiring Leaders Program

Philadelphia, Pa., September 14, 2018— The Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI) is proud to announce that it has received $50,000 in donations from Intel, HP, Apple, Pinterest, and Samsung to further support their MSI Aspiring Leaders program.
At a reception sponsored by the Entertainment Software Association, the Information Technology Industry Council, and the Internet Association in Washington, D.C., CMSI was honored for its effort to diversify industry and senior leadership at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) through programs, such as the MSI Aspiring Leaders program, and initiatives aimed at enhancing avenues for all people to have equal access to 21st century opportunities.  
“We are incredibly thankful for the outpouring of support from these companies,” shared Marybeth Gasman, the Judy and Howard Berkowitz Professor of Education and Director for the Center for Minority Serving Institutions. “This funding will eliminate barriers of cost and strengthen mentoring relationships for the Aspiring Leaders of our program. We are very grateful for this opportunity.”
The event was a part of a three-day annual event known as the National HBCU Braintrust developed by Congresswoman Alma S. Adams of the HBCU Caucus to bring together government, industry, and educational leaders to discuss the condition of HBCUs and to find solutions to the issues shaping these institutions and their students. This year’s HBCU Braintrust was titled, “The Power of Black Women: Reshaping, Redefining & Diversifying America’s Workforce,” and featured Black women Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers as well as Black women HBCU presidents with the goal of igniting new industry and HBCU partnerships.
“We are proud to support this important cause and to uplift the future educational thought thinkers that will ensure our schools are working collectively with industry and government to provide pathways to opportunity for all students,” said Congresswoman Alma S. Adams.
As a testament to the program and its impact, MSI presidential mentor Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College and his mentee, Aspiring Leader, Donna Hay-Jones of The Washington Center were in attendance. Michael Sorrell delivered a compelling speech detailing the dynamic structure and the essential nature of such an initiative.
“The Aspiring Leaders program is about building bridges and developing authentic relationships focused on common goals and shared gains. There is an understanding among mentors and mentees that there are far more things that bind us together than pull us apart,” shares Michael Sorrell. “This program is important, and I am so proud to be part of it. Thank you, Marybeth, and the Center for Minority Serving Institutions for the pioneering work you are doing to prepare leaders to best serve our institutions”
The donations will provide travel scholarships for women of color who travel to MSI Aspiring Leaders professional development events, who want to visit their mentors for leadership shadowing experiences, and who want to attend national leadership conferences. 
The MSI Aspiring Leaders is a two-year program that brings together prominent MSI presidents to engage with mid-career aspiring leaders from the education, non-profit, and business sectors in an effort to prepare the next generation of MSI presidents. The program includes both a leadership forum and mentorship program and has been designed to help promote diversity among higher education leadership. In an effort to encourage attendance and minimize financial burden, MSI Aspiring Leaders is hosted free of program fees to all invited participants.
About the Center for Minority Serving Institutions 
The Center for Minority Serving Institutions brings together researchers and practitioners from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. CMSI’s goals include: elevating the educational contributions of MSIs; ensuring that they are a part of national conversations; bringing awareness to the vital role MSIs play in the nation’s economic development; increasing the rigorous scholarship of MSIs; connecting MSIs’ academic and administrative leadership to promote reform initiatives; and strengthening efforts to close educational achievement gaps among disadvantaged communities. For further information about CMSI, please visit

Friday, September 14, 2018
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