Intel Pledges $5 Million to Develop Tech Law and Policy Center at HBCU North Carolina Central University
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on May 14, 2021 |
As part of Intel’s commitment to building a more equitable world, it will donate $5 million over the next five years to North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a historically Black college and university (HBCU), to create a new tech law and policy center. Intel’s executive vice president and general counsel, Steven R. Rodgers, will join the law school’s board of visitors to help direct additional resources and support for the law school. Additionally, Allon Stabinsky, Intel’s senior vice president and chief deputy general counsel, and Rhonda Foxx, Intel’s leader of social equity policies and engagements, will join the center’s advisory board to help shape its certificate program, curriculum development and drive further Intel engagements.
“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. 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 average or below average on diversity,” said Steven R. Rodgers, Intel general counsel. “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.”
“North Carolina Central University’s School of Law has been a leader in equity and diversity within the legal education community for several decades. Today, we extend our sincere thanks to Intel Corporation for establishing a novel partnership with the university through the creation of the NCCU Tech Law and Policy Center. This partnership makes NCCU the only HBCU and only law school in the country with a Tech Law Center that focuses on technology disparities and social justice,” said Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., chancellor of North Carolina Central University. “Over the next five years, Intel Corporation’s gift of $5 million will provide students, as well as faculty and staff in the School of Law with innovative opportunities in the classroom and direct connections with executives at the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturer. Most importantly, this collaboration will assist in solving issues of access and producing diverse legal professionals who are equipped to succeed locally, as well as globally.”
Atty. Browne C. Lewis, dean of the NCCU School of Law, stated: “A key component of NCCU School of Law’s mission is to educate students who are committed to social justice and racial equity. The pandemic has shown us that there are disparities that adversely impact low-income persons and people of color when it comes to the availability of technology.
Intel Corporation’s generous gift and the company’s willingness to partner with one of the six HBCU law schools in the country gives me great hope that we can help close the digital divide.”
How It Helps: Intel will contribute legal and strategic expertise, faculty training, summer internships and Intel mentors for both students and faculty members. Students will engage directly with Intel executives who will serve as guest lecturers and provide practical legal experiences, networking and mentorship. Intel’s goal is to prepare the next generation of corporate attorneys, giving them exposure to corporate law on day one of their law school journey. Two first-year law students from NCCU will also participate in a summer associate program with Intel.
Why It’s Important: The establishment of this center will give more access to diverse professionals in these fields. It will address discriminatory laws and public policies that create structural and systemic inequities. According to the American Bar Association, about 5 percent of lawyers in the U.S. are Black. Additionally, 80 percent of Black judges and 50 percent of Black lawyers come from HBCUs, making these schools critical to diversifying the legal and policy professions and ensuring greater opportunity to underrepresented demographics.
Historically, HBCUs have trailed other institutions in federal funding and corporate engagement. There are over 100 HBCUs across the nation, and NCCU is one of only six with a law school.
Extending tech opportunities to HCBU law schools on the East Coast and in southern states is key to enhancing educational and economic equity. North Carolina is home to the most HBCUs and North Carolina Central University is close to the Research Triangle Park, making it a prime university for this engagement. About the Policy and Law Center: Intel will contribute $1 million annually for five years. The first year’s allocation is geared toward helping build a strong foundation for the center.
Approximately $400,000 will support the recruitment and hiring of an executive director and key staff, as well as other startup costs for the center. An additional $500,000 will go to support an endowed professorship. Also, Intel will contribute $100,000 toward need-based scholarships to help students experiencing financial hardship.
More Context: Intel made a commitment to not stand on the sidelines in the fight against inequality. The company pledged $1 million to address social justice and racism. To further this commitment, it has created global social equity principles and established this center as part of its economic equity goals. Intel’s actions also build on the company’s recently announced 2030 goals and Global Impact Challenges that reinforce its commitment to making technology fully inclusive and expand digital readiness. Intel is committed to enabling technology and people to build a more responsible, inclusive, and sustainable world. Social equity is core to this work.
These values are an essential part of the company’s corporate mission of creating world-changing technologies that enrich the lives of every person on Earth. Social equity efforts such as this one will help embed these values into critical public policies that will accelerate diversity and inclusion in the industry.
SOURCE: Ayana Hernandez of NCCU News
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