Through the United Negro College Fund, the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation made a $2 million pledge to provide scholarships for Black, African, and African American students at Morehouse College, Spelman College, and ten other historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) (UNCF).
These scholarships are part of Ralph Lauren Corporation’s previously announced pledges to combat systemic racism and racial injustice by expanding equitable routes within and beyond the fashion industry, 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.”
Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation scholarship funds will assist qualifying students at 10 HBCUs over a five-year period, in addition to Morehouse College and Spelman College.
Those institutions will be chosen in collaboration with UNCF based on criteria such as current unmet funding needs, enrollment rates, proximity to Ralph Lauren Corporation’s U.S. operation centers, and institutions that offer disciplines and curricula that prepare students for careers in the retail industry. Each award will encourage community service participation, broadening the reach of the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation’s scholarship programs.
In November, the company also introduced the Ralph Lauren Pin of Solidarity to North American consumers. The pin was designed by Ralph Lauren’s Black Advisory Council to be a concrete, eternal emblem of allyship with the Black, African, and African American populations.
The proceeds from the sale of each pin will go to the Company’s independent UNCF Ralph Lauren Scholarship Program, which will receive 100% of the proceeds. The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation also supports the UNCF Walk for Education on an annual basis.