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Adams, Hill Announce Four New HBCU Partnership Challenge Companies: Apple, AbbVie, Amgen and Protective

November 10, 2022

The HBCU Caucus Partnership Challenge is an effort to promote greater engagement and support between private companies and HBCUs. 99 companies have taken the challenge.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Alma Adams (D-NC-12) and Congressman French Hill (R-AR-02) announced four companies and organizations joining the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Partnership Challenge: Apple, AbbVie Amgen and Protective Life Corporation. The HBCU Caucus Partnership Challenge is an effort to promote greater engagement and support between private companies and HBCUs. Already, over 90 companies have taken the challenge.

"I want to thank our newest HBCU Caucus Partnership Challenge Members Apple, Abbvie, Amgen, and Protective Life Corporation," said Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12), founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Bipartisan HBCU Caucus.  HBCUs face major capital infrastructure and funding challenges. It’s an important moment for private and public partners to continue to commit to support our HBCUs. I applaud all our private partners for taking the pledge at such a critical time.”

“I am pleased Apple, AbbVie, Amgen, and Protective Life Corporation have joined the HBCU Partnership Challenge. Our HBCU Partnership Challenge partners are vital to providing and promoting opportunities on behalf of HBCU students, faculty, and alumni. Thank you to these industry leaders who have pledged their commitment to the HBCU community,” said Rep. French Hill (AR-02), co-chair of the HBCU Caucus.

Companies & organizations joining the partnership challenge are excited for the opportunity:

“At AbbVie, developing and delivering innovative life-changing medicines for the wide diversity of our patients requires the thoughtfulness and creativity that comes from having a wide range of inputs,” said Rae Livingston, chief equity officer, AbbVie. “AbbVie’s commitment to partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities is one way we continue our focus on attracting impact-making talent to help us deliver on this important mission of improving patient lives. Through relationships with these top institutions, we are creating new pathways to careers in the pharmaceutical industry. And AbbVie has the opportunity to tap into the innovative and futuristic thinking of talented students who are often untapped. I am beyond excited about partnering with the challenge.” 

“At Amgen, we believe everyone needs science and science needs everyone,” said Bob Bradway, Chairman and CEO of Amgen.  “Amgen is proud to build on our existing collaborations with HCBUs by joining the Partnership Challenge to help reduce disparities in STEM, unlock new ideas, and drive systemic change.”

“At Protective, we are committed to strengthening our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts by growing and developing our people, attracting diverse talent and supporting strong, diverse communities,” said Rich Bielen, President and CEO of Protective Life Corporation. “We are proud of our ongoing collaborations with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and are honored to have representation of alumni from over 13 different HBCUs within our workforce.”

Background on the HBCU Partnership Challenge
Sixty-seven percent of job seekers say a diverse workforce is important when considering job offers, and organizations that report higher levels of racial diversity bring in nearly 15 times more sales revenue than their counterparts. The Bipartisan HBCU Caucus believes that to achieve true diversity in our workforce, we must focus on the front-end of this conversation – our students and the schools they attend.

The impact of HBCUs on our workforce is clear. HBCUs produce:

  • 27 percent of all African-American STEM graduates;
  • 40 percent of all African-American engineers;
  • 50 percent of all African-American lawyers;
  • 50 percent of all African-American public-school teachers; and
  • 80 percent of all African-American judges.

These statistics demonstrate how HBCUs are vital to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce. 

About Congresswoman Alma Adams
Congresswoman Alma S. Adams, Ph.D. represents North Carolina's 12th Congressional District (Charlotte, Mecklenburg County). In 2015, she founded the first bipartisan Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Caucus in Congress. She is a double graduate of North Carolina A&T, the largest HBCU by enrollment in the United States, and serves on the House Committee on Education & Labor; the House Financial Services Committee; and the House Committee on Agriculture, which has jurisdiction over the 1890s HBCUs.

About Protective
Protective has helped people achieve protection and security in their lives for 115 years. Through its subsidiaries, Protective offers life insurance, annuity and asset protection solutions and is helping more than 12 million people protect what matters most. Protective’s more than 3,700 employees put people first and deliver on the company’s promises to customers, partners, colleagues and communities - because we’re all protectors. With a long-term focus, financial stability and commitment to doing the right thing, Protective Life Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Daiichi Life Holdings, Inc. (TSE:8750), has grown to about $132 billion in assets, as of Dec. 31, 2021. Protective is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, and supported by both a robust virtual workforce and core sites in Cincinnati and St. Louis. For more information about Protective, visit


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