Boeing invests $10.6 million to support racial equity and social justice

The grants are focused on increasing the number of minority and underserved students pursuing STEM education and diversifying the aerospace talent pipeline

August 28, 2020 in Community

Today, on the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Boeing announced $10.6 million in grant funding to 20 nonprofits working to address racial equity and social justice in the United States. The grants are focused on increasing the number of minority and underserved students pursuing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and diversifying the aerospace talent pipeline. Grant dollars will also fund programs that work to address criminal justice reform and healthcare gaps in underserved and minority communities.

“At Boeing, we acknowledge the toll that systemic racism and social injustice have had on people of color, particularly Black communities here in the United States,” said David Calhoun, Boeing president and CEO. “As we work internally to confront these issues, we also remain focused on addressing the causes and impacts of racism and social inequality in the communities where our employees live and work. With today’s financial commitment to this group of nonprofit partners, we are hopeful that together, we can begin to make real advances in our ongoing pursuit of equality.”

Nonprofits receiving grant funding include:

  • Seattle Children’s Hospital: A $2.5 million investment will support health care access for minority and underserved children through the expansion of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinics.
  • Chicago Public Schools : A previously announced $1.5 million investment will fund the expansion of technology access for about 4,500 Chicago Public Schools students enrolled in remote learning courses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • DC College Access Program: A $1 million investment will support underserved District of Columbia public and public charter high school students in pursuing STEM education and careers.
  • Equal Justice Initiative: A $1 million investment will fund public education and policy research efforts that address criminal justice reform in the United States.
  • The Mission Continues: A $1 million investment will support Operation Nourish, a program aimed at combating food insecurity by mobilizing veterans to grow, collect and distribute food in marginalized communities and communities of color.
  • UNCF: United Negro College Fund: A $1 million investment will support the development of a high school STEM engagement program in collaboration with the organization’s historically Black colleges and universities in locations where Boeing has a significant local presence.
  • Chicago Urban League: A $500,000 investment will support the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, which helps African-Americans launch, grow and sustain businesses. Funding also will support the scaling of the IMPACT leadership development program for emerging African-American leaders.
  • Long Beach College Promise: A $500,000 investment will support programs aimed at creating a culture of college expectation and success for African-American and other students of color.
  • Forum to Advance Minorities in Engineering, Inc.: A $300,000 investment will advance Delaware’s STEM talent pipeline with a specific focus on creating access for women and girls and ensuring equity for underrepresented minorities in the state.
  • International African American Museum: A $250,000 investment will support the development of education curriculum and programs for the Charleston, South Carolina museum, opening in early 2022.
  • National Black Child Development Institute: A $250,000 investment will support the development of early childhood education, health and wellness, child welfare, literacy and family engagement programs for Black children and families.
  • Space Center Houston: A $175,000 investment will fund the Girls STEM Academy, which helps underrepresented middle-school-age girls apply STEM concepts and skills through hands-on, inquiry-based learning.
  • Adrienne Arsht Center: A $145,000 investment will support Learning Through the Arts, a STEM learning initiative that integrates the arts into classroom discovery and provides hands-on coding and robotics instruction for three underserved schools in Miami.
  • Girls Inc. of Huntsville: A $120,000 investment will fund Operation SMART, a hands-on STEM learning program that will reach more than 700 girls of color in the Huntsville, Alabama, area.
  • Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis: A $110,000 investment will support the Save Our Sons program, helping economically disadvantaged African-American men in the St. Louis region find jobs and earn livable wages.
  • BE NOLA: A $100,000 investment will fund programs that build the capacity of Black-led efforts to advance educational progress in New Orleans for local students.
  • Space Foundation: A $100,000 investment will support the development of the 2021 “Art Gallery in Space” exhibition, which will highlight “STEM Icons of Color” and complement Boeing’s FUTURE U education programming.
  • Turning Leaf Project: A $100,000 investment will fund programs that address systemic recidivism for at-risk Charleston-area men returning home from prison and expand the model to additional cities in South Carolina.
  • Urban League of Portland: A $25,000 investment will support the development of public forums on community issues, work skills training, health and wellness outreach, and career fairs.
  • Youth Celebrate Diversity: A $20,000 investment will fund a conference for high school students to connect on current issues, including racial inequity and social justice.

These grants build on Boeing’s history of partnering with organizations that provide access to and address inequities in communities of color. Over the past five years, Boeing has invested more than $120 million to support underserved communities – including racial equity and social justice programs – across the United States.

In addition to the grant announcements, the Boeing Black Employees Association (BBEA) organized several events to celebrate the March on Washington and further the mission of racial equity and equality at Boeing.

“The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a historic moment for our country, and it’s important that we continue learning from and building on the work of those civil rights leaders,” said Chinyere Udoh, an electrical systems design engineer and current enterprise vice president of BBEA. “Boeing’s support of, and participation in, these events is critical as we continue improving racial equity and equality in America.”

Approximately 50 Boeing employees will participate in the Commitment March in Washington, D.C. on August 28. Hundreds of others across the company joined virtual events, including a conversation about current acts of injustice, protests and race with Damion Thomas, a curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Additional announcements related to Boeing’s racial equity and social justice investment strategy are planned in the future.