At the end of March, nearly 250 students and coaches from 48 HBCUs were set to travel to California to compete in the 31st Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC)–America’s premier academic competition for HBCUs.
Unfortunately, Honda made the difficult decision to cancel the annual tournament and reallocate those funds to a COVID-19 relief initiative in partnership with 58 community-focused HBCUs (including the 48 HBCUs that would have competed in the HCASC tournament).
The funds covered essential needs including food insecurity and medical support for families, senior citizens and the homeless while providing medical supplies and personal protective equipment for frontline healthcare workers in HBCU communities.
Since May 1, Honda has donated a total of $325,000 to HBCUs that helped support 108 organizations in 20 states.
“In these unprecedented times, our commitment to HBCUs is stronger than ever,” said Steve Morikawa, Vice President of Corporate Relations and Social Responsibility at American Honda.
“We know that recent events have presented challenges for HBCU communities, and we’re working closely with HBCU presidents and local leaders on ways to best serve their communities.”
Here’s a closer look at how Honda is supporting HBCU communities, as told from the perspectives of HBCU students, Presidents and institutional representatives:
“The Florida A&M University-Bond Community Health Center COVID-19 Test Site is responsible for over 10,500 tests taken since April 25. Thanks to the generous contributions from Honda and other supporters, we have been able to provide meals for university and community volunteers who contribute to the site’s operation.
With the support of Florida Department of Health, other state and municipal partners, this site is open to everyone; however, its location in an African America community provides access to individuals adversely impacted by the virus.” – Dr. Larry Robinson, Florida A&M University president.
“No student should have to worry about hunger. The allocation of Honda’s grant to our campus food pantry, The Store@HU, will allow hundreds of students to focus on their education instead of worrying about a basic need. This boost of support for students is much appreciated in light of our extraordinary circumstances.” – Jess Agyepong, Howard University senior and HCASC team captain.
“Livingstone College is grateful in its efforts to provide relief to the Rowan-Salisbury community through the benevolent support of Honda. Considering our city’s vulnerable populations, Livingstone College designated Meals on Wheels of Rowan, Inc., an organization that provides nourishment and wellness checks to elderly and disabled populations, and the Terrie Hess House, a nationally-accredited child advocacy center committed to bringing awareness and stopping child abuse, to be recipients of the assistance grants.
As these are critical times in our world where many are unable to give, Livingstone College is appreciative to be of service and in partnership with a dream maker.” – Da’Tarvia Parrish, Associate Professor of History and Political Science, campus coordinator and HCASC coach, Livingstone College.
“Paine College is pleased to have had the opportunity to give back to the Augusta, Georgia community through the grant funds made available by American Honda to the ‘Great 48’ HBCUs that were scheduled to compete in the 2020 Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship Tournament.
Recognizing the need to address food insecurity, especially during this pandemic, the contribution to the Golden Harvest Food Bank was a good choice and the College was delighted to be able to assist.” – Dr. Cheryl Evans Jones, Paine College President.
For more information on Honda’s COVID relief initiative, click here.