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November 4, 2021

Student Freedom Initiative Expands to 29 HBCUs and Partners with The Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation

Nov. 4, 2021

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, the Student Freedom Initiative announced the next round of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that will participate in its program.

The selected institutions include: Alabama A&M University, Benedict College, Bennett College, Bowie State University, Dillard University, Fisk University, Interdenominational Theological Center, Jackson State University, Jarvis Christian College, Lemoyne-Owen College, Miles College, Morris College, Norfolk State University, Shaw University, Texas College, Texas Southern University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of the Virgin Islands, Virginia Union University, and Voorhees College.

The addition of these institutions will increase the number of participating states in the Student Freedom Initiative program from 8 to 12 and more than triple the number of participating schools from 9 to 29 in the Student Freedom Initiative program, impacting nearly 80,500 students.

The addition of 20 institutions continues the program’s momentum and goal of onboarding up to 20 additional minority serving institutions (MSIs) per year into one of the four components of the program. Through its strategic partnership with the program, Student Freedom Initiative provides Fortune 500 companies access to qualified, diverse, entry-level talent from participating institutions. There are currently over 220+ companies, over 14,000 pre-qualified students, and 1,300+ Course Learning Management Systems on the platform, as well as the ability to obtain certifications in cloud, cybersecurity, Salesforce, and project management.

The Student Freedom Initiative is also pleased to announce a strategic partnership with the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation, an organization dedicated to cultivating the next generation of responsible leaders by providing educational enrichment, mentoring, life transformation skills, and global service initiatives. Together, the Student Freedom Initiative and the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation will continue to elevate the excellence of students attending MSIs, advocate for their upward economic and social mobility, seek partners committed to closure of the wealth gap, and provide a platform to advance the entire ecosystem.

“We are pleased to welcome the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation in support of our critical mission to advance the narrative surrounding minority serving institutions and the students they support. Together, we look forward to sharing and promoting the extraordinary talent of our students in a competitive global economy.” said Founder Robert F. Smith.

“Access to quality, affordable higher education is one of the most important steps our community can take towards achieving racial equity,” added Steve Harvey. “Our foundation is proud to support the work of Robert F. Smith and the Student Freedom Initiative to highlight the outstanding job done by HBCUs and other MSIs to elevate the social and economic mobility of our students to achieve their greatest potential via this enduring, scalable solution.”

“Over the last year and a half, we’ve made steady progress building out a scalable infrastructure and establishing strategic partnerships to increase the resilience of our institutions and the global competitiveness of our students. Now in our second year, we look forward to continuing to grow the number of participating institutions in our program to other MSIs and to serve more students,” said Mark Brown, Executive Director of the Student Freedom Initiative. “We are also grateful to the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation for their leadership and for joining us on this journey.”

About Student Freedom Initiative

A single purpose nonprofit organization, Student Freedom Initiative provides a catalyst for freedom in professional and life choices for students attending Minority Serving Institutions (“MSIs”) by increasing their social and economic mobility using a student centric, evidence based, holistic, and collaborative approach. Initially focused on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Student Freedom Initiative enables mobility through four transformational components: (1) Income Contingent Alternative to Parent Plus and Private Loans, (2) Internships, (3) Tutoring/Mentorships/Other Services, and (4) Targeted HBCU Capacity Building. Student Freedom Initiative collaborates with community-based organizations, businesses, and governmental entities through public-private partnerships to make sustainable, systemic changes to support the entire HBCU ecosystem.

To date, the Student Freedom Initiative has received generous contributions from Robert F. Smith, Fund 2 Foundation, Cisco Systems, Jane Street, and the Walmart Foundation. The program has also been acknowledged and supported by the Business Roundtable’s Racial Equity & Justice Subcommittee on Education. Our ability to provide support to MSI students is based on the continued financial support of these donors and others interested in supporting our mission.

To learn more, visit or find us on Twitter @StudentFreedom.

About the Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation

The Steve and Marjorie Harvey Foundation (SMHF) is committed to giving back, which is embedded in the organizational values and mission. Since its establishment in 2009, SMHF has devoted time and resources to transforming the lives of youth, families and community. The Foundations’ services help cultivate the next generation of responsible leaders, by providing educational enrichment, mentoring, life transformation skills, and global service initiatives. SMHF strives to be a change-agent by fostering excellence in the areas of education, health, and social well-being in urban and diverse communities, ensuring that the needs of the whole child are met. Visit for more information.

Dafna Tapiero,