Fostering Inclusion and Innovation: Lenovo’s Commitment to Partnerships with North Carolina HBCUs

The technology is often called an “equalizer.” As a leader in our field, Lenovo takes great care to recognize that position by sharing a culture of diversity and inclusion across all of our products and practices. As part of that commitment, Lenovo has partnerships with all 11 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in North Carolina. Lenovo hopes that this initiative, based on the belief that diversity is a catalyst for Lenovo to achieve its goal of creating smarter technology for everyone, will be a driving force in changing the future of technology.

This commitment to reaching and engaging partners at HBCUs within our home state is driven by Lenovo leaders passionate about building and maintaining strong connections with those educational institutions. Lenovo’s Employee Resource Group (ERG), Black Leaders Achieving Success in Technology (BLAST), and other employer-sponsored groups, including Young Gifted Brothers (YGB), regularly engage with North Carolina HBCUs to ensure students have unique, behind-the-scenes access. to understand (and in many cases spark a passion for) career opportunities in technology.

To foster new connections, Lenovo hosted members of the North Carolina legislature’s first HBCU caucus this spring. Rep. Zack Hawkins (D-Durham) and Sen. Gladys Robinson (R-Guildford), both caucus chairs in their respective chambers, were among those who visited the Morrisville campus to learn firsthand about Lenovo’s process. Efforts are underway to establish and maintain partnerships with HBCUs. The group learned how Lenovo’s support of HBCUs is used to improve career services, provide scholarships, improve technology, and support IT-related degree programs.

One of those notable successes that Hawkins and Robinson heard about was the recent HBCU Homecoming event hosted at Lenovo and led by YGB and BLAST volunteers. In late October, students from Winston-Salem, North Carolina A&T, Elizabeth City State, St. Augustine’s and Fayetteville State Universities gathered for a day of hands-on learning and professional development with Lenovo volunteers. From a campus tour to resume presentation workshops and elevator pitches to an early-career panel on how to transition from college to business, students were able to interact one-on-one with Lenovo representatives. In addition to being well attended, the event also received significant coverage from the Triangle’s major media outlets, sharing the impact it had on future generations working in technology.

But Lenovo’s commitment doesn’t end there. Through partnerships with North Carolina’s 11 HBCUs, Lenovo works alongside these colleges and universities to create unique opportunities tailored to their students’ interests, including:

  • Partnering with Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) and Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to bring the global Work for Humanity initiative to our home state of North Carolina. ECSU students conducted a conservation education project that resulted in a new website, a trail feasibility study, and an app to enhance the trail experience, all while completing coursework and all done with Lenovo technology .
  • The Data Trade Gateway program, soon entering its third year, pairs local minority business owners with HBCU students to serve as interactive data consultants for the company.
  • Bennett College’s soon-to-be-completed esports facility will be fully equipped with Lenovo’s best-in-class gaming systems, peripherals, accessories and Lenovo Legion servers.

Lenovo’s commitment to North Carolina’s HBCUs is a transformative effort that goes beyond conventional corporate social responsibility. It is a strategic investment in a future where diversity and innovation are inseparable. The commitment to partner with the 11 HBCUs in North Carolina is not just a symbolic gesture but a strategic imperative for the technology company. By ensuring representation at all levels, from internships to executive leadership, the company is setting a precedent for the industry.