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How HBCUs are responding to the flood of corporate diversity initiatives

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Recruiting season is a bit different at Spelman College.
  • Michelle Cheng
By Michelle Cheng


Published Last updated

Spelman College has always had a robust recruiting season, with around 700 recruiters from companies and graduate schools coming to campus over the course of an academic year. But last year, the school saw a similar level of interest in just one semester.

In response to last year’s resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following another spate of killings of Black Americans by police, various companies large and small have committed to recruiting fresh graduates, making donations, or finding other ways to get involved with America’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), including Spelman.

Harold Bell, director of Spelman’s office of career planning and development, says his seven-person department has been flooded with emails and phone calls from hundreds of companies, each armed with a list of diversity recruitment initiatives. The increased outreach has been “stressful,” he says, as handling recruiters is only part of his office’s job.

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