PeduL Launches $10 Million Scholarship Campaign to Help Corporate America Recruit More Diverse Talent
- Omose I.
- Aug. 23, 2020
The Newark, New Jersey-based, Black-owned startup PeduL, recently launched its #StepUp20 Challenge. The challenge is a $10 million scholarship campaign focused on linking brands and companies to diverse talent and providing diverse students with easier access to job opportunities through paid internships.
For the Black community, centuries of systemic racism coupled with COVID-19 has shown the existence of socio-economic inequities. A 2019 study of the labor market reported Black workers were twice as likely to be unemployed than their white counterparts and many believe the current civil unrest and 'Black Lives Matter' chants should encourage employers to address such disparities.
The #StepUp20 Challenge serves to give brands and corporations access to PeduL’s talent network of nearly 5 million Black students.
"The time for lip service and performative unity from corporate America has passed," said PeduL's CEO, Chisa Egbelu. "Press releases without actionable plans are no longer enough."
John E. Harmon, Sr., the founder and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ), was among the first to sign up for the #StepUp20 Challenge.
“Issues of diversity in corporate America pose a significant challenge to students of color as they apply to jobs," said Harmon. "PeduL has a solution that allows brands to cut to the chase and bring on interns and entry-level talent by recognizing the value that diversity brings to their company culture and bottom line.”
In addition to his pledge, Harmon helped PeduL receive a commitment of $10,000 from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.
Egbelu says the goal of PeduL is to also reach students at the nexus of their issues by funding their college tuition. The team's mission is to democratize access to education while enacting real systemic change within corporate America.
"PeduL wants to work with brands who actually care about doing the right thing," said Kayla Michele, PeduL's president.
The #StepUp2020 scholarship funds will distributed in time for the January 2021 semester. Companies looking to sign up for the #StepUp2020 challenge and students who wish to submit a scholarship application, can do so using the company's website.