Evening Briefing - February 4, 2021


Diageo North America establishes innovative program with HBCUs to develop future leaders and help shape a more equitable society

The North America business of Diageo, a global beverage leader, is committing $10 million to support 25 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and creating permanent endowed funds to provide financial aid grants anticipated to benefit thousands of talented students in need over the years. Funds will be available for HBCU students across different disciplines and majors, and distributed according to each institution’s financial aid process.

“We are proud to partner with these esteemed institutions and to do our part to help shape a more equitable society by providing opportunities for future leaders,” said Debra Crew, President, Diageo North America. “This initiative further deepens Diageo’s commitment to making a long term and sustainable impact on underrepresented communities.” (Diageo)

Dallas Mavericks to fund new ‘Mavs Major’ bachelor’s program at Paul Quinn College

With a $500,000 grant from the Dallas Mavericks, Paul Quinn College will introduce a new bachelor’s program in leadership and sports management, the NBA organization said Tuesday on its website.

The “Mavs Major” stems from a “meeting of the minds” involving Dr. Michael J. Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall and team owner Mark Cuban, according to the Mavericks. (Dallas Morning News)

Morehouse President condemns reinstatement of Atlanta police officers

I write to express my outrage and concern that two Atlanta police officers fired for their abuse of a Morehouse and Spelman student during last year’s period of protest over racial inequality and police abuse of Black citizens have been reinstated. The nation watched as these officers tased and dragged these two students from their car. No evidence has emerged to suggest that the students did anything to provoke these officers other than drive while being Black. The case was so egregious and obvious that then-Police Chief Shields immediately dismissed the officers.

It is incomprehensible to me that a system designed to support, but hold accountable, our civil servants appointed to protect and defend us could allow for such a reversal and reinstatement. For those still wondering what allows and reinforces the abusive practices of policing visited upon Black people, you need only study the policies and logic that would legitimize this decision. (Morehouse College)

‘This is our moment to be ahead of the curve’: What eSports could mean for HBCUs

In 2014, Chicago’s Robert Morris University Illinois became the first school to offer varsity-level scholarships for competitive esports. A few years later, schools like Shenandoah University and Ohio State University became the first universities to offer esports majors. Over the past decade, universities and colleges around the nation have entered esports as well, thanks to organizations like Collegiate Starleague (CSL) and the National Association of College Esports (NACE). With budget cuts owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, many institutions have essentially been forced to reconsider developing programs, in part to compensate for heavy losses in revenue.

Contending with the same revenue challenges, a handful of historically Black colleges and universities spent the first year of the new decade attempting to enter the world of collegiate esports. In March, Johnson C. Smith University, a private institution in Charlotte, North Carolina, made noise by becoming the first HBCU to offer an undergraduate program in esports management. Months later, JCSU began a partnership with Riot Games, developer of ultra-popular games League of Legends and Valorant. Through the partnership, it hopes to provide curriculum support, guest lectures, industry consultation, internships, and more. (Complex)