It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately affected the Black community, so one lab equipment company is stepping up to make sure Black youth have access to testing.
Thermo Fisher has reportedly donated $15 million worth of equipment to HBCUs across the country in an initiative called The Just Project.
“Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO), the world leader in serving science, has committed to supporting the efforts of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the U.S. to make COVID-19 testing available to all returning students, faculty and staff at the beginning of the fall semester. Through an initiative called “The Just Project,” named after pioneering biologist Ernest Everett Just, Thermo Fisher plans to donate $15 million in diagnostic instruments, test kits and related supplies. The company will also provide technical assistance to HBCUs seeking to establish or expand their laboratories to provide regular on-campus COVID-19 testing throughout the 2020-21 school year,” a press release states.
Howard University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Xavier University of Louisiana and Hampton University will be some of the first schools to receive their donations, while others are expected to join the initiative in the coming weeks.
“Our first priority is to ensure a safe and healthy environment on our campuses,” said Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D. (president and dean of Morehouse School of Medicine) via press release. “The support we receive from Thermo Fisher Scientific through The Just Project allows us to offer easy access to COVID-19 testing that is so important to getting our students back to school safely.”
In a statement, Thermo Fisher also committed to hiring at least 500 students from HBCUs over the next few years.
“The pandemic has disproportionately affected the Black community, and historically black colleges and universities have taken a leadership role in making testing available in order to safely reopen this fall. These schools play an important role in closing the achievement gap in America and consistently train talented STEM professionals who are invaluable to companies like ours seeking to attract top talent and build a more inclusive workplace,” Fred Lowery (senior vice president and president, Life Sciences Solutions and Laboratory Products at Thermo Fisher Scientific) said.
“Given the value we place on recruiting diverse talent, we have also committed to hiring at least 500 students from these institutions over the next three years,” Lowery added.