Ford Fund launches 2016 HBCU community challenge

Posted on Thursday, September 08, 2016

ford challenge

The Ford Motor Company and Ford Motor Company Fund are searching for students to compete in the 2016 Ford Historically Black Colleges and Universities Community Challenge. The program, now in its fourth year, has awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships and grants to student teams.

Students are encouraged to use the theme – Building Sustainable Communities – to develop innovative proposals to combat social issues in their areas. Each proposal should address a pressing need that focuses on at least one of these categories: mobility, alternative energy, sustainability and water, and systematic approaches to finding a solution to a community need. Student and university scholarships will be awarded to winning teams, and each finalist team will be awarded a grant to implement its work.

“Ford Historically Black Colleges and Universities Community Challenge has allowed us to make an impact not just on education, but also on schools and, most importantly, the communities that foster these students,” said Raj Register, manager of multicultural communications at Ford. “I’m excited to see the forward thinking this year’s submissions will bring.”

Teams will be selected to present their proposals at Ford World Headquarters in November to a panel of judges, including radio personality Tom Joyner and Ford executives.

Alabama A&M University, Clark Atlanta University and North Carolina A&T State University were the top three finalists in last year’s challenge. Clark Atlanta’s wireless lawn irrigation system that tracks weather forecasts and soil moisture to water only when needed claimed first-place honors.

Undergraduate students attending HBCUs can learn more about the competition and submit their proposals August 15 through October 9, 2016 by visiting The Challenge is conducted in partnership with the Tom Joyner and Rickey Smiley morning shows. HBCU supporters will be able to vote online for their favorite proposal October 27 through November 10.

“Ford Fund is proud to support the creativity, community focus and teamwork of these future leaders,” said Pamela Alexander, director of the Ford Motor Company Fund. “Students who participate are helping improve the quality of life in our communities to bring about a better world.”

Join the program’s social conversation by following #FordHBCU.

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Last updated: 10/10/2018