Morehouse Partners with Microsoft in Initiative to Bridge the Digital Divide

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Monday, April 27th, 2020

Morehouse College is partnering with Microsoft in a campaign to address the digital divide that will equip newly enrolled students for the 2020-21 academic year with Microsoft Surface 2-in-1 tablets that run Windows 10 and can be used in either tablet or desktop mode.

The partnership with Microsoft Corporation was announced Saturday at Morehouse College’s Virtual Admitted Students Day “MXP.1” on YouTube, the first day of the Morehouse experience for new families. Morehouse and Microsoft launched the initiative to ensure that students in families struggling financially amid the COVID-19 global pandemic will be prepared for a successful transition to college.

Students of historically black colleges or universities (HBCU) are more likely to be impacted by what is known as the digital divide, the gap between those who have access to the internet and technology necessary for homework assignments and those who do not. Currently, all Morehouse classes and pre- college summer programs are only available online.

“Microsoft is extremely proud to partner with Morehouse College to provide the technology that can bridge the digital divide that has too often stood between students and access to information and education,” said Fred Humphries, Vice President of government affairs at Microsoft. “We are excited to work with the newest men of Morehouse as they enter the institution and look forward to seeing the impact they can make on their communities and the world.”

Nearly 2,200 students attend Morehouse. The college enrolled approximately 600 new students during the 2019-20 academic year. More than 90 percent of Morehouse students are eligible for financial aid.

“The digital divide is another battlefield in the fight for social justice because it is directly linked to income disparities between racial groups,” said David A. Thomas, President of Morehouse College. “Black and brown families are at the lowest rungs of the household income scale.
“According to the Pew Research Center, nearly half of adults with a yearly household income of $30,000 do not have a computer for themselves or their children to use,” Thomas added. “We are grateful to Microsoft for partnering with us to help level the playing field in technology for our new students.”