Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, has donated $200,000 to the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA) in support of the “See Yourself In Cyber” HBCU Career Program. This initiative aims to enhance cybersecurity education at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) by providing networking opportunities, mentoring programs, training, and more to students.
The program bridges the gap between cybersecurity firms and HBCUs like Prairie View A&M, Southern University, St. Philip’s College, and Texas Southern University. The grant from Newmark’s philanthropic organization, Craig Newmark Philanthropies, will enable the NCA to expand the program and empower underrepresented students in the rapidly evolving cybersecurity sector.
Lisa Plaggemier, Executive Director of the National Cybersecurity Alliance, highlighted the importance of diversity in the cybersecurity and IT industries and how the HBCU Scholarship Program will help underrepresented groups enter and excel in these professions. The funding will support guest lecturers, curriculum development, student training, certification, job placement, internships, virtual events, and program outreach.
The initiative aligns with the White House’s National Cybersecurity Strategy, emphasizing workforce development and addressing the shortage of cybersecurity talent in the United States, where over 700,000 cybersecurity roles remain unfilled, with only 9% represented by Black candidates.
HBCUs have been actively creating cybersecurity programs, and CISA has invested in cybersecurity education in minority communities from a young age.