UofM’s Hooks Institute Receives $40,000 Grant from Truist to Support the Hooks African American Male Initiative 

July 1, 2021 — The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change has received a $40,000 donation from Truist Financial Corporation.  

The grant provides funding for the Hooks Institute Career-Readiness Success Initiative, which focuses on workforce development and financial literacy for the Hooks African American Male Initiative (HAAMI), and a new pilot program, A Seat at the Table (ASATT), an enrichment program for women. The Hooks Institute will administer the ASATT program in collaboration with the University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. Both programs target undergraduate students at the University of Memphis.  

“Truist has been a great partner in the Hooks Institute’s commitment to support and guide UofM students in their journey toward college graduation,” said Daphene R. McFerren, Institute executive director. “This current grant will enable us to put a special emphasis on soft skills to complement knowledge gained in the classroom and efforts to prepare students for the workforce. We will also work with Truist’s Operation HOPE coordinator to teach students successful personal financial management strategies.” 

HAAMI has existed since 2015 and addresses the unique challenges faced by African American male students at the UofM through enrichment sessions, coaching and mentoring, peer fellowship and support and community awareness experiences. The three pillars of the program are academic achievement, personal development and career readiness. Using the HAAMI best practices, ASATT will provide support for women students, particularly those with low-to-moderate household incomes. 

“We’re proud to expand our partnership with the University of Memphis through the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change to prepare undergraduate students for successful transitions into their careers upon graduation,” said Angela Conner, vice president of community development at Truist. “Supporting the Hooks Institute’s efforts to ensure career pathways to economic mobility for its students aligns with our purpose at Truist to inspire and build better lives and communities.”  

About the Hooks Institute 

The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute implements its mission of teaching, studying and promoting civil rights and social change through research, education and direct intervention programs. Institute programs include community outreach; funding faculty research initiatives on community issues; implementing community service projects; hosting conferences, symposiums and lectures; and promoting local and national scholarship on civil and human rights. The Hooks Institute is an interdisciplinary center at the University of Memphis. Contributed revenue for the Hooks Institute, including funding from individuals, corporations and foundations, is administered through the University of Memphis Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit memphis.edu/benhooks. 

About Truist 

Truist Financial Corporation is a purpose-driven financial services company committed to inspiring and building better lives and communities. Formed by the historic merger of equals of BB&T and SunTrust, Truist has leading market share in many high-growth markets in the country. The company offers a wide range of services including retail, small business and commercial banking; asset management; capital markets; commercial real estate; corporate and institutional banking; insurance; mortgage; payments; specialized lending; and wealth management. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Truist is a top 10 U.S. commercial bank with total assets of $518 billion as of March 31, 2021. Truist Bank, Member FDIC. Learn more at Truist.com.