Black Enterprise and American Airlines Bring Together Students From 25 HBCUs for its Annual Hackathon

Black Enterprise and American Airlines Bring Together Students From 25 HBCUs for its Annual Hackathon

BLACK ENTEPRISE’s 6th Annual BE Smart Hackathon, hosted by American Airlines, will produce its first in-person tech competition since 2019.

This year’s hack, with the theme “Homecoming 2022: All Code, No Switch!,” brings together teams of some 125 students, from 25 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), to compete for prizes from American Airlines and other leading technology partners supporting the event.

The BE Smart Hackathon provides HBCU students with valuable opportunities to network and build relationships, gain mentorship, engage in career preparation and add meaningful experience to their resumes in anticipation of pursuing employment in a tech industry seeking to recruit more diverse talent. Students will also benefit from virtual workshops on the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence, data analytics and natural language processing from Mastercard, Etsy and other Tech companies.

“For decades, technology companies have lamented their ineffectiveness at finding and recruiting African American talent,” says BLACK ENTERPRISE President and CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr.

“HBCUs have been the source of top-notch talent in practically every industry. Our annual BE Smart Hackathon, in partnership with American Airlines, not only identifies and showcases promising Black talent, but provides for platforms for those companies to recruit them for internships and jobs.”

In addition to the competition, BLACK ENTERPRISE and American airlines will host a special town hall session – “Developing Top Tech Talent At HBCUs” – focusing on how HBCUs can build corporate partnerships, overcome barriers and identify new opportunities develop and advance students and graduates who can participate in the evolving IT space across tech, aviation/transportation, hospitality, finance and other sectors.

Each year, BE Smart Hackathon participants are recruited for internships and full-time job opportunities at American Airlines and its technology partners. American Airlines will team up their technical staff to mentor each team during the 24-hour hackathon. The mentor will help remove any roadblocks and give advice to the team on preparing and giving their presentation to the judges.

Here are the HBCUs featured at this year’s Hackathon:

Dillard University
Morgan State
North Carolina A&T
Alabama A&M University
Benedict College
Jackson State University
Xavier Univerity of Louisiana
Bowie State University
Lincoln University
Johnson C. Smith
Clark Atlanta
Delaware State University
Morehouse College
Florida A&M University
Southern University
Bethune-Cokman University
Fisk University 

BLACK ENTERPRISEyour ultimate source to build Wealth for Life, is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, BE has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision-makers. A multimedia company, BE also produces video programming, business and lifestyle events, Web content, and digital media. Visit for more information.

SOURCE Black Enterprise

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