Chemical Industry Announces Collaborative Equity, Diversity & Inclusion STEM Scholars Initiative | AIChE

Chemical Industry Announces Collaborative Equity, Diversity & Inclusion STEM Scholars Initiative

November 17, 2020

WASHINGTON (Nov. 17, 2020) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), The Chemours Company and HBCU Week Foundation today announced the chemical industry’s first collaborative equity, diversity and inclusion initiative aimed at creating pathways for more underrepresented groups to enter and succeed in the chemical industry.

The Future of STEM Scholars Initiative (FOSSI) provides opportunities for manufacturers, supply chain partners and other stakeholders to fund scholarships, create internships and facilitate mentoring and leadership training for students majoring in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

With an ambitious first year goal of underwriting 150 STEM Scholars at an investment of $7.2 million, FOSSI brings together the chemical industry’s collective might to make a significant impact on the future of the industry.

FOSSI is a core initiative of the AIChE Doing a World of Good campaign and its All for Good: Engineering for Inclusion priority, which is driving industry-wide improvement in equity, diversity and inclusion. ACC and The Chemours Company are founding partners in FOSSI, driving industry commitments to help meet the program’s bold first year goal. As a lead sponsor, Chemours has also pledged a multi-year commitment of $5 million. HBCU Week Foundation will serve as scholarship administrator for the initiative, driving engagement with educational institutions and students alike.

“ACC and our members are committed to enhancing diversity in our facilities, our Board rooms and the communities in which we operate,” stated ACC President & CEO Chris Jahn. “We recognize the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion programs like FOSSI to help build a cohesive and united workforce which enhances economic growth for all businesses and individuals,” he added.  

June Wispelwey, Executive Director and CEO of AIChE, noted “AIChE is fully committed to an equity, diversity, and inclusion goal of 100% parity within the profession. Working in collaboration with partners such as ACC, Chemours and HBCU Week Foundation, we envision that FOSSI will pave the way for hundreds of students to attend HBCUs — and become the future superstars of the chemical industry.”

ACC Board of Director’s Chairman, Chemours President and CEO, and founding chair of FOSSI, Mark Vergnano, stated, “From our corporate responsibility commitments to the essential chemistry we produce every day, Chemours is committed to being a force for good in the communities where we operate. We're excited to be the lead sponsor for FOSSI and to work with companies across our industry to drive this game-changing program. When our industry opens doors to more people pursuing STEM education, we’re not only advancing diversity, inclusion and equity—we’re shifting industry paradigms, creating a highly competitive workforce, and changing lives."

Ashley Christopher, Founder and CEO of the HBCU Week Foundation, added, “I am proud of this partnership between the HBCU Week Foundation, AIChE, the American Chemistry Council, and Chemours. It is through partnerships like these, that black and brown children nationwide can actualize their full potential at HBCUs while minimizing the burden of student debt.”

Download the release below for press contacts. To learn more about FOSSI, visit


About the American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®; common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues; and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $565 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is among the largest exporters in the nation, accounting for ten percent of all U.S. goods exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation’s critical infrastructure.

About the American Insitute of Chemical Engineers

AIChE is a professional society of more than 60,000 members in more than 110 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontier of chemical engineering research in such areas as nanotechnology, sustainability, hydrogen fuels, biological and environmental engineering, and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at Details about the AIChE Foundation’s Doing a World of Good campaign and other programs is available at

About The Chemours Company

The Chemours Company (NYSE: CC) (Chemours) is a global leader in Titanium technologies, Fluoroproducts, and Chemical Solutions, providing its customers with solutions in a wide range of industries with market-defining products, application expertise and chemistry-based innovations.  Chemours ingredients are found in plastics and coatings, refrigeration and air conditioning, mining, and general industrial manufacturing. Our flagship products include prominent brands such as Teflon™, Ti-Pure™, Krytox™, Viton™, Opteon™, Freon™ and Nafion™. In 2019, Chemours was named to Newsweek's list of America's Most Responsible Companies. The company has approximately 7,000 employees and 30 manufacturing sites serving approximately 3,700 customers in over 120 countries. Chemours is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware and is listed on the NYSE under the symbol CC.

About the HBCU Week Foundation

The mission of the HBCU Week Foundation is to encourage high-school aged youth to enroll into HBCU's, provide scholarship dollars for matriculation and sustain a pipeline for employment from undergraduate school to corporate America. The most impactful event during HBCU Week is the HBCU College Fair. HBCU Week Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.