Toyota Honors Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy with 5th Annual Donations to Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Toyota Honors Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Legacy with 5th Annual Donations to Historically Black Colleges and Universities

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$60,000 contribution will help boost college retention and graduation rates, seen as key to ensuring Dr. King’s dream for America

Toyota’s own John Ridgeway explains why Toyota Financial Services supports HBCUs

PLANO, Texas (January 17, 2019) – In honor of the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Toyota Financial Services and Toyota Motor North America are continuing their support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their communities, by providing a total contribution of $60,000 to five HBCUs as well as the Tom Joyner Foundation.  This is the company’s fifth consecutive year partnering with the Tom Joyner Foundation, and supporting HBCUs through this donation.

Toyota’s contribution will be used to help boost college retention and graduation rates for African-American students, and is in keeping with the company’s deep commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as mobility for all.  Over the past five years, this initiative has enabled Toyota to assist students who may have otherwise been unable to complete their education due to the lack of financial aid.

The following universities will each receive $10,000:

  1. Spelman College (Atlanta, GA)
  2. Jackson State University (Jackson, MS)
  3. Talladega College (Talladega, AL)
  4. Claflin University (Orangeburg, SC)
  5. Virginia State University (Petersburg, VA)

An additional $10,000 will go to support the work of the Tom Joyner Foundation, which provides academic support, scholarships, and programming to over 80 HBCUs in the Southern and Eastern United States.

As of 2018, the college graduation rate for African-American students in the U.S. stands at 42%. (1)  It is noted that the financial support of universities is key in black student retention, thereby producing high graduation rates.

“Dr. King believed all young people should be given an opportunity to receive the best education possible, and yet, I have personally witnessed promising, young students forced to withdraw from school as a result of financial burdens,” said John Ridgeway, general manager of Toyota Financial Services’ Customer Service Center in Maryland, and HBCU alumnus. “Through its contributions, Toyota hopes to help ensure students achieve their dreams of higher education, while also contributing to the sustainment of these HBCUs and their ability to address retention issues.”

Tom Joyner, founder and chairman of the Tom Joyner Foundation, said these scholarships really do make a difference.

“I appreciate Toyota Financial Services for lending their support to these scholars – and these HBCUs,” said Joyner, whose popular syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show reaches millions of listeners every morning around the country.  “Without these scholarships, some of these students wouldn’t have a chance to get a college degree and contribute to their communities in so many ways.”

“Toyota is dedicated to enabling mobility.  We want to help people get where they want to be, and that doesn’t just mean physically – it also means socially, economically, and aspirationally,” said Mark Templin, Toyota Financial Services President and CEO.  “We’re honored to support HBCUs, and to help remove some of the financial obstacles that hinder students from achieving their dreams.”

Toyota has been named a DiversityInc Top 50 company for the past 10 years, and has been consistently recognized by Black Enterprise, Hispanic Business, and the Human Rights Campaign as a Best Company for Diversity and one of the Best Places to Work.  Toyota has provided millions of dollars in scholarships to deserving students across the nation; its executives actively support and sponsor the company’s many diversity and inclusion initiatives, and its team members volunteer tens of thousands of hours of their time and provide their talents to national- and community-based programs across the United States.

“Over 27 percent of my senior leaders at our Customer Service Center in Maryland and 35 of my own family members graduated from an HBCU, so I am particularly proud that Toyota is once again making a contribution to these schools and the Tom Joyner Foundation,” added Ridgeway.  “It serves as a great way to honor the legacy of Dr. King, and the principles he so effectively championed.”

For more information, contact Neil Foote, media relations, Tom Joyner Foundation ([email protected], 214.448.3765) or Justin Leach, public relations manager, Toyota Financial Services ([email protected], 469.486.9065).

For more information about Toyota’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, please visit

1  According to the Economic Policy Institute, 2018

About The Tom Joyner Foundation
The Tom Joyner Foundation ( was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner. The mission of the Foundation is to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements. The Foundation has provided necessary support to every HBCU in its 18-year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, in excess of $65 million has been raised to support more than 29,000 students attending HBCUs. Additionally, the Foundation has recommended internships, offered matching grant support, and career development to deserving students.

About Toyota Motor North America
Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 33 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 46,000 people (more than 36,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.6 million cars and trucks (2.4 million in the U.S.) in 2017 – and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.

Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support non-profits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit

About Toyota Financial Services

TFS is the finance and insurance brand for Toyota in the United States, offering retail auto financing and leasing through Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC) and Toyota Lease Trust. TFS also offers extended service contracts through Toyota Motor Insurance Services (TMIS). Lexus Financial Services is the brand for financial products for Lexus dealers and customers. TFS currently employs approximately 3,300 associates nationwide, and has assets totaling over $120 billion. It is part of a worldwide network of comprehensive financial services offered by Toyota Financial Services Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation. We announce material financial information using the investor relations section of our website ( and SEC filings. We use these channels, press releases, and social media to communicate about our company, our services and other issues. While not all information we post on social media is of a material nature, some information could be material. Therefore, we encourage those interested in our company to review our posts on Twitter at

For the past four consecutive years, Points of Light has named TFS one of its Civic 50, the most community-minded companies in the nation.  For more information about the company’s support of financial empowerment, youth development programs, and other community initiatives, please visit

Justin Leach
(469) 486-9065


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