A New Chapter Unfolds with Racquel Oden’s Historic Appointment as Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s Board Chair

by savoystaff

As Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) welcomes 2024, it does so with a groundbreaking shift on its Board of Directors – Racquel Oden, the first woman in the organization’s 37-year history, assumes the role of Board Chair on January 1. This historic moment not only marks a significant step forward for TMCF but also reaffirms its commitment to equity, access, and opportunity for all.

Founded in 1987 by Dr. N. Joyce Payne, TMCF has long been a bastion of support for Black students seeking higher education. Oden’s appointment as Board Chair serves as a powerful symbol of TMCF’s dedication to promoting equity, particularly in the face of challenges to diversity and inclusion efforts following recent Supreme Court decisions on affirmative action.

In a climate where the importance of diversity is being challenged,  TMCF’s legacy of championing inclusion and equity stands out. Oden’s leadership further underscores the organization’s genuine commitment to these values, signaling that TMCF’s pursuit of equity goes beyond rhetoric.

Racquel Oden, a trailblazer in the financial world as the Head of the US for HSBC Bank, leads Wealth and Personal Banking which includes the Private Bank, Wealth Management & the Retail business for all the US. Racquel brings a wealth of experience that TMCF will leverage as she assumes her new role with the organization. Her transformative work in industry uniquely positions her to serve as an advocate to secure new partnerships to add to an already impressive roster of corporate partners.

As a dedicated member of the TMCF board for 16 years and an alumna of Hampton University, Oden has actively contributed to enhancing the lives of the students served by TMCF.  Her determination to uphold TMCF’s values and raise the bar of excellence is a testament to her commitment to the organization’s mission to promote equity and inclusion.

TMCF’s elite status has been built on empowering ambitions through education and equity. With Oden working alongside TMCF’s dynamic leader, President and CEO, Dr. Harry L. Williams, TMCF is poised to expand its impact by increasing its resources to provide Black students with access to a high-quality education and transformative career opportunities.  TMCF has remained true to the legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall and his fight for equity and inclusion that began nearly 90 years ago.  The dawn of this new era at TMCF is not just a moment; it’s a movement toward a brighter, more inclusive future.

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