House of Cheatham donates $3m to Clark Atlanta University in support of Black entrepreneurs

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (ebstock)
© Getty Images \ (ebstock)

Related tags HBCU Entrepreneurship Manufacturing

The Georgia-based personal care and grooming products company made the gift this month in the name of Robert H Bell, the late Founder of House of Cheatham and a former Georgia State Senator.

“As a HBCU alumnus, I would love to see more companies like ours make similar investments in Black college students,” ​says Dwan White, Vice-President of Global Marketing at House of Cheatham, in her remarks to the press. White holds a degree in Business Management from HBCU (Historically Black College or University) Florida Memorial University as well as a degree in Communication from Florida Atlantic University. And she’s led marketing at House of Cheatham for over 12 years now.

The company’s $3m gift to Clark Atlantic University will be used to help increase the number of Black entrepreneurs and establish The Robert H. 'Bob"\' Bell / House of Cheatham Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development. “This is an investment,” ​explains White, “in inspiring, educating and equipping brilliant young minds to gain access to the knowledge, resources and capital needed to become job creators, innovators and disruptors.”

Beauty manufacturer House of Cheatham funds the future of business

At this month’s graduation ceremony, celebrating the Clark Atlanta University class of 2021, CAU President, Dr George T French Jr, PhD, announced the financial gift and how it will be used to “fund entrepreneurial programing” ​at CAU and in doing so support a new generation of Black entrepreneurs.

“These significant new resources to fund entrepreneurial programming will enable Clark Atlanta University to continue to graduate our students with a competitive edge to become successful career leaders, innovators and social justice change agents,” ​said French.

And he went on to say that, “we are extremely grateful for such a generous gift and are convinced that the Robert H ‘Bob’ Bell / House of Cheatham Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development will continue to develop and invest into the future of our students, who when they depart CAU, are prepared to positively impact the world.”

House of Cheatham specializes in African American Hair Products

House of Cheatham​ (Cheatham Chemical in the early years) is one of the longest continually operating beauty manufacturing companies in the US. Founded in 1924, the company now owns some 11 brands retailing in 30+ countries around the world.

Here in the States, House of Cheatham brands can be “found in most neighborhood beauty supply stores,” ​and in the mass, drug, and grocery channels at stores like Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Family Dollar, CVS, Sally Beauty, and more. House of Cheatham brands include texture my way natural hair therapies, Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils, Red Fox, Kids Originals, and Africa’s Best.

Bob Bell purchased the company in 1971, while serving in the Georgia General Assembly and grew the company’s global reach.

Based in Stone Mountain, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta where CAU is located, the beauty maker (now led by Michael Barker​) likes to say that "our therapies address and satisfy basic skin and hair care needs for people of all ethnicities, with a special emphasis on women of color throughout the world,” ​according to the House of Cheatham about page.

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