AHLA Foundation Expands Program to Support HBCU Students Pursuing Hospitality Careers 

The travel scholarship program, supported by a grant from the Nareit Foundation, will increase student exposure to commercial real estate career pathways 

WASHINGTON (March 19, 2024) – AHLA Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), today announced plans to expand its travel scholarship program in partnership with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The opportunity to grow the program, and formally connect HBCU students to the real estate investment trust (REIT) industry, was made possible by a 2023 grant from the Nareit Foundation’s Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DDEI) Giving Campaign

“HBCUs are an incredible, yet underestimated, resource for talent” said AHLA Foundation President Anna Blue. “Travel scholarships are an important tool for fostering inclusion at the earliest stages and help to increase exposure to the different parts of industry, including hotel and lodging REITs.” 

AHLA Foundation launched its travel scholarship program in 2023 to increase student exposure to career pathways in hospitality by inviting them to attend industry conferences, including The Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) Conference, ForWard Conference 2024, the Lodging Conference, and the Hospitality Show. The $85,000 grant from the Nareit Foundation—the philanthropic arm of Nareit—will support HBCU students’ attendance at REIT- and investment-focused events such as the Hunter: Hotel Investment Conference in March and the NYU International Hospitality Industry Conference in June. Read more about how REITs are investing in HBCU programs to ensure visibility of CRE career paths for top talent here

HBCU travel scholarships are available for students attending AHLA Foundation-affiliated schools, including Bethune-Cookman University, Howard University, Morgan State University, North Carolina Central University, University of the District of Columbia, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Virginia State University. Each school may choose to nominate students to receive these scholarships. Recipients must demonstrate leadership ability and commitment to a future in the hotel and lodging industry, and meet eligibility guidelines. For more information about AHLA Foundation travel scholarships, contact

About The AHLA Foundation 

The AHLA Foundation, the charitable arm of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, works to support the hotel and lodging industry’s greatest asset – our people. By connecting employees, employers, and their communities, we seek to continuously nurture a culture of professional growth and belonging. When the people who work in our industry thrive, the industry thrives along with them. The Foundation is funded by grants and charitable contributions from generous individuals and organizations who want to support individuals seeking opportunities to thrive in the hotel and lodging industry. Learn more at

About the Nareit Foundation 

For nearly two decades, the Nareit Foundation has supported educational and charitable initiatives for the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry. The Nareit Foundation launched the Nareit Hawaii Community Giving Initiative, supported by Nareit members doing business in Hawaii, in 2018 to support affordable housing and family focused programs. The Nareit Foundation recently undertook a significant expansion of its philanthropic mission with the launch of the Dividends Through Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DDEI) Giving Campaign and Grant Program which identifies, funds, and connects the REIT and publicly traded real estate industry with non-profit organizations focused on reaching diverse individuals and businesses in the areas of talent development, education, capacity building, and entrepreneurial support. Learn more at or

About Nareit 

Nareit serves as the worldwide representative voice for REITs and publicly traded real estate companies with an interest in U.S. real estate. Nareit’s members are REITs and other real estate companies throughout the world that own, operate, and finance income-producing real estate, as well as those firms and individuals who advise, study, and service those businesses. Nareit’s focus is to broaden and deepen REIT ownership to help a growing set of everyday American investors enjoy the benefits of holding real estate in a well-diversified portfolio, while increasing capital sources that invest in America’s future. Nareit is the exclusive registered trademark of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, Inc.®, 1875 I St., NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20006-5413. Copyright© 2024 by Nareit® All rights reserved.