Senators Reintroduce Bill to Authorize HBCU Historic Preservation Program Through 2025

Senator Kamala Harris

This week, Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reintroduced a bill to reauthorize the Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) Historic Preservation Program for 2019 to 2025.

At HBCUs across the country, historic buildings and sites have deteriorated over time and are at risk of being completely destroyed if they are not preserved and protected. The new bill would authorize funding for grants to restore these at-risk buildings and sites, as well as improve accessibility on many HBCU campuses.

“During my time as a student at Howard University, I was proud and humbled to walk the same hallways as historic figures like Thurgood Marshall, Zora Neale Hurston, and Shirley Franklin,” said Senator Harris, who is running for the Democratic nomination for President in 2020. “The history represented at Howard and across every other HBCU imbues special meaning on each campus and reminds students that they can come as they are and leave as the person they aspire to be. I’m proud to introduce this legislation to preserve and improve HBCUs around the country for our future generations.”

The United Negro College Fund, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have all expressed support for the new legislation.

“The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Historic Preservation Fund remains a vital program for HBCUs and a program that UNCF has historically championed,” said Lodriguez Murray, UNCF Vice President for Public Policy and Government Affairs. “UNCF firmly believes in the value added to HBCUs who are able to receive financial assistance to preserve the historic structures on their campuses. Against substantial odds, HBCUs have played a unique role in transforming the landscape of higher education in the United States and continue to prepare the African American professional and civic leaders needed by communities, employers and the nation. UNCF offers its full support of this piece of legislation and hope to see this bill signed into law.”

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