The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced grants of $15 million for historically Black colleges and universities who will participate in The Just Project of the foundation. Through The Just Project, 29 of the nation’s more than 100 HBCUs have teamed up to increase access to COVID-19 diagnostic testing for campuses and their communities. The project is establishing testing hubs at colleges and universities. These institutions are being equipped with the required analytical lab expertise to partner with other campuses to rapidly deploy and process tests.
The foundation’s three-year, $15 million investment supports up to 10 of the participating HBCUs with medical, veterinary, pharmacy, and agriculture schools to serve as diagnostic “testing hubs” by providing critical infrastructure, such as lab equipment, additional test kits, and training and laboratory capacity for rapid test processing. Expanding test processing capacity at these “hub” institutions enables the project to extend its reach to additional institutions.
The first wave of the foundation’s investment includes funding for six HBCUs. Up to four additional hubs at HBCUs will be announced shortly.The first six participating HBCUs are:
- Florida A&M University
- Hampton University
- Howard University
- Meharry Medical College
- Morehouse School of Medicine
- Xavier University of Louisiana