Higher Education Grants or Gifts of Interest to African Americans

Here is this week’s news of grants or gifts to historically Black colleges and universities or for programs of particular interest to African Americans in higher education.

Jackson State University, the historically Black educational institution in Mississippi, received a $420,000 grant from the CDC Foundation to develop a marketing campaign to reduce and prevent the disproportionate COVID-19 transmissions among African Americans ages 18 to 29 in Hinds, Madison, and Rankin counties. These three counties have experienced the highest rate of transmissions in Mississippi.

The College of Business at historically Black Delaware State University received a $500,000 New Castle County Innovative Grant to create a web-based COVID Recovery Lab to help businesses in Delaware’s northernmost region recover from the pandemic. Michael Casson, dean of the College of Business, is the principal investigator of the grant.

Drexel University in Philadelphia received a $9 million gift from alumna Dana Dornsife and her husband David to launch a Center of Racism and Health in the university’s School of Public Health. The Dornsifes have donated more than $70 million to Drexel University. David Dornsife, a University of Southern California trustee and 1965 alumnus, is chairman of the Herrick Corporation, the largest steel fabricator and contractor on the West Coast. Dana Dornsife is the founder of the Lazarex Cancer Foundation and serves as its president and CEO.

Historically Black Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina received a $983,845 grant from the Rehabilitation Service Administration of the U.S. Department of Education. The Vocational Rehabilitation and Co-Occurring Mental Health Counseling Virtual Training Initiative aims to recruit and train students who are interested in pursuing a career in rehabilitation counseling who will also be prepared to competently address the unique needs of individuals with a range of disabilities, including those with co-occurring mental health disorders from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a five-year, $3.2 million grant to study the genetic basis of the musculoskeletal disorder scoliosis, and particularly how it affects African Americans and other underrepresented minorities. The grant was awarded by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

Historically Black Tennessee State University in Nashville has received a two-year, $1 million grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to lead the development of a national platform that allows high school agricultural courses to be taught remotely because of the pandemic. The researchers will develop eight standards-based courses in agriculture, food, and natural resources for high school students needing online/digital learning options. The project will also establish dual credit options for completers of the courses through a university or college-level faculty-course review and sharing platform.

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