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.

Venus Standard, an assistant clinical professor in the School of Medicine received a $75,000 C. Felix Harvey Award to Advance Institutional Priorities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The funds will be used to establish a pilot doula program. Doulas are trained professionals who guide mothers and families before, during, and after childbirth. Dr. Standard’s program aims to create a pipeline of Black doulas to attend births of Black families in North Carolina.

Historically Black Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte received a $194,000 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to visually reconstruct former African American neighborhoods, destroyed during urban renewal processes in Charlotte during the 1960s and 1970s. Several large maps from the Charlotte Planning Commission that were used to document and justify the policies and progress of urban renewal in these supposedly “blighted” neighborhoods will be digitized with the help of the University at North Carolina at Charlotte in the first phase of the work. Community members from the affected neighborhoods will be approached for oral history interviews and input on what stories and narratives they want the project to tell, and the final phase of this two-year project will focus on the design and creation of reimagined neighborhoods in a virtual landscape in partnership with the Duke Digital Humanities Lab.

Davidson College in North Carolina received a $1 million grant from the Lilly Foundation that will help establish Churches that THRIVE for Racial Justice, a national effort to help congregations confront structures of racism in their communities. Churches that THRIVE for Racial Justice is a five-year collaboration that will connect sociologists who study race and religion with a cohort of 25 churches affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists in the United States. These THRIVE congregations will actively confront structures of racism to remove a crucial obstacle to thriving, one that spiritually and materially affects people of color in the United States.

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