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.

Florida State University received a three-year, $100,000 collaborative research grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize the work of award-winning American novelist Gloria Naylor and develop a model for engaging Black women’s literary archives. Naylor’s unpublished papers at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, consisting of over 47 linear feet of files, and only one-third of the material is currently digitized. The project is under the direction of Maxine Montgomery, a professor of English at Florida State, who had a personal relationship with Naylor.

Florida A&M University is the recipient of a five-year, $30 million grant from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration to support the university’s Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems and its mission to find and train the next generation of Black and Hispanic scientists.

Historically Black Morgan State University in Baltimore announced that researchers from its School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences were awarded a five-year, $7.5-million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to establish the Center for Advanced Electro-Photonics with 2D Materials. Designed to explore the technological efficacy and use of emergent two-dimensional materials, the new Center will be run jointly by Morgan and Johns Hopkins University in partnership with the JHU Applied Physics Laboratory, with additional contributions from scientists at the Adelphi Laboratory Center and Aberdeen Proving Ground research centers of the U.S. Army.

Jackson State University, a historically Black educational institution in Mississippi, received a $700,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to launch the first phase of its Digital Tele-Health Hub that will seek to address historical health disparities among African Americans.

Historically Black Texas Southern University in Houston has been awarded $4 million from the Bezos Earth Fund to support the Robert D. Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice. Professor Bullard, the Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy at Texas Southern University,  is known as the “father of environmental justice.”

The Baker Hughes Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the energy technology company Baker Hughes, has announced $800,000 in grants to four historically Black colleges and universities for the 2021-22 academic year. The HBCUs receiving funds from the foundation are North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University in Texas, Texas Southern University, and Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The funds will help provide financial support for a wide variety of scholarships, technological infrastructure, career readiness, and curriculum development programs. At Southern University a portion of the grant will aid in recovery from Hurricane Ida.

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