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.

Virginia Commonwealth University received a $1.08 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Bridge to the Doctorate program. The program is designed to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who earn a Ph.D. in a STEM discipline. Mychal Smith, an assistant professor in the department of chemistry in the College of Humanities and Sciences at the university, will lead the grant program.

The University of South Carolina’s Center for Civil Rights History and Research will receive $500,000 from the National Park Service which will be used to continue the rehabilitation and preservation of the historic Booker T. Washington Auditorium Building. Built in 1956 and named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2018, the auditorium is the only remaining structure of the original four-acre Booker T. Washington High School complex in Columbia, South Carolina. The building was acquired by the University of South Carolina after the high school closed in the 1970s.

Historically Black Jackson State University in Mississippi received a $650,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation to help expand the capacity and programming of the Margaret Walker Center. The funds will support the extension of the MWC Mellon Oral Historian position; the hiring of a MWC Mellon Visiting Scholar; graduate assistantships; and proceeds for the 50th anniversary convening of the Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival in November 2023.

Florida Internationa University received a $95,000 grant from Microsoft Inc. to support the recruitment and retention of historically underrepresented students across 33 doctoral programs at the university. The program is designed to promote overall student success across all doctoral programs and will support 12-15 recipients for the 2022-2023 academic year. Each recipient will receive $1,200 for both the fall and spring semesters. Selected participants will be engaged extensively through various diversity-related activities and attend monthly social activities. Emphasis will be placed on candidates from STEM fields to address the lack of diversity in these disciplines.

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