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.

Washington University in St. Louis received a five-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health for a study of intervention strategies for HIV treatments among youth in Uganda. The number of adolescents living with HIV in Uganda is more than 170,000 and growing. The grant program is under the direction of Fred Ssewamala, the William E. Gordon Distinguished Professor at the Brown School of social work at the university. “If we want to improve the lives of adolescents living with HIV, this study will help us decide which intervention component or components are critical in achieving viral suppression in cost-effective ways among these youths,” Professor Ssewamala said.

Texas State University in San Marcos received a three-year, $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to mentor underrepresented students in the food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences degree programs and careers. The program will be focused on Black women and Latinas. Using a technique called near-peer mentoring, college students will be paired with high school girls. Twenty high school girls from underrepresented populations will be recruited for one-semester near-peer mentoring relationships with Texas State undergraduates from similar backgrounds.

Peabody College at Vanderbilt University in Nashville received a four-year, $1,420,000 grant from the Wallace Foundation to fund a new study that aims to expand knowledge about assistant principals and provide new insights on how the role can help diversify the principal profession and advance educational equity. Women and educators of color encounter obstacles in securing jobs as school principals. The study will examine the racial, ethnic, and gender differences in advancement along the school leadership pathway.

Tougaloo College in Mississippi and Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, both historically Black educational institutions, were awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Education’s Project School Emergency Response to Violence program. The HBCUs will use the funds to support student trauma recovery efforts related to bomb threats that targeted their campuses. The HBCUs will hire full-time equivalent trauma specialists/counselors, increase full-time security officer coverage, and provide additional mental health support to students.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has been awarded a five-year, $7.7 million grant from the National Institute of Health to help eliminate barriers to care for those with sickle cell disease. Up to 50 percent of affected adults may not see sickle cell disease specialists. The grant will focus on finding and recruiting people with sickle cell who are currently unaffiliated from care and understanding their barriers to care. African Americans are far more likely than Whites to be born with the sickle cell trait. About 1 in 13 Black or African-American babies is born with the sickle cell trait.

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