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.

Dr. Momplaisir

The University of Pennsylvania received a $3 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research to study interventions to improve care for African Americans living with HIV. Black patients account for 41 percent of new HIV diagnoses but experience the lowest rates of retention in HIV care and viral suppression when compared to other racial and ethnic groups.

Dr. Jemmott

Over the next five years, researchers will work with HIV clinics in Philadelphia to assess how their organizational culture, climate, and workers’ attitudes (collectively known as organizational social context) reveal structural racism and discrimination that negatively affects patient care. Then, they will investigate whether an intervention designed to reduce structural racism by improving the organizational social context can improve HIV care outcomes. Co-principal investigators are Florence Momplaisir, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at the Perelman School of Medicine and John B. Jemmott, the Kenneth B. Clark Professor of Communication and Psychiatry at the Annenberg School for Communication and the Perelman School of Medicine.

Fan Duel, the online sports betting site that recently began operations in Maryland, has announced a $1 million donation to support that state’s four historically Black universities: Morgan State University, Bowie State University, Coppin State University and the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore. The funds will be earmarked to help students at the universities in a variety of areas, including technology, housing, food security, tuition and other education-related expenses. As part of the partnership, FanDuel will also be creating a track for students from the four schools to join its annual summer internship program at the company’s headquarters in New York.

The Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis received a five-year, $8.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The Equity Assistance Center provides no-cost technical assistance related to race, sex, national origin, and religion desegregation to public education systems and other responsible governmental agencies throughout a 13-state region to advance equitable educational opportunities for all students.

Historically Black Drake State Community and Technical College in Huntsville, Alabama, received a $200,000 donation from the Jacobs Space Exploration Group to support the college’s Frontiers Research Program. Jacobs is the prime contractor on the engineering, science, and technology contract at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Hunstville. The grant will support Black students at the college who have been involved in science and engineering education programs that contribute to current NASA needs in lunar habitat design and manufacturing.


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