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.

The College of Agriculture and Food Sciences at historically Black Florida A&M University has secured more than $9 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to research industrial hemp and chestnuts, and introduce them as new markets that can be economically viable, climate-smart cropping options for small and/or underserved farmers. The grant funds will be used for programs encouraging small and/or underserved farmers in the southeastern U.S., specifically Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana, to plant industrial hemp. Another program will assist minority farmers to establish chestnut orchards in southwest Georgia. The grant programs are under the direction of Odemari Mbuya, a professor of agricultural sciences and director of the FAMU Center for Water Resources.

The Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for African Diaspora Studies at historically Black Norfolk State University in Virginia was awarded $150,000 from Virginia African American Cultural Center. The grant funding will support the development of a database and accompanying articles that will capture the history of the domestic slave trade leaving the port of Norfolk. This database will reveal the names of enslaved people and other important data to assist those conducting research on the domestic slave trade or genealogical research. More than 20,000 enslaved people were transported to New Orleans from Norfolk.

Prairie View A&M University, the historically Black educational institution in Texas, received a donation valued at $1.2 million from Conoco/Phillips. The grant will consist of both in-kind equipment and monetary contributions, to support student development of skills in engineering and business analytics for undergraduates. The grant will help upgrade the engineering lab on campus, provide scholarships for students in the College of Business, and fund a summer bridge program for business and engineering students.

The College of Education and Human Development at historically Black Jackson State University in Mississippi has been awarded a $162,230 grant from the Centers for Disease Control Prevention for a 20-month partnership with the Mississippi Kidney Foundation, the Mississippi Department of Health, and the Office of Preventive Health and Health Equity, and the Health Equity Coalition of Mississippi. The grant will fund the statewide project entitled “Advancing Health Equity in Chronic Kidney Disease: Changing the Narrative to Serve Mississippi’s Most Equitable Populations.”

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