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.

Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North, Carolina, has received a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to create a model program for engaging scholars and the local community in advancing environmental justice. The grant will fund the design and develop a humanistic science and technology studies curriculum that places environmental justice at the center. Corey D. B. Walker, a professor of humanities, director of the African American studies program, and interim dean of the School of Divinity at the university is leading the grant project.

Alverno College, the liberal arts educational institution for women in Milwaukee, has been awarded a five-year, $2,890,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Education to increase the number of highly trained, bilingual, and racially and ethnically diverse school-based mental health professionals. “There is a need for school psychologists who represent the communities they serve, especially in Milwaukee,” said Jessica Willenbrink, an assistant professor in the educational specialist training program for school psychologists at Alverno and the project director. “Through this grant, we will be able to offer students scholarships, provide mentorship, and place them in a job in a high-needs school district.”

Morris Brown College, the historically Black educational institution in Atlanta, received $2.9 million in federal funding for expanding the college’s educational curriculum, refurbishing buildings on campus, and investing in the pipeline that transitions graduates into the workforce. Of the $2.9 million total, $500,000 will be reserved solely for the rehabilitation of Fountain Hall, a historical landmark on campus dating back to the late 19th century.

The College of Charleston in South Carolina received a $2 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the collection and preservation of the South Carolina Lowcountry’s social and cultural history. Erica Veal, a research archivist with the university’s Avery Research Center stated that the grant “will allow us to hire several full-time archivists, a public historian/curator, an education coordinator, and multiple artists. With the Mellon Foundation’s support, we will not only process a backlog of collections to make them accessible to researchers, but also create innovative educational tools centered on the newly available collections, curate exhibitions, and offer new community programming.”

Historically Black Tuskegee University in Alabama received a $3.6 million donation from the Tracking Foundation to expand the Stephen A. Feinberg Scholarship Program. The gift is designated exclusively for scholarships to students in financial need. Feinberg is the co-founder and CEO of Cerberus Capital Management.

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