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.

Historically Black Prairie View A&M University in Texas has been awarded a grant to fuel research focused on understanding and supporting the mental health needs of first responders while also considering how these needs may vary based on their racial, gender, and cultural identities. The grant, totaling $288,414 from the Office of the Texas Governor’s Victims of Crime Act Fund, is under the direction of Temilola Salami, an associate professor of psychology at the university. Dr. Salami and her team have discovered that supportive work environments can increase the organizational performance and overall well-being of first responders. Intervention programs that foster companionship, encouragement and therapeutic listening among peers can help counteract the effects of first responders’ traumatic or chronic stress.

The University of Kentucky and Vanderbilt University in Nashville received a five-year, $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support underrepresented minority faculty at predominantly White institutions across the country. Researchers at the universities have designed the Faculty Accomplished Community that Cultivates Equity and Success in Science. This mentorship-based program will help improve levels of social support for underrepresented minority faculty. Programming will be tailored to foster success for early- and mid-career faculty in biomedical science fields. Sessions will center on wellness and explore how to cope with a range of issues, including race-related stress and burnout. The program will also provide training in writing publications and proposals to increase NIH grant submissions and awards.

The Promising Youth Center for Excellence at historically Black Kentucky State University received an $881,000 federal grant to provide afterschool mentoring for 100 African-American, Hispanic, and Biracial middle school males and females in grades 6 to 8. The program will include one-to-one and group mentoring, a six-week summer institute, and activities to promote positive youth development and family engagement.

The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff was awarded a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop culturally appropriate food literacy programming for the Arkansas Delta Region. The historically Black university is well-positioned to document the local communities’ specific challenges and to identify government, nonprofit and private sector stakeholders to converge and develop sustainable solutions. The university is located in an agricultural community. Still, paradoxically, southeast Arkansas is also considered a food desert because of poverty and poor socioeconomic factors. Therefore, finding sustainable food and nutrition security solutions is very challenging because the reasons behind the lack of food access can vary significantly among Arkansas communities.

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