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 Hampton University in Virginia received a $100,000 donation from Peanuts Worldwide to support the Armstrong Project. The project, named in honor of Charles Schulz’ iconic character, Franklin Armstrong, includes an annual scholarship for students studying arts, communications, animation, or entertainment. Students who receive the scholarship also will have the opportunity for mentorship and internships with companies in entertainment fields such as animation, film, and television. The character of Franklin emerged from a correspondence between Charles Schulz and a California schoolteacher named Harriet Glickman. Glickman wrote to Schulz after the assassination of Martin Luther King, suggesting that the introduction of Black characters into the comic strip could help change the “vast sea of misunderstanding, fear, hate, and violence.” After much introspect and consideration, Schulz felt this was a step he could take authentically and introduced Franklin in the summer of 1968, making history in the process. “It is incredibly moving to me that The Armstrong Project is intended to create positive change in the lives of young Black animators and artists, just as the character of Franklin did so many years ago,” said Jean Schulz, widow of Charles Schulz.

Morehouse School of Medicine, a historically Black educational institution in Atlanta, received a $140,000 grant from Aetna Health. The investment will support Morehouse School of Medicine’s Health Equity for All Lives (H.E.A.L.) student-run free clinic that provides comprehensive care to underserved populations in the Atlanta metropolitan area and surrounding rural communities. The clinic provides health screenings and vaccination drives, as well as care services through in-person, telehealth, and mobile health applications.

Hiastorically Black Alcorn State University in Mississippi received a $50,000 grant and a $1,000,000 endowment gift from the Bernard Osher Foundation to support the university’s Osher Reentry Scholarship Program. The funding will support reentry to the university for individuals between 25 to 50 years old and expand scholarship offerings from 10 to 20 per year.

Delaware State University researchers recently received a grant for $300,000 from Cathomic Charities to conduct an evaluation of the Healthy Housing Initiative of the charitable organization, which aims to reduce homelessness and chronic homelessness through a novel combination of health and housing services in the cities of Detroit, Las Vegas, Portland, Spokane, and St. Louis. The project evaluation will adopt a broad scope for assessment, which includes data collection on hospital and emergeency room use and expenses, health outcomes, and demographics, with an emphasis on identifying possible health disparities.


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