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 South Carolina State University’s Counseling and Self-Development Center has been awarded a $195,000 state grant to bolster its student substance abuse recovery efforts. The grant from the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services will establish a collegiate recovery program at the university titled Bulldog Recovery. “I am excited about expanding the capacity for care for our students,” said Christian Jackson, director of the Counseling and Self-Development Center. “The programs we can build because of this grant will help us target the specific issue of alcohol and other drug use that overwhelms college students nationwide.”

A team of researchers, led by Samuel Bazzi of the University of California, San Diego, received a $195,000 grant from the Russell Sage Foundation to study the exclusion and expulsion of minority groups from U.S. towns and cities between 1850 and 1950. Their project, “The Geography of Race and Ethnicity in the United States: Uncovering a Hidden History of Expulsion and Exclusion,” will result in a nationwide dataset detailing the expulsion and exclusion of minority groups that occurred locally, even though they were illegal at the federal level.

The College of Arts & Sciences at historically Black Tuskegee University in Alabama, received a $500,000 grant from the AIM AHEAD Consortium, a National Institutes of Health project. The project will focus on the ethical use of artificial intelligence and machine learning aimed at strengthening data governance and promoting health equity in the healthcare sector, focusing on minority populations.

The University of California, Davis and Kaiser Permanente Division of Research have received a $24 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to continue the Study of Healthy Aging in African Americans (STAR) project for an additional five years. STAR, which launched in 2017, follows a group of approximately 750 older adults to understand how behaviors and lifestyle may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias for Black and African Americans. Black Americans have the highest rate of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias of all ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Older Black Americans are about one-and-a-half to two times more likely than White Americans to be living with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Jackson State University in Mississippi has received a $1.5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences. The grant stems from a pledge made by both organizations in partnership to donate $7.5 million to support five historically Black colleges or universities or minority-serving institutions in projects that address public health disparities. Jackson State University’s focus will be to analyze how the effects of climate change, economic barriers, and racial discrimination contribute to the segregation and health disparities among communities in the Gulf Coast region.

The Newborn Essential Solutions and Technologies (NEST360) international alliance, led by co-founder Rebecca Richards-Kortum, bioengineering professor at Rice University in Houston, Texas, has received a combined $65 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the EMLA Foundation, and a number of individual contributors. These funds will support phase two of the alliance’s initiative to reduce newborn mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa. This project is aligned with the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which aims to limit newborn deaths across the globe to no more than 12 per 1000 live births by 2030.

Illinois College has received a three-year, $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to expand their African studies program. The funds will go towards towards the development of new courses, as well as new research and academic opportunities for students, faculty, and members of the local community.

Prairie View A&M University, a historically Black university in Texas, has received a $500,000 grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to evaluate data from the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission’s rain gauge and satellites over the course of the next five years. The project focuses on precipitation in the local community and its effects on the landscape amid ever-increasing extreme weather patterns in the area.

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