Higher Education Gifts or Grants 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 U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an investment of $30.8 million as part of its commitment to all 19 of America’s designated 1890 historically black Land-grant Universities. This investment, made through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s 1890 Institution Teaching, Research and Extension Capacity Building Grants Program will support scientific research that addresses some of our nation’s toughest agricultural challenges.

The HBCUs recieing the grant awards are: Alabama A&M University (4 awards); Alcorn State University (5 awards): Central State University (2 awards); Delaware State University (3 awards); Florida A&M University (6 awards): Fort Valley State University (4 awards): Kentucky State University (4 awards); Langston University (2 awards); Lincoln University (4 awards): North Carolina A&T State University (1 award): Prairie View A&M University (4 awards); South Carolina State University (1 award); Southern University (3 awards); Tennessee State University (5 awards); Tuskegee University (2 awards); University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (4 awards); University of Maryland Eastern Shore (5 awards); Virginia State University (1 award); and West Virginia State University (8 awards).

Marissa Jackson Sow, associate professor of law at the University of Richmond in Virginia, has received a grant from the Institute of International Education to support her research on Black and Indigenous legal issues. The funding will assist Dr. Sow in completing an edited volume of legal materials that will be made available to the public.

The National FinTech Center at historically Black Morgan State University in Baltimore has received a $1.05 million grant from Ripple, a blockchain and cryptocurrency solutions company. The three-year grant will support the center’s educational efforts and research into blockchain and financial technology.

Morehouse College, an all-men’s historically Black college in Atlanta, was awarded a $1 million grant from Google to establish the Google Annex tech hub. The funds were used to transform an old classroom into a learning center with state-of-the art technology. Starting in the upcoming fall semester, the hub will provide students with opportunities to study various computer science topics such as cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

Natalie Arnett, associate professor of chemical and biomedical engineering at historically Black Florida A&M University, has received an $800,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to establish a collaborative partnership with Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. The program aims to increase the number of African American students pursuing graduate degrees in STEM fields by providing pathway opportunities for Florida A&M University students to attend Virginia Tech upon completion of their bachelor’s degree.

Richard Welsh, associate professor of education and public policy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, has received a $474,178 grant from the William T. Grant Foundation and a $125,000 grant from the American Institutes of Research Equity Initiative to investigate the racial inequities that are prevalent in K-12 school discipline practices. The project builds on Dr. Welsh’s previous research that found African American students are more likely to receive in-school suspensions than their peers.

Hakeem Lawl, professor of biological sciences at historically Black Delaware State University, and a team of researchers from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia have received a $198,000 grant from the National Institute of Health to establish a program aimed at training African American students to become leading scientists in Alzheimer’s disease research and treatment. The program will provide students from historically Black colleges and universities with opportunities for research training at Delaware State University, followed by clinical training opportunities at Thomas Jefferson University. The National Science foundation awarded Dr. Lawl an additional $419,001 grant to fund undergraduate research endeavors in cellular and molecular biology.

Historically Black Virginia Union University has received a $300,000 donation from Wegmans Food Markets, a regional supermarket chain. The gift will be used to establish student scholarships, aimed at increasing students’ access to higher education. Additionally, the supermarket chain plans to provide externship opportunities for Virginia Union University students in the future.

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