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 Spelman College in Atlanta received a $2 million donation from the Arcus Foundation to establish the first-ever Queer studies chair at a historically Black college or university. The chair will honor Audre Lorde, the poet, author, civil rights activist, and feminist icon. Lorde was a graduate of Hunter College in New York City and earned a master’s degree at Columbia University. She taught in the City University of New York System for many years. She died in 1992 at the age of 58 after a long battle with breast cancer.

Claflin University, a historically Black educational institution in Orangeburg, South Carolina, received a $525,000 grant from Foster City, California-based Gilead Sciences Inc. The grant will support initiatives and programs conducted by the university’s new Center for Social Justice. Claflin is receiving the grant from the company’s Racial Equity Community Impact Fund and was selected because of its recognition as a high-impact organization that is working to tackle racial inequities affecting Black communities across the United States.

Historically Black South Carolina State University received a $150,000 grant from Samsung Electronics. Under the two-year agreement, Samsung will award $150,000 in scholarships to qualified students. Students will also be exposed to educational and training opportunities, including internships and career mentoring with Samsung, which has had a large presence in South Carolina since establishing its manufacturing facility in Newberry County in 2017.

Jackson State University, a historically Black educational institution in Mississippi, was recently awarded $230,000 to assist students impacted by the pandemic and $345,000 to redesign the university’s STEM curriculum using virtual reality. The funding is part of the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Funds.


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