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 North Carolina A&T State University received a $1,340,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study children’s chemical exposures from soil and dust ingestion. Young children may ingest significant quantities of soil and dust because they often play on the ground and put their hands and other objects into their mouths that can have dust or soil on them. For children, soil and dust ingestion can be a major route of exposure to chemicals such as lead, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and asbestos. The research will be led by Alesia Ferguson, Ph.D., chair of the department of built environment at the university.

Bucknell University, a highly rated liberal arts educational institution in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, received a $271,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for programs to increase the number of women and scholars from underrepresented groups in faculty positions in science disciplines. The grant will fund a two-year self-assessment project at the university that will include a faculty survey, focus groups, and scholarship and professional development support for 10 faculty members to enhance recruitment, retention, and pathway toward advancement efforts.

Harris-Stowe State University, a historically Black educational institution in St. Louis, received a $300,000 grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as part of the foundation’s Heartland Challenge. The grant will support the University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to become a leader and safe space for minority and underserved communities in entrepreneurship, small business development, and innovation.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $750,000 grant to the University of Nebraska to expand an online portal for African poetry. Initially established in 2017, the African Poetry Digital Portal documents the work of African poets and provides digital access to related creative and intellectual artifacts, materials, and research. It is currently comprised of two major sections, “Contemporary African Poets” and “African Poets and Poetry in the News.” The three-year Mellon Foundation grant provides support for the portal’s next phases: expanding research and scholarship relating to African poetry and joining with other institutions to create a digital collections hub that will give access to materials held by institutions worldwide.

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