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 Delaware State University received a three-year, $584,970 grant from the National Science Foundation for research in the use of data science and machine learning in identifying and analyzing biomolecules. Delaware State University is the lead institution in this research project that includes scientists from the University of Delaware and the University of the Virgin Islands.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences received a five-year, $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve maternal health care in Arkansas. The funding will help increase access to maternal and obstetrics care in rural communities and assist in tackling racial inequities in maternal health. “Today, Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause in this country than White women. That has to change,” said HRSA Administrator Carole Johnson.

Spelman College, a liberal arts educational institution for women in Atlanta, received a $5.7 million grant from the New York-based Simons Foundation. The grant will provide reduced teaching loads for 10 STEM faculty members, allowing them to increase the time spent conducting research and providing research opportunities to their students. The Simons Foundation grant will provide up to three years of support to faculty members – 7 junior and 3 senior faculty. The mix of junior and senior faculty will provide junior faculty with intellectual thought partners and opportunities for collaboration and mentorship within the college. Spelman College students will be able to participate in research projects during the academic year.

The department of political science at historically Black North Carolina Central University has been awarded a three-year, $243,709 grant from the National Science Foundation to examine the roles of elites, organizations, and social movements in the government’s policymaking process. The project will include the development of a rapid-response mobile polling unit that will connect with individuals engaged in protests and elections. The grant will also provide research opportunities for political science majors.

The Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky has received a generous donation to establish the Miriam Jane Van Dyke Barager Endowment for Diversity and Inclusion that will focus on giving students a better understanding of these issues as they prepare for careers in public service and civic leadership. As part of the new program, the school will initiate a course on equity and public policy where students will explore diverse viewpoints to strengthen their empathy and openness to people with different perspectives and backgrounds.

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