Several historically Black colleges and universities will receive more than $650,000 in grants to preserve their campuses as part of a new initiative. The funding for the HBCUs comes as leaders of the colleges and universities continue to advocate for additional funding nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, which has threatened the survival of many already chronically underfunded schools.
HBCUs have long been underfunded as a result of decades of structural racism and lack of equitable public funding, said Brent Leggs, executive director of the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, which is supplying the grants.
“They stand as a living testament to African American history and the ongoing achievements of highly influential Americans,” he said. “But they continue to be overlooked and underfunded.”
The HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative seeks to preserve HBCUs as educational institutions as well as physical spaces of historic and cultural significance. The eight schools getting the grants are: Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina; Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi; Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee; Morgan State University¯in Baltimore; Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas; Spelman College in Atlanta; Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; and Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama.
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