Wednesday, the U.S. Senate introduced H.R. 748 or Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act ensuring just over $1 billion of dedicated funding for institutions like Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and other Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) in response to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on operations. The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) took a leadership role calling on Congress to respond to the needs of HBCUs, which serve a disproportionately high percentage of low-income and first-generation college students. The disruption of classroom-based education to transition to distance learning and even assisting some students with travel back home has put a tremendous unforeseen financial strain on institutions that have historically been underfunded.

“I want to thank the congressional leadership for responding to our call and the needs of HBCUs, and indeed the rest of the higher education community,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF President and CEO. “I call on the House and Senate to swiftly pass this legislation. Also, let me be clear: the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting HBCUs hard. All emergencies that hit the higher education system seem to hit HBCUs harder because we serve mostly Pell Grant eligible students. However, thankfully, this time Congress remembered us, our institutions and our students. Now, we will have the resources to ensure our colleges can make the transition to distance learning platforms that are necessary to continue educating our students.”

Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), who also played an crucial role in advocating for the COVID-19 relief for HBCUs, applaud Congress and Senate for allocating a plan to necessary fund HBCUs during this critical time.

“The deal developed by the Senate is another powerful example of the Congress’ recognition of the importance of and need to deliver for HBCUs, PBIs and their students,” said Harry L. Williams, TMCF President and CEO. “The road to full financial recovery from this crisis will be a long one for our schools, but the collective engagement and tireless bipartisan advocacy of our community has helped to secure the much needed resources our schools require to both navigate this crisis and continue to pursue their respective missions.”

In addition to the supplemental aid, the CARES Act also authorizes the Department of Education to loosen the restrictions on currently appropriated Title III funds. This additional flexibility will allow schools to put previously restricted funds directly to use in addressing new challenges that our school and their students face during the ongoing health emergency.

Senate Letter Led by Sen. Booker and Sen. Jones on Need for HBCU and MSI Funding

Senate Letter Led by Sen. Scott on Need for HBCU Funding

HBCU, TCU, and MSI Community Letter Advocating for Stimulus Funding

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About UNCF

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. It’s logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”®. Learn more at UNCF.org, or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.

About TMCF

Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominately Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges and universities. Though scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education space. The organization is also the source of top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs. For more information about TMCF, visit www.tmcf.org.

ILLINOIS – Illinois public universities have launched a statewide advocacy campaign that includes call-to-action for alumni and appearances from university presidents around the state to build grassroots community and legislative support for higher education.

The campaign, “The Time is Now: Re-invest in Illinois Higher Education” focuses on the importance of contacting legislators to urge for increased funding for Illinois public universities so the institutions can continue to drive the state’s economic growth and development. An increase in funding for public higher education will create jobs and spur more economic activity statewide, while providing students with much needed improvements to campus buildings, classroom and new technology.

“State funding is very critical to providing the necessary demands and affordability of students in today’s generation of higher education. It is imperative that we continue to fight no matter if its an HBCU institution or not. Illinois legislators must be held accountable for the future of its state institutions including Chicago State University, who HCF highly supports. The effect of funding lowers the effect of resources needed for the economic success of students, and preparing them for the future workforce,” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., President and CEO at HBCU Campaign Fund.

During the FY 16-17 Illinois budget crisis, funding for higher education throughout the state of Illinois was significantly reduced by hundreds of millions of dollars forcing universities to defer maintenance and realign resources to ensure continued student success. Since that time, the state has seen an outmitigation of college students attending universities out of state due to the uncertainty of state support.

“The HBCU Campaign Fund will join Chicago State University and other Illinois state universities in the fight to increase funding by asking Illinois state legislators to invest in higher education,” Demetrius continued.

The Illinois General Assembly is set to conclude its work Friday, May 31. Each University has submitted a proposal detailing capital and operational needs and has requested a funding increase.

The time is now, you can join HCF and Illinois public universities by contacting the Illinois state legislation and asking them to invest in higher education. Click here for more information.

[Photo creds: Demetrius Johnson, Jr., – HBCU Campaign Fund]
ATLANTA, GA – Clark Atlanta University (CAU) received a $20,000 grant from The UPS Foundation, which drives global corporate citizenship and philanthropic programs for UPS.

According to a press release by the university, for the fifth consecutive year CAU has been selected as a university partner for this vital program. The fellowship empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and local community engagement.

CAU hosted 25 students from 18 African countries. Their activities included a hands-on learning day at the UPS headquarters in Atlanta. Additionally, they experienced site visits to other Atlanta anchor companies, including IBM, The Coca-Cola Company and Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. They also exercised their philanthropic muscles with community service opportunities with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Trees Atlanta and MedShare International.

“We are honored to receive this vital donation from The UPS Foundation,” Mesfin Bezuneh, program director of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for CAU “Funding is a critical component for us to be able to continue this important initiative. We are immensely grateful for UPS’s generosity.”

“The UPS Foundation is honored to support the Young African Leaders Initiative’s efforts to engage rising African leaders,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and chief diversity and inclusion officer at UPS. “Our goal is to fund powerful programs that make a lasting difference to the global community.”

ABOUT THE UPS FOUNDATION

Established in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Ga., The UPS Foundation identifies specific areas where its backing giving: volunteerism, diversity, community safety and the environment. In 2017, UPS and its employees, active UPS.com/foundation. To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS.

ABOUT THE MANDELA WASHINGTON FELLOWSHIP FOR YOUNG AFRICAN LEADERS

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State a conversation at #YALl2018. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Institute at CAU, please contact Mesfin Bezuneh at mbezuneh@cau.edu or 404-880-6274.