Several historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) will receive more than $650,000 in grants to preserve their campuses as part of the new HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative, CBS 17 reported.
The eight recipients will be Benedict College, Jackson State University, Lane College, Morgan State University, Philander Smith College, Spelman College, Stillman College and Tuskegee University.
The goal is for this initiative to preserve HBCUs not only as places of higher learning but also as historic and culturally significant spaces.
The eight schools will have to create preservation plans, the implementation of which will involve one student for each school.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic ripples it has caused continues to threaten already underfunded schools.
And HBCUs have long been underfunded due to 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, the organization providing 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.”