The U.S. Department of Education has announced Project School Emergency Response to Violence grants to four Historically Black Colleges and Universities that were disrupted by bomb threats last year.
Texas Southern University in Houston was awarded $191,962; Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware was awarded $217,000; Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina was awarded $440,000 and Howard University in Washington, D.C. was awarded $203,000.
Project SERV provides short-term funding for local educational agencies and institutions of higher education that have experienced a violent or traumatic incident to assist in restoring a safe environment conducive to learning.
The Department expects additional grants to be awarded in the coming weeks and continues to work with additional impacted HBCUs to support them in the grant application process and expedite the processing of applications once received.
“The bomb threats last year that targeted several Historically Black Colleges and Universities traumatized their campus communities, disrupted learning, and drained resources by prompting costly campus lockdowns, class cancellations, and law enforcement activities,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.
“The Biden-Harris administration will always stand by HBCUs and unequivocally condemn racist efforts to terrorize Black students and educators and deprive them of their right to safe, welcoming, and nurturing environments for teaching and learning. The Project SERV grants announced today will help four HBCUs directly impacted by these bomb threats to better serve students, faculty, and staff by increasing access to mental health and wellness services and improving other vital supports.”
Texas Southern University will use its Project SERV funds to provide access to in-person and tele-mental health services for one year, including through access to behavioral health providers.
TSU will also use funds for a project coordinator to manage and oversee the project.
“These funds are critically important to the safety, security, and well-being of our institutions,” said Dietra Trent, executive director of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
“HBCU students consider their campuses as a sacred refuge and home away from home, and it is imperative that we provide them with these resources ensuring that they not only feel safe but are safe.”