4 HBCUs Awarded $1 Million Grant After Racist Bomb Threats Shut Down Campus

Four HBCUs are receiving a grant worth $1 million after falling victim to bomb threats.

Claflin University, Delaware State University, Howard University, and Texas Southern University will split the grant gifted by the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Project SERV initiative, Newsone reports.

Project SERV, or Project School Emergency Response to Violence, helps higher education institutions affected by violent bomb threats. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement that the grant will help these schools “better serve students, faculty, and staff by increasing access to mental health and wellness services and improving other vital supports.” “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,” Cardona said.

Almost 50 HBCUs were targets of bomb threats last year. Fortunately, none of the threats were credible, but several classes were interrupted and canceled as students were instructed to evacuate due to the strong security presence on the campuses.

The schools received specific amounts of funds. According to New York Amsterdam News, Texas Southern University in Houston was awarded $191,962, and Delaware State University in the capital city of Delaware received $217,000. Howard University in Washington, D.C., was given $203,000; in Orangeburg, South Carolina, Claflin University received the highest amount of $440,000.

Each school has identified how they will use the funds. Howard will hire case managers responsible for conducting wellness visits and contacting families about student wellness concerns. A new field training specialist will be hired full-time to provide security training. Funds for DSU are being used to develop a Mental Health First Aid Education Program and to pay for the overtime expenses for counselors, social workers, and law enforcement officers.

Texas Southern is preparing to use the Project SERV funds to hire a project coordinator to manage and oversee a project providing one year of access to in-person and tele-mental health services. Lastly, Claflin plans to hire a licensed clinical social worker to focus on stress reduction and provide workshops focused on identifying signs of distress in students and coworkers.

Other HBCUs, including Tougaloo College, Fayetteville State University, Fisk, and Coppin State, have received Project SERV grants.