Bipartisan HBCU Caucus Members Secure Record Funding for HBCUs and Minority Institutions
Bipartisan HBCU Caucus co-chair Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12) led the passage of an amendment with fellow caucus member Reps. Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) to H.R. 3219 the Make America Secure Appropriations Act. Passage of the amendment allocates $40 million to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority Institutions (HBCU/MI) program within the Department of Defense (DoD), a 54% increase over the President’s FY18 proposed authorized level and $7 million above current levels. Often the target of sequestration and budget cuts, the program received its highest funding level since 2010.
This week, Congresswoman Adams will lead a letter with Reps. Anthony Brown (MD-04) and Hank Johnson (GA-04) to Senate appropriators to ensure that this funding is included in their appropriations package.
Bipartisan HBCU Caucus members Reps. Adams and Brown stated:
“Passage of this amendment means that funding for this important program for our students of color will be at its highest level since 2010. Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Institutions (MIs) contribute some of our country’s best and brightest into both the Armed Forces and STEM-related professions, yet are notoriously underfunded. We are proud to secure record funding for grants and scholarships for some of our most underserved populations as we work to create a pipeline of highly-skilled, diverse graduates into the Armed Forces to meet growing national security and economic challenges.”
Since 2010, the Defense Department has awarded more than 275 competitive research and equipment grants to HBCUs and MIs including Morgan State University (Maryland), North Carolina A&T State University (North Carolina) and Clark Atlanta University (Georgia). The program was uniquely designed to bring diversity and people of color into the United States military from HBCUs, Predominately Black Institutions, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Alaskan Native-Serving Institutions by cultivating and strengthening their scientific and technical infrastructure and academic capabilities. In addition, the program supports Centers of Excellence (COEs) for Battlefield Capability Enhancements. COEs recruit, educate and train outstanding students and post-doctoral researchers in science and technology areas relevant to the Army, such as cybersecurity, research data analysis, nanotechnology, materials science and autonomy. Overall, the DoD HBCU/MI program plays an important role in assisting HBCUs and MIs by cultivating and strengthening their scientific and technical infrastructure and academic capabilities.