Today, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) announced Project School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV) grants to two additional Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that experienced bomb threats earlier this year. Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland were awarded over $60,000 and $130,000 in Project SERV grants respectively.
Coppin State University (CSU) will use its Project SERV funds to hire a full-time counseling psychologist, who will provide both individual and group counseling services. The funds will also go toward response training for all students, staff, and faculty as well as resources to cope with the stress and the anxiety that such events can trigger.
Fisk University will use its Project SERV funds to boost campus safety, including security guard resources and equipment. Fisk will also use its funds for student services, such as a forum providing students with resources and information on how to cope with stress and anxiety, a workshop on how to respond after a crisis or trauma, in addition to other services needed to restore confidence and reduce anxiety among students. Additional institutions that have also been awarded Project SERV grants include; Tougaloo College, Fayetteville State University, and Southern University Law Center.
The Department expects additional grants to be awarded in the coming weeks and continues to work with additional HBCUs impacted to support them in the grant application process and in expediting applications once received. At this week’s 2022 National HBCU Week Conference, the Department and its partners are also providing technical assistance on Project SERV applications and sharing best practices through workshops and networking opportunities.
“We’re pleased that these institutions have been able to receive the aid they deserve to ensure the well-being and safety of their students, staff, and faculty, said Dietra Trent, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity through Historically Black Colleges and Universities. “The Biden-Harris Administration is here to support our HBCU community, and we will continue working to promote policies and practices that fortify their strength and advance educational equity, excellence, and economic opportunity through these institutions.”
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 Biden-Harris Administration continues to take a whole-of-government approach to support HBCU campuses. The Administration has delivered nearly $6 billion in cumulative investments to HBCUs, including:
- $3.7 billion through the American Rescue Plan and other COVID relief;
- $1.6 billion in capital finance debt relief; and
- $500 million in grant funding to help HBCUs and other MSIs expand capacity.