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White House: HBCUs impacted by bomb threats will get more funding

The White House announced measures Wednesday that will aim to boost short-term mental health and security responses at HBCUs.

ATLANTA — Historically Black colleges and universities, including those in Atlanta, that have recently been affected by a series of bomb threats will receive new federal funding to help them in "restoring a safe environment conducive to learning" the White House said Wednesday.

A White House fact sheet said Department of Education staff would "work with each HBCU to determine their specific immediate needs" with funds ranging from roughly $50,000-$150,000 available per school.

The grant funds available from the Project School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV) will "help get funds to their campuses for immediate needs, such as targeted mental health resources or enhanced security, to restore the learning environment on their campuses."

A White House statement stressed the urgent need to provide aid to the schools:

It is important to view these recent and repeated threats through both the lens of the present day as well as our country’s history. HBCUs were founded to educate Black people in an America that refused to accept them as full human beings and prevented them – because of racial discrimination – from attending other colleges. Threats to the education and well-being of Black Americans and HBCUs are an unfortunate part of American history. The bomb threats that we witnessed in January, each week in February – Black History Month, and this month are reminiscent of the attempts during the Civil Rights Era to intimidate and provoke fear in Black Americans.

The White House added that in addition to short-term funding, the Biden-Harris administration is "providing HBCUs a compendium of resources that are available across the federal government – from ED, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Justice – to help with long-term improvements to campus mental health programs, campus safety, and emergency management planning and response."

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