UNCF Supports Introduction of Bill to Repair Backlog of HBCU Deferred Maintenance
A bill to make investments and repairs on Historically Black College and University (HBCU) campuses was recently introduced in Congress, and UNCF has endorsed the legislation. H.R. 3294, the Institutional Grants for New Infrastructure, Technology, and Education for HBCU Excellence Act (IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act), was introduced by Representatives Alma Adams (NC) and French Hill (AR) in the House and by Senators Chris Coons (DE) and Tim Scott (SC) in the U.S. Senate.
“The infrastructure needs of HBCUs is a decades-old issue and the time has come to address those needs,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. “We appreciate this bipartisan group of legislators who have identified a way to make a major impact on our campuses. This investment, which is absolutely needed, speaks to larger issues such as underfunding of HBCUs, systemic ways of accessing capital that disadvantages both Black people and Black organizations like HBCUs, and the needs of students who bring both diversity and aptitude to our nation’s future workforce. We offer our support, and we call on the Congress to pass this bill during this session.”
“UNCF endorsed the IGNITE HBCU Excellence Act because it is the natural progression in recent HBCU investment,” said Lodriguez V. Murray, senior vice president of public policy and government affairs of UNCF. “In the past few years, Congress has responded to our calls to eradicate government-held debt, invest in HBCU STEM programs, and help stabilize the institutions and our students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The next need for HBCUs is to finally complete the deferred maintenance on the campuses. HBCUs deserve this investment because the economic output of the institutions impact our nation by nearly $15 billion annually, support over 134,000 jobs annually and produce classes that will earn over $130 billion over the lifetimes of the graduates. This is simply a no-brainer for Congress, and we call on every congressperson and senator with an HBCU in their district or state—or graduates as constituents—to endorse this legislation.”
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF awards more than $100 million in scholarships annually and administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® For continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.