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It’s been a momentous week for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as they mark the anniversary of the second Morrill Act. The 1890 legislation established a land-grant university system of HBCUs in states where Black people were banned from accessing a public higher education.

“The 1890s, including Tennessee State, have a legacy of educating economically disadvantaged college students, enhancing the resilience of limited resource individuals, farmers, families and underserved communities and conducting innovative research to generate new knowledge and solutions to address regional and global challenges,” said TSU President Glenda Glover in a statement.

A recent Association of Public & Land-grant Universities report, Research Activity at the 1890 Universities, demonstrates the research 1890 universities are engaging in.

Alton Essel, Ph.D., an executive administrator of the Association of Extension Administrators, a nationwide system that operates through land-grant universities in partnership with federal, state, and local governments, said land-grants remain relevant in the 21st century.

Launching the new Rapid-Response Grant Program (RAPID),  Dr. Magesh Rajan, Prairie View A&M University vice president of research & innovation, said RAPID will help researchers develop ways to respond to recent national challenges.

In addition to North Carolina A&T State University’s Center of Excellence to Motivate and Educate for Achievement, which  is dedicated to supporting young people from minority groups to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM),  RAPID is encouraging PVAMU faculty, staff, and students to jump-start research in areas that are relevant to current needs.

To date, 19 projects have been selected at PVAMU. They focus on race, inequality and social justice; scientific or technology-oriented non-medical research designed to address COVID-19 risks; activities to  design, develop or commercialize physical or software products and processes to address or mitigate COVID-19; K-12 educational effects, and  interdisciplinary project topics related to one or more of the major themes.

Click here to participate in a discussion of the legacy and future importance of the 1890 institutions.

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