Mar 16, 2022 - Politics & Policy

White House unveils funding for HBCUs after bomb threats

.S. Vice President Kamala Harris during a White House Equal Pay Day Summit in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 15, 2022.
Vice President Kamala Harris during a White House Equal Pay Day Summit in Washington, D.C., on March 15. Photo: Bonnie Cash/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House is unveiling an initiative aimed at bolstering campus security and mental health services at historically Black colleges and universities in the wake of dozens of bomb threats at many of the institutions earlier this year.

Driving the news: Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday will announce that HBCUs that recently experienced a bomb threat are eligible for grant funds for their "immediate needs," per the White House.

  • The awards, which will come from the Project School Emergency Response to Violence program, may include "targeted mental health resources or enhanced security, to restore the learning environment on their campuses."
  • "[Department of Education] staff will work with each HBCU to help determine their specific immediate needs," per the White House.
  • The grant funds could range from $50,000 to $150,000 per school.
  • The White House is also unveiling a resource guide for HBCUs from across the federal government "to help with long-term improvements to campus mental health programs, campus safety, and emergency management planning," per the White House.

The big picture: More than one-third of the country's HBCUs have received bomb threats over the last two months, according to the White House.

  • The Biden administration said it has already delivered $5.8 billion to HBCUs, including more than $2.7 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan.

What they're saying: "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," the White House said in a statement.

  • "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."

Go deeper: Over a dozen HBCUs get bomb threats on first day of Black History Month

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