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All HBCUs Stand with Edward Waters University

UNCF takes a stand on continued threats against HBCUs, linking back to 2022 bomb threats

Washington, DC, Aug. 28, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Today, UNCF (United Negro College Fund) issued the following official response to the recent racially motivated mass shooting in Jacksonville, FL, near UNCF-member Edward Waters University campus.

“Racially motivated loss of life must end,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF (United Negro College Fund). “While we are thankful the students and employees of Edward Waters University were spared this weekend, we still condemn the attempt and lift up prayer for the families of those who lost a loved one. Our HBCUs must be better supported. We implore the Congress to extend specific Department of Homeland Security funding, meant for nonprofits, to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), because that is how we will fortify and protect the campuses we love.”

“I have met with Governor DeSantis and I hope to meet with my Florida delegation to express our needs,” said Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., president and CEO, Edward Waters University. “I am grateful for the resiliency of our campus community, and I appreciate our campus police force for their life-saving efforts. However, this is the second threat to our campus in 18 months.  Via our policy arm at UNCF, we have made asks of Congress and the Administration to respond to the 2022 bomb threats and these ongoing, lingering threats against HBCUs. This is a time for action—and not just statements.  We at Edward Waters University need that action from our federal and state elected and appointed officials to make sure we—and all HBCUs—are safe to fulfill our mission and educate our students.”

“This is a continuum from the racially motivated threats on HBCUs the entirety of 2022,” said Lodriguez V. Murray, senior vice president for public policy and government affairs, UNCF.  “All year long, we have asked Congress to protect HBCUs, and now is the time to pass the Homeland Security appropriations bill with language that directs the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to provide $100 million for HBCUs (annually) via the non-profit grants’ security program. This program must administer the funds directly to HBCUs, not by the state governments. This will help HBCUs to be protected against threats by increasing security, developing plans on how to respond beyond simply calling the police, heighten the use of technology to monitor campus entry points, and make our environments the safe haven for learning they should be for the sake—and mental health and security—of our students.”

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About UNCF
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, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. While totaling only 3% of all colleges and universities, UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 15% of bachelor’s degrees, 5% of master’s degrees, 10% of doctoral degrees and 19% of all STEM degrees earned by Black students in higher education. UNCF 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 over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.


Roy Betts
United Negro College Fund, Inc. (UNCF)
240-703-3384
roy.betts@uncf.org