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Biden Harris Administration Introduces Program To Aid HBCUs That Have Experienced Bomb Threats

More Than 36 HBCUs Have Had Bomb Threats in 2022

Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday announced an initiative to offer funding support to Historically Black Colleges and Universities that have been the target of bomb threats.  Since the start of 2022, at least 36 schools, more than one-third of HBCUs, have had their campuses disrupted by terroristic threats against them.

The White House released a statement explaining that these current threats are stealing a page from a dark part of American 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,” the statement read. “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 Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) program under the Department of Education will enhance campus security and provide mental health resources by providing short-term, immediate grant funding for institutions that have experienced a “violent or traumatic incident.”

Awards range between $50,000 to $150,000 per school, and the funding will address immediate needs, such as targeted mental health resources or enhanced security to restore the campus learning environment.

RELATED: Bomb Threats Received At Six Different HBCUs For Second Time in Weeks

Harris made the announcement before a group of state and federal law enforcement, HBCU presidents and administrators, and faith leaders whose places of worship had also been targets of bomb threats. She said the Biden-Harris White House recognizes the importance of standing strong against terror saying, “Our administration is sending a very clear message, this intimidation on us and we will not be intimidated. We will do everything in our power to protect all our communities from violence and from hate.”

In addition to the short-term funds provided through Project SERV, the Biden-Harris Administration is providing HBCUs resources across the federal government, including the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice – to help with long-term improvements to campus mental health programs, campus safety, and emergency management planning and response. HBCUs will also have access to grant programs and technical assistance to implement improved security measures.

Despite the terroristic threats, no explosives have been found on any HBCU campus. The White House statement said, “Nonetheless, significant and lasting damage has been done by threatening the safety and security of the students, faculty, and staff at these institutions. As a result of these threats, learning has been disrupted, critical resources have been diverted to emergency response, and there has been an increased burden on already overwhelmed campus mental health systems.”

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