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Covering Kamala Harris

Harris announces grants for HBCUs that received bomb threats

Vice President Kamala Harris.
(Saul Loeb / Associated Press)

Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday announced grants and a resource guide for historically Black colleges and universities that were targeted with bomb threats, saying the Biden-Harris administration would “do everything in our power to protect all our communities from violence and from hate.”

Since January, bomb threats have been leveled at more than a third of HBCUs, including Albany State University in Georgia, Jackson State University in Mississippi, Bethune-Cookman University in Florida and Howard University in Washington, D.C, according to the White House.

The threats have disrupted campus life, diverted resources and increased the burden on mental health centers.

The grants announced by Harris would award $50,000 to $150,000 to eligible colleges whose campuses have been significantly disrupted.

The money can be used for mental health, enhanced campus security and other purposes. Harris also announced that institutions would have access to a federal resource guide on protecting, preventing and recovering from “acts of violence,” Harris said.

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“This intimidation will not stand, and we will not be intimidated,” Harris said.

For the second time in a month, several historically Black universities across the U.S. receive bomb threats, prompting temporary closures.

Since last year, the Biden-Harris administration has awarded HBCUs $5.8 billion.

In her remarks, Harris also noted the rise in hate crimes nationwide, which have “brought fear and anxiety to places of peace.”

Since January, more than 80 anonymous bomb threats have been made against dozens of HBCUs, historically Black churches, synagogues and other institutions, Harris said. She also highlighted the Atlanta spa shootings, which occurred one year ago Wednesday and led to the deaths of eight people, including six women of Asian descent.

At the White House, Harris was joined by Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland and campus leaders including Jackson State University President Thomas K. Hudson and Delaware State University President Tony Allen.


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