Advocates for historically Black colleges and universities are praising the passage of a U.S. House of Representatives “minibus” appropriations bill that will increase funding for the HBCU Historic Preservation Fund if approved by the Senate for fiscal year 2019.
Earlier this year, the H.R. 6147 bill originally set aside $5 million for the fund for FY2018. Two additional amendments offered from Representatives Jim Clyburn D-SC, Alma Adams D-NC, Terri Sewell D-AL and Sheila Jackson Lee D-TX., passed by voice vote, and now bring total funding allotment for the preservation fund to $8 million. The historic fund is housed under the Department of Interior.
Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund, applauded the House for including increased funding for the HBCU Historic Preservation Fund, saying the funding “puts us one step closer to providing HBCUs with the needed resources to restore and maintain their historic buildings.”
Clyburn, Adams and Sewell also released a joint statement on their amendment for increased funding.
“Most HBCUs were founded after the Civil War to provide higher education to African-Americans, most of whom were newly freed from slavery,” they said. “These institutions continue to serve a vital purpose and have deep historical connections with African Americans and American history. We are very much supportive of restoring and preserving the tremendous history of these institutions.”