USDA Delivers Grants to Historically Black Land Grant Universities

Virginia Farmland

The United States Department of Agriculture is awarding $30.8 million to the nation’s 19 historically Black land-grant universities, including the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Virginia State University, for agricultural and nutritional research and growing extension programs.

“1890 Land-grant Universities are a vital part of our nation’s fabric,” said Manjit Misra, director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, in a statement. “This investment will strengthen the ability of 1890 Land-grant Universities to deliver innovative solutions that address emerging agricultural challenges impacting diverse communities.”

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Youngkin Announces Partnership with HBCU Students to Tutor Students in Hampton Roads and Petersburg

Governor Glenn Youngkin announced a tutoring partnership between four Richmond and Hampton Roads-area historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to employ their students as tutors and mentors for high school and middle school students. “Sadly last Monday, Virginians woke up to the next of many alarm bells that were ringing as Virginia’s NAEP [National Assessment of Educational Progress] scores came in. What we saw in those NAEP scores was something that we had seen repeatedly in our SOL scores over the last couple of years: that learning loss was catastrophic; that learning loss was broadening an already existing achievement gap,” Youngkin said during an appearance at Norfolk State University (NSU) on Thursday. The program is a partnership between the Urban Leagues of Hampton Roads and Greater Richmond, and Norfolk State University, Hampton University, Virginia State University, and Virginia Union University. When fully implemented, the program will be able to support 1,300 students in Petersburg, Portsmouth, and Hampton with 175 tutors, but Youngkin said that was just the beginning. “We are going to inspire others to replicate, expand, and touch lives across the entire commonwealth,” he said. NSU President Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston said in a Youngkin press release that the student…

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Youngkin, Petersburg Officials, and Other Leaders Launch Partnership to Help the City

Governor Glenn Youngkin, Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond), Delegate Kim Taylor (R-Dinwiddie), and Petersburg Mayor Samuel Parham announced the Partnership for Petersburg on Monday. The partnership is an effort to help poverty-stricken Petersburg by improving education, health care, public safety, transportation, economic growth, and relationships between the community and leaders.

“Today, we formally launch the Partnership for Petersburg, a holistic partnership bringing more than 40 initiatives under six separate pillars to make a significant difference in the lives and livelihoods of Petersburg’s great people as well as the economic health of the city itself,” Youngkin said in a press release. “It is my sincerest hope to be able to point to the Partnership as a model for our work with other cities across the Commonwealth.”

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Biden Appoints Two Virginia University Presidents to HBCU Advisory Board

President Joe Biden has tapped two Virginia university presidents to serve on the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). On March 31, Biden announced 18 intended appointments to the board, among them Virginia State University (VSU) President Dr. Makola Abdullah and Norfolk State University (NSU) President Javaune Adams-Gaston, Ph.D.

“The President’s Board will advance the goal of the HBCU Initiative, established by the Carter Administration, to increase the capacity of HBCUs to provide the highest-quality education to its students and continue serving as engines of opportunity,” a White House press release said.

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Virginia Gov. Northam Continues Legacy Tour, Highlights Proposed Spending on Gun Violence Prevention, HBCUs, Parks, Law Enforcement

Governor Ralph Northam is set to announce his final budget proposal next week, and he has spent this week on his “Thank You, Virginia” tour highlighting key pieces of the proposal — cementing his legacy before he leaves office early next year. On Friday, he announced $27 million to establish a Center for Firearm Violence Intervention and Prevention.

“We lose a thousand Virginians to gun violence each year, and we must do everything we can to bring that number to zero,” Northam said in a press release that also highlighted gun control legislation he signed during his term. “The new research Center will collect important data that can lead to meaningful change. Gun violence is a public safety and a public health issue, and we have so much work to do to end this epidemic of violence. This data will save lives.”

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