Today, UNCF is launching #PreserveHBCUs a 24-hour social media campaign to urge the Senate to provide at least $5 million for the HBCU Historic Preservation Program, as passed by the House, before Congress adjourns. Taking place during National Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week, this day of action engages HBCU alumni, stakeholders and supporters to help preserve over 700 historic buildings on HBCU campuses.
“HBCUs have a significant place in American history and provide incredible value and values to minority and low-income students, and to the communities in which they reside,” said Cheryl Smith, UNCF senior vice president of public policy and government affairs. “The HBCU Historic Preservation Program serves an essential purpose to HBCUs, which have a special place in the fabric of American history, culture and education. We look forward to working with the Senate to ensure final passage before the 114thCongress adjourns.”
No federal funds have been provided since 2009 for the restoration of historic buildings at HBCUs; however, this year there is a chance to secure funding in the FY 2017 budget. Last month, the House unanimously passed H.R. 295, a bill that would re-authorize $10 million annually through 2023 for the HBCUs Historic Preservation Program, and the Clyburn amendment to appropriate $5 million for FY 2017, but no funding has been recommended by the Senate.
“Thanks to Congressman James E. Clyburn (D-SC), a proud HBCU alumnus, this important bill is moving one step closer to the finish line, but further action is desperately required,” said UNCF President and CEO, Dr. Michael Lomax. “HBCUs are indeed national treasures and we invite everyone to join us today in supporting the restoration of more than 700 historic buildings on HBCU campuses.”
HBCU historic preservation was a signature UNCF initiative from 1995 through 1999, when UNCF partnered with the National Park Service to support the rehabilitation of historic structures on 10 HBCU campuses. Historic preservation remains a UNCF strategic priority today as several HBCUs this year are celebrating or approaching 150 years of existence.
Here’s how you can join UNCF today to #PreserveHBCUs:
- Visit the #PreserveHBCUs Campaign information page:
- Download our Social Media Toolkit
- Download our #PreserveHBCUs Graphic
- Download and share our #PreserveHBCUs Save-the-date flyer
- Download and share our official campaign launch flyer