The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has awarded more than $1 million in grants for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that were targeted by racist bomb threats last year.

The grants were awarded as part of DOE’s Project SERV (Project School Emergency Response to Violence) initiative that works to help institutions of higher learning affected by violent threats.

The four HBCUs that received the grants are Claflin University  ($440,000); Delaware State University ($217,000); Howard University($203,000); and Texas Southern University ($191,962).

“The bomb threats last year that targeted several Historically Black Colleges and Universities traumatized their campus communities, disrupted learning, and drained resources by prompting costly campus lockdowns, class cancellations, and law enforcement activities,” Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a press release emailed to NewsOne.

“The Biden-Harris administration will always stand by HBCUs and unequivocally condemn racist efforts to terrorize Black students and educators and deprive them of their right to safe, welcoming, and nurturing environments for teaching and learning. The Project SERV grants announced today will help four HBCUs directly impacted by these bomb threats to better serve students, faculty, and staff by increasing access to mental health and wellness services and improving other vital supports” Cardona continued.

According to the DOE’s website, “Project SERV funds short-term education-related services for local educational agencies (LEAs) and institutions of higher education (IHEs) to help them recover from a violent or traumatic event in which the learning environment has been disrupted.”

Last year, nearly five dozen HBCUs were targeted by bomb threats. Although the threats turned out to be false alarms, the campus was disrupted as classes were canceled and buildings and campuses were evacuated.

In November 2022, the FBI linked the bomb threats to a sole unidentified juvenile who was prosecuted as a minor by state authorities. However, because the suspect is a minor, they were not charged federally because of limitations for juveniles.

According to NewsOne, in addition to using the grants for security, the four HBCUs awarded the Project SERV grants all said they intend to use the funds to bolster wellness and mental health services.