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Public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Crisis

WHEREAS, the HBCUs are in crisis facing multi-layered challenges, including, but not limited to severe financial stress, inconsistent alumni support, low faculty salaries, false accusations of reverse discrimination, crippling accreditation challenges and "faculty raiding" by white universities; and

WHEREAS, during the latter half of the 19th Century, many HBCUs were established by religious organizations, mutual aid societies and land grants; and

WHEREAS, HBCUs are consistently deprived of equal educational resources. Most HBCUs remain racially segregated with crumbling facilities and inadequate budgets compared with white institutions. Lacking adequate libraries, scientific and research equipment, and facilities, handicaps HBCUs' ability to remain viable in this new 21st Century; and

WHEREAS, HBCUs graduate a substantial proportion of all African American college students, including those receiving graduate and professional degrees in the fields of engineering, law and medicine; and

WHEREAS, despite promises by state and federal governments to assist HBCUs financially via grants and special funding initiatives, the funding levels are woefully inadequate, representing only a tiny fraction of all higher education dollars; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Education is not fulfilling its statutory duties to enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, after noting clear and consistent violations by states with respect to publicly supported HBCUs; and

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NAACP advocate for comparable funding and support through state governments for state-sponsored, public HBCUs as to other institutions of higher education in their respective states; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAACP shall undertake every effort to investigate and take appropriate action(s), including possible litigation, to address violations of the law by states and/or the federal government with respect to state public higher education desegregation plans as they impact the viability of State HBCUs and, consequently, the interests of the Association, its affiliates, and members; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP will aggressively support and promote the campaign of HBCUs to encourage alumni and friends to contribute to the financial well being of HBCUs.