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Today, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law joined the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights and other civil right and racial justice groups to urge the Senate to pass the Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act, S. 1279 to restore funding for historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) and minority serving institutions (MSIs)—which provide vital access to higher education for African Americans and other students of color.

The FUTURE Act, which passed the House of Representatives on September 17, would provide HBCUs and MSIs with $255-million of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) funding. Since then, the Senate has since failed to act and funding expired on September 30, leaving these vital institutions without critical funding for education in the STEM fields.  The Lawyers’ Committee has long fought for access to educational opportunities for African Americans and equitable funding for HBCUs. One of our longstanding lawsuits, Coalition v. Maryland Higher Education Commission, advocates for the state of Maryland to more fairly fund and allocate programs to the state’s historically Black colleges and universities.

Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director released the following statement:

“It is shameful that the Senate has allowed funding for HBCUs and MSIs to lapse and threaten access to STEM education for African American and other students from traditionally underrepresented groups. The Senate must act now to pass the FUTURE Act and restore this crucial funding before students of color’s access to higher education and ability to get a good-paying job is further threatened. “

Read Letter here