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Yale Pledges $10M Toward HBCU Partnerships, Following Slavery Apology

Yale University has pledged $10 million toward an initiative to strengthen its relationship with historically Black colleges and universities in the realm of research, teaching, and student access.

Dr. Peter SaloveyDr. Peter SaloveyThe initiative is part of a redress following Yale President Dr. Peter Salovey and Senior Trustee Josh Bekenstein’s Feb. 16 acknowledgement of the university's historical role in and associations with slavery and apology for the ways its early leaders participated in slavery.

Connecticut NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile complained about the book, Yale and Slavery: A History, published alongside Yale’s apology. Esdaile said the book did not include information about the university’s historical ties to eugenics and further criticized whether $10 million for student to return to Yale would help people of color.

Yale plans to commit $2 million annually over the next five years to establish the Alliance for Scholarship, Collaboration, Engagement, Networking, and Development (ASCEND), an initiative to deepen the relationship between HBCUs and Yale through bidirectional partnerships supporting research collaborations between HBCU and Yale faculty, providing resources for HBCU faculty research projects, and expanding pathway programs for HBCU students.

The university plans to expand the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program — which creates opportunities for undergraduates from around the country to explore and prepare for Ph.D.-level careers in research — for students who come from an economically disadvantaged background, are first-generation college students, or have faced significant obstacles in pursuit of higher education. Also, it is set to increase the number of HBCU graduates who participate in post-baccalaureate programs that facilitate opportunities to conduct independent research under the supervision of a faculty member, meet first-year graduate students, and participate in workshops that prepare them for application to Ph.D. programs.

Yale already has signed institutional agreements with five HBCUs, including Claflin University, Hampton University, Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T State University, and Tuskegee University.

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