UNC’s minority serving schools get $6 million to research, fight COVID-19

Six schools within the UNC System’s that serve communities of color have been awarded $6 million to fight COVID-19, the system announced Thursday.

The schools  — Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, N.C. A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, UNC Pembroke and Winston-Salem State University — will each receive $1 million through a partnership between the UNC Board of Governors and the N.C. Policy Collaboratory at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Last month state lawmakers approved a $1.5 billion coronavirus relief package. The collaboratory got $29 million to study testing, prevention and treatment of COVID-19 as well as its public health and economic impacts.

 “One of the first calls I received after the $29 million research package was approved by the General Assembly and the Governor was from [UNC Board of Governors member] Darrell Allison,” said Jeff Warren, executive director of N.C. Policy Collaboratory. “From our first conversation, it was clear we were both well aware that these campuses, and the communities they serve, represented areas of the State hardest hit from this pandemic. This investment builds on forward-thinking research already occurring on all six of these campuses.”

Allison is chair of the board’s Committee on Historically Minority-Serving Institutions, which was formed in 2018.

“This is yet another opportunity for the UNC System to show the meaningful impact that our historically minority-serving institutions are making in their respective regions and communities they serve,”Allison said. “I am confident that this partnership and these programs will provide real-life solutions in the fight against COVID-19, today, and could be a model for how our state can more effectively confront tomorrow’s crises as well.”

The system provided a summary of each school’s proposed work Thursday:

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