Sens. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have reintroduced a bill to reauthorize the Historically Black College and Universities Historic Preservation Program for fiscal years 2019 to 2025.
Historic buildings and sites at HBCUs across the country which have deteriorated over time, are at risk of being destroyed if they are not preserved and protected. The new bill would authorize funding for grants to restore these at-risk buildings and sites, as well as improve accessibility on many HBCU campuses.
“During my time as a student at Howard University, I was proud and humbled to walk the same hallways as historic figures like Thurgood Marshall, Zora Neale Hurston, and Shirley Franklin,” said Harris, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. “The history represented at Howard and across every other HBCU imbues special meaning on each campus and reminds students that they can come as they are and leave as the person they aspire to be. I’m proud to introduce this legislation to preserve and improve HBCUs around the country for our future generations.”
The bill is a Senate companion of House legislation introduced by House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.).
The United Negro College Fund, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have all expressed support for the new legislation.