February 12, 2019

Harris Bill to Preserve and Improve Historic HBCU Buildings and Sites Passes Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to reauthorize the Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) Historic Preservation Program passed the United States Senate. The legislation would authorize funding for grants to restore historic buildings and sites on HBCU campuses that have deteriorated over time and are at risk of being permanently lost if they are not preserved and protected. The bill was included as part of the Natural Resources Management Act.

Last week, Harris, an alumna of Howard University, participated in a fireside chat with Dr. Harry Williams, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, on the importance of sustaining our nation’s HBCUs. She also participated in a panel conversation with nearly every living African-American senator where she discussed ways to ensure the curriculum at HCBUs is preparing students for the jobs and challenges of the 21st century.

“I am thrilled that the Senate has passed my bill to reauthorize a program to protect and preserve historic HBCU buildings and sites like the ones I came to love during my time at Howard University,” said Harris. “I am hopeful that we can get this signed into law so that HBCUs across the country can begin these vital improvement projects as soon as possible.”

 The bill is supported by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, UNCF, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Another Harris-led bill, the St. Francis Dam Disaster National Memorial Act, was also included in the Natural Resources Management Act. The package also contains a permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.