(RICHMOND, VA) – The historically black Virginia Union University (VUU) has announced the launch of the Center for the Study of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), making it the only research of its kind in the country dedicated to focusing on HBCUs. VUU President & CEO Dr. Hakim J. Lucas serves as the Center’s Executive Director and VUU Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, seves as its Diretor.

The Center for the Study of HBCUs is a national research center, whose vision is to become the country’s preeminent institute for advancement of relevant scholars and scholarship. The Center has a discovery agenda that ranges from foundational inquiry to tranlational science and disruptive, transformational innovation that ensure the sustainability of Black colleges. Center staff and affiliates conduct rigorous, evidence-based research that aims to advance the research agenda, expand institutional capacities, transform institutions, eradicate institutional inequities, and ensure the future of HBCUs in the nation and beyond.

The Center achieves its mission through four (4) primary objectives:

  • CONDUCT research and scholarship;
  • CONVENE the HBCU scholarly community and constituents;
  • MOBILIZE resources in support of advancing HBCU research;
  • DISSEMINATE research and scholarship broadly.

Learn more about the Center for the Study of HBCUs by clicking here.


About Virginia Union University
Virginia Union University was founded in 1865 to give newly emancipated slaves an opportunity for education and advancement. The University is the result of the merger of four institutions: Richmond Theological Seminary, Wayland Seminary, Hartshorn Memorial, and Storer College. For more information, visit www.vuu.edu.

Centers and institutes are important components of the academic, research, and service mission of a college or university. They play an important role in enabling multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs and are a necessary part of a college or university’s infrastructure.

Centers and institutes have the potential for strengthening disciplinary programs by providing interdisciplinary course work, offering service learning opportunities, facilitating certificate programs, supporting degree program, enabling high levels of research productivity and providing external visibility for the college or university.

Here is a list of active Centers and Institutes at HBCUs:

Center for the Study of HBCUs | Virginia Union University

The Center for the Study of HBCUs, in partnership with the Southern Education Foundation (SEF), at Virginia Union University is a national research center whose vision is to become the country’s preeminent institution for the advancement of scholarship on Black colleges in the United States an beyond.

The national research center will conduct high-quality studies, serves as a connection and convener of the HBCU scholarly community, and disseminate publications that focus on the history, mission, and management of HBCUs.

Click here for more information

Center for Social Justice | Claflin University

Claflin’s Center for Social Justice embodies a number of Claflin’s guding principles, most importantly Commitment to Valuing People. At Claflin, people are valued by providing a safe, wholesome and healthy environment that fosters mutual respect, diversity, and inclusion. The Center of Social Justice at Claflin provides a platform of its mission to lead a national movement of change.

Click here for more information

Social Justice Institute | Philander Smith College

The work and mission of Philander Smith College is deeply rooted in social justice and equity – going back to its founding nearly a century and a half ago. Reimagined and reinvented in 2017 with strategic thought partners Auburn Theological Seminary and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the institute works to transform the campus, the community and the world.

The Institute seeks to embrace and catalyze work in social justice across multiple domains: education, health, environment, community, economics, politics, identity, civil, criminal, religious, racial, gender, and age.

Click here for more information

Law Center | Southern University System

The mission of the Law Center is consistent with the rich heritage of the Southern University System. The Law Center stresses legal education of high quality for qualified students from diverse backgrounds.

The Southern University Law Center is proud of the tradition established by the original School of Law – to provide quality legal education commensurate with high professional standards. The vision that compels the Law Center to seek excellence in every aspect of its program also fosters an environment that stimulates the intellectual processes and promotes professional development.

The center offers a dual degree Juris Doctor/Masters in Public Administration (JD/MD) program in cooperation with the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Southern University and A&M College.

Click here for more information

The John R. Lewis Institute for Social Justice | Fisk University

The John R. Lewis Institute is a continuation of the famous Race Relations Institute (RRI), which shaped so many conversation and policies during the 60s and 70s. The social, political, and economic issues that RRI founder Fisk President Charles S. Johnson identified during the 1940s are still critical to addressing and improving the existing disparities in the African American community.

This Institute includes a master’s program in social justice, in addition to certificate programs and undergraduate projects, research and forums.

Click here for more information

Center for Racial Justice | Dillard University

The mission of Dillard University’s Center for Racial Justice (CRJ) is to bring systemic change to the way policies is done in communities of color and to promote partnerships with law enforcement including police departments and sheriff’s office, graduate, and professional schools. The Center for Racial Justice will be a reservoir for lectures, research, advocacy training, civic engagement, and political participation.

Click here for more information

John Mercer Langston Institute for African-American Political Leadership | Virginia State University

The John Mercer Langston Institute for African-American Political Leadership (JMLI) at Virginia State University was created to honor the legacy of John Mercer Langston, the first African American Congressional Representative from Virginia and first president of Virginia State University.

JMLI’s mission seeks to assess, develop, and empower African American political leadership in the Commonwealth of Virginia through innovative programming, research, and advocacy. The Institute strives to promote an increased understanding of the historical significance, unique role and challenges faced by African American political leaders. A highlight of JMLI’s programming is the development and engagement of collegiate scholars who are interested in activism and pursuing careers in political science and public administration.

Click here for more information

– Updated November 9, 2020

ELIZABETH CITY, NC – The Office of Sponsored Programs at Elizabeth City State University has announced that funding for competitive awards has exceeded $5 million. Director of Sponsored Programs, Annemarie Delgado, says that at the end of the 2019 fiscal year, ECSU received 32 awards totaling more than $5 million, a substantial increase over last year’s 4 million mark.

“The grants awarded to our faculty and staff this past academic year showcase the various interests and strengths of our institution,” said Ms. Delgado.

According to Ms. Delgado, grant funding included programs such as Upward Bound, public broadcasting, aviation science, STEM education, research on African American history and more.

“In addition, ECSU faculty garnered some very prestigious awards this year from sponsors such as the Institute of Museum and Library Services for a study on African-American Cultural Heritage, from the U.S. Department of Education for studies of coastal habitats, and an award from the National Science Foundation to further research in plant science,” said Ms. Delgado.

The ECSU Office of Sponsored Programs has been working with faculty and staff to expand competitive grant opportunities, and offer support through the process. Their efforts, in collaboration with faculty, has resulted in high-profile grant awards that bring new research opportunities to campus, offering faculty and students a broader range of opportunities and ECSU more exposure throughout the world of higher education.

Ms. Delgado said that when faculty members write for grants, they will include students as part of their proposals. This means that when a grant is awarded, not only do faculty members receive research funding, undergraduate and graduate students also receive support and opportunities to work on research projects.

Including students in research affords ECSU students the opportunity to gain valuable experience. That experience can be translated into qualifying graduate work, as well as career experience, said Ms. Delgado.

“We are excited by the many opportunities that theses awards bring to our campus in terms growing our research capabilities, providing more undergraduate and graduate research and training opportunities, and expanding our research and lab facilities,” said Ms. Delgado.


About Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, is the premier public institution serving northeastern North Carolina, providing affordable academic programs and services of exceptional caliber in a nurturing environment. The university attracts and retain a diverse and highly qualified faculty that educate and lead the students to become productive members of a global and increasingly independent society. ECSU continues to be a leading partner in enhancing educational and cultural opportunities and improving the economic strength in the region. For more information, visit www.ecsu.edu.

Providing research on the role of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in its today’s role in higher education and various research methods addressing student retention rates, success levels, and engagement.

IGI Global announced the release of “Examining Student Retention and Engagement Strategies at Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” edited by Samuel L. Hinton, Ed. D., an independent researcher and South Carolina State University graduate, and Antwon D. Woods, Ph. D., Department Chairman & Assistant Professor of Sports Management at Belhaven University and Jackson State University graduate.

While highlighting topics such as enrollment management, student engagement, and online learning, this publication explores successful engagement strategies that promote education quality and equality as well as the methods of social integration and involvement for students, according to an article by The Times & Democrat.

This book is designed for researchers, academicians, scholars, educational administrators, policy makers, graduate students, and curriculum designers.

The book is available on the IGI Global Bookstore or Amazon.