Researchers at Kentucky State University will strengthen its research exploration into stemming youth violence in Kentucky and increasing diversity in the national transportation industry, thanks in part to more than $1.5 million dollars the school has received from federal and state agencies.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Division of Minority Health, the National Transportation Cabinet, the University of Kentucky Research Foundation, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky are among the agencies to award the state’s flagship HBCU with multi-year grants and contracts, all aimed at reducing disparities for African Americans in social and industrial contexts. From a release:
The largest grant is $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service Division of Minority Health. The funds will be used to implement a project to reduce violence among racial and ethnic disadvantaged at-risk youth ages 12 through 17 in Franklin County, Kentucky.
The project, entitled “Please Call Me Mister”, will serve 125 African-American and Hispanic males who have directly experienced violence or directly observed interpersonal violence and/or violence in their immediate community.
“The impact of youth violence can be felt beyond an individual, affecting families, friends and communities,” said Dr. Herman Walston, professor of child development and family relations at Kentucky State. “Beyond public safety, youth violence increases health costs, increases costs in the social services and justice systems, reduces economic productivity, and perpetuates the cycle of poverty as education and employment decline.”
Other grants include a $113,451 grant from the National Transportation Cabinet in support of a National Summer Transportation Institute, a three-week on-site training program designed to enhance academic and professional skills in transportation fields.
“KSU will address the need for exposure to careers currently available and forthcoming in the transportation industry,” Derrick Gilmore, director of Office Research, Grants, and Sponsored Programs at Kentucky State, said. “The three-week, residential format will offer sustained reinforcement of academic excellence and career preparation skills.”
Other awarded programs include STEM pipeline initiatives for middle school students in Frankfort, KY., and undergraduate STEM students at the university.
The $1.5 million more is more than $200,000 more than the university received over the same period in 2016, and accompanied the announcement of a new center dedicated to research of race, education, and democracy.