$1 Million in Matching Grants Awarded to Clark Atlanta University and Stillman College through HBCU SCI Program

Grant recipients to be recognized during HBCU SCI’s annual IGNITE Kick-off Event on Oct. 17 at Clark Atlanta University


ATLANTA, GA (Oct. 16, 2023) — The HBCU Sustainable Communities Initiative (HBCU SCI) announces the award recipients of the Southern Company Endowed Professorship in Sustainability, with $500,000 in matching grants going to both Clark Atlanta University and Stillman College. Funded by the Southern Company Foundation, the HBCU Sustainable Communities Initiative is delivered through an innovative collaboration among INROADS, Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), and United Negro College Fund (UNCF). HBCU SCI seeks to equip HBCU talent with support, resources, and knowledge to ensure that underserved communities are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

The Sustainability Professorship Grant will expand the capacity of these HBCUs to develop and strengthen program offerings in sustainability studies and related fields. The grant recipients will be recognized during signature events in October and November.  Clark Atlanta University will be recognized during HBCU SCI’s annual IGNITE Kick-off Event, which will occur Tuesday, October 17, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Thomas W. Cole, Jr. Science & Research Center on Clark Atlanta University’s campus.  Stillman College will be recognized with a check presentation during their Founders’ Convocation at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 2, 2023 at Birthright Alumni Hall on Stillman’s campus.

“On behalf of the faculty, staff, and students of the Dr. Mack Henry Jones Department of Political Science at Clark Atlanta University, it is indeed an honor to receive the Southern Company Foundation’s $500K matching grant to establish an endowed professorship in sustainability studies”, said Dr. Kurt B. Young, Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science. “Our department’s successful attainment of the HBCU Sustainable Communities Initiative grant comes at a point in our effort to institutionalize, codify, and build a political science subfield in environmental policy. Clark Atlanta University and the Dr. Mack Henry Jones Department of Political Science will be recognized as a leading center for environmental and urban sustainability policy analysis and research. We look forward to this opportunity and the bright future it helps bestow on our university, faculty, and students.”

With their grant, Stillman College will establish the Center for Sustainability to house a new academic program and sustainable development initiative. The new sustainability curriculum will integrate student experiential learning and build knowledge and skills in environmental science, economic development and historic preservation.

Dr. Yolanda Page, president of Stillman College, remarked, “This is a groundbreaking grant for Stillman College, establishing a crucial field of study for our students and enabling them to become effective change agents in our communities. We’re excited about the impactful work that the Center for Sustainability will produce as it enhances our role in serving the Tuscaloosa area through research and increased student engagement.”

The HBCU SCI IGNITE event will also welcome its new 2023-2024 cohort of students, inform interested students about the program, and involve employer partners interested in building a pipeline of diverse talent in sustainability-related work. Event participants will discover more about the benefits HBCU SCI offers, such as paid internship opportunities, scholarships, mentoring, career coaching, student success webinars, peer networking, and more.

“The Southern Company Foundation is excited to award Clark Atlanta University and Stillman College with endowed professorships in sustainability. This collaboration with INROADS, UNCF, Thurgood Marshall and HBCUs exemplifies our belief in the transformative power of education and its ability to shape a brighter future. Our hope is our professorships will enable the development of cutting-edge programs and initiatives and empower students to become the change agents we need to create solutions for current and future sustainability challenges,” said Myra Bierria, president of the Southern Company Foundation.

Attendees can register for the event by visiting: https://www.hbcusci.org/event/hbcu-sci-ignite-annual-kickoff-event/.




About Clark Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University was formed with the consolidation of Atlanta University and Clark College, both of which hold unique places in the annals of African American history. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans. Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African American student population. Today, with nearly 4,000 students, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Morehouse School of Medicine) that comprise the Atlanta University Center Consortium. It is also the largest of the 37-member UNCF institutions. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit www.cau.edu.



Established in 2022, the HBCU Sustainable Communities Initiative (HBCU SCI) fosters thriving communities by preparing HBCU talent for careers in sustainability. Learn more at www.HBCUSCI.org and follow on Instagram and Twitter @HBCUSCI.



Founded in 1970, INROADS delivers innovative programs and creative solutions that identify, accelerate, and elevate the development of underrepresented talent throughout their careers. Through this development, students become equipped for corporate and community leadership that effects community renewal and social change and elevates economic status and quality of life. INROADS has more than 30,000 alumni and over 900 interns and serves 4,000+ students and 200 corporate clients. Learn more at INROADS.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn @INROADSInc.


About TMCF

Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending Black colleges and universities.


About UNCF

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.


About Southern Company

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy company serving nine million customers through its subsidiaries. The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America, a leading distributed energy infrastructure company, a fiber optics network and telecommunications services. Our uncompromising values ensure we put the needs of those we serve at the center of everything we do and govern our business to the benefit of our world. Our corporate culture and hiring practices have been recognized nationally by the U.S. Department of Defense, G.I. Jobs magazine, DiversityInc, Black Enterprise, Forbes and the Women’s Choice Award. To learn more, visit www.southerncompany.com.


About Stillman College

Founded in 1875, Stillman College is a liberal arts institution with a historical and formal affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It is committed to fostering academic excellence, to providing opportunities for diverse populations, and to maintaining a strong tradition of preparing students for leadership and service by fostering experiential learning and community engagement designed to equip and empower Stillman’s students and its constituents.