On Sunday, Gov. Kay Ivey signed a proclamation declaring the month of October as HBCU month for Alabama.
“I have proclaimed October as HBCU Month in Alabama!” Ivey wrote on X. “With our state being the proud home to the most HBCUs, we celebrate their educational, historical and economic significance. Join me in honoring these institutions’ vital roles in education and opportunity.”
The proclamation is the second year in a row that Ivey declared October HBCU month. There are 14 historically black institutions in Alabama, giving the state the highest number of HBCUs in the country.
The announcement also comes two weeks after a joint letter sent to multiple governors, including Ivey, revealed that Alabama has underfunded a Black land grant institution. Alabama A&M is the land-grant institution created in 1890 that letter mentions but has not been able to “advance” like Auburn University, which was created in 1862, and is also a land-grant institution.
The document says that A&M was able to receive $527,280,064 dollars over the last 30 years in equitable funding that would have been on par with Auburn University.
“Alabama A&M University has been able to make remarkable strides and would be much stronger and better positioned to serve its students, your state, and the nation if made whole with respect to this funding gap,” the letter stated.
The letter also commends Alabama’s effort recently to address the issue of underfunding HBCUs. However, the document also suggests that Alabama think of a long-term strategy to continue addressing the problem and collaborate with the federal government to obtain their goals. The letter was sent from the U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack.
The announcement, made in the state’s capitol, celebrates the rich heritage, remarkable achievements, and critical role of HBCUs in shaping the state’s academic, cultural and economic landscape.
Alabama is home to several prestigious HBCUs, including Alabama State University, Tuskegee University, Alabama A&M University, and many more. These institutions have produced some of the nation’s leading professionals in various fields and have long been a vital part of the state’s academic infrastructure.
The proclamation acknowledges the indispensable role HBCUs have played in eradicating racial barriers in higher education and fostering an inclusive learning environment for all. It further highlights the importance of investing in these institutions to ensure their continued growth and success.