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Question Four: What are the Funding Alternatives Needed to Assist in Sustaining Black Studies?

Because most Black Studies programs and many  de­­partments continue to struggle for adequate support  from their uni­versities, this question sparked an intense dis­cus­sion focusing on the use­ful­ness of obtaining funding models from other disci­plines, the problem of scarce resources, and in­sti­tu­tion­al stratifi­ca­tion. Although the group acknowledged the Ford Foun­dation’s val­u­able and valued support, they concurrently voiced frus­tration with the criteria of many philanthropic organizations for giving. Gaines expressed the opinion that one of the primary de­terrents to major support for Black Studies is the field’s inability to boost its image. He explained that a paradox exists between Black Studies con­tri­bu­tions and lack of perceived value among Black stu­dents. Guy-Shef­tall asked a series of important questions re­­gard­ing fund­raising and Black philanthropy.

During the discussion of this topic—the answers to which most agreed are at the heart of developing and sustaining the field—participants from institutions that have not depended on out­side funding provided alternative models. Additional sugges­tions were made that provided insight into innovative ways of using funds and personnel already at hand. This issue is clearly an area in need of further discussion and perhaps workshops that bring in ad­min­is­tra­tive staff from other programs that have been suc­cessful in ob­tain­ing sufficient and significant funding.


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iBlack Studies Copyright © 2018 by marilyn m. thomas-houston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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