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Savannah State University, Texas Southern University Announced as Winners of the Ford Fund's HBC-You Mobility Challenge

Savannah State University, Texas Southern University Announced as Winners of the Ford Fund
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper on September 28, 2021

Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford, announces winners of its third annual HBC-You Mobility Challenge. The two winning Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Savannah State University and Texas Southern University, are each awarded $25,000 grants for their mobility-based solutions that address a campus or community need.

Students and faculty at Savannah State University will use the grant funds to create a new kayak-based transportation option for those needing access to the university’s new Marine Science Research Center and Outdoor Learning Laboratory. In addition, grant funding will expand the Tiger Heart Tram at Texas Southern University to provide an ADA-compliant shuttle service for students with disabilities.

“In previous years we selected a first-place winner and runner up. However, Savannah State University and Texas Southern University submitted compelling proposals both deserving of the $25,000 grant to implement and expand their mobility solution,” said Pamela Alexander, director of community development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Both proposals address unique campus needs and the projects will help improve access and quality of life.”

Savannah State University
The new project, Connecting HBCU Students to the Water and Providing Equitable Access to Facilities, will provide the most direct way to get between marine science buildings on and off campus. The new Marine Science Research Center at Savannah State University was built nearly a mile off campus, while marine science classrooms remain on campus in an instructional building. Utilizing a tidal creek that runs behind campus, students and staff will be encouraged to use kayaks as a primary mode of transportation.

“We are excited to move forward with this project. The kayaking resources funded by Ford Fund will provide an equitable and sustainable transportation option for Savannah State University students to access our research facility and new outdoor learning laboratory,” said Carol Pride, chair of the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences at Savannah State University. “In these stressful times, connectivity to nature and opportunities for reflection and physical activity are needed. Our students will now have these opportunities during a short kayak commute between classes and the Marine Science Research Center.”

Texas Southern University
The grant expands campus transportation options for Texas Southern University students, staff and visitors with disabilities. The Tiger Heart Tram service provides a safe and effective way to get to and from class and other services on all parts of the 150-acre campus.



In addition to the ADA-compliant shuttle and its regularly scheduled routes, Texas Southern University’s LiveSafe app provides an immediate response to access the tram with the added benefit of trained operators who can assist mobility-challenged riders in using the service through
smartphones.

“Texas Southern University is proud beyond measure to win the 2021 Ford HBC-You Mobility Challenge. Our commitment is unwavering to serve our Tiger family and the surrounding community through distinctive modes of transportation,” said Texas Southern University President Lesia L. Crumpton-Young, Ph.D. “The partnership with the Ford Fund will allow this hallowed institution to serve our campus and visitors with mobility issues, aiding all to move freely and efficiently around campus.”


Ford Fund Support of HBCUs
The Ford Fund has long been a supporter of HBCUs and invests in various educational outreach initiatives including grants, scholarships and other programming. Created in 2019, the HBC-You Mobility Challenge asks Historically Black College and University students, alumni, faculty and administrators to design and implement innovative mobility-based solutions that address unmet needs either on campus or within their community. Past recipients of the challenge include Langston University, Morgan State University and Talladega College.

For more information on Ford Fund programs that support the African American community go to fordfund.org.

About Ford Motor Company Fund
As the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, Ford Fund's mission is to strengthen communities and help make people's lives better. Working with dealers and nonprofit partners in more than 50 countries, Ford Fund provides access to opportunities and resources that help people reach their full potential. Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2.1 billion in programs that support education, promote safe driving, enrich community life and encourage employee volunteering. For more information, visit www.fordfund.org or join us at @FordFund on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About Savannah State University
Established in 1890, Savannah State University is the first public historically black college or university in Georgia and the first institution of higher learning in the city of Savannah. Students select majors from 30 undergraduate and five graduate programs in four colleges — Business Administration, Education, Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and Sciences and Technology.

About Texas Southern University
Texas Southern University offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs and concentrations – bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees – organized into 10 colleges and schools on a 150-acre campus nestled in the heart of Houston’s historic Third Ward. Texas Southern has been a distinguished educational pioneer since 1927, and the University has become one of the most diverse and respected institutions in Texas.
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