Historically Black Colleges and Universities are working to become greener each year. Whether developing on-campus recycling centers, offering courses in environmental studies or opening new LEED certified campus buildings, these ten HBCUs are at the forefront in promoting sustainability and a healthier planet.
A college specifically created to promote and strengthen research in agricultural sciences, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is an environmental gem in rural eastern Maryland. Its Agricultural Experiment Station conducts research in sustainable agriculture in areas that include, Biofuels, Sustainability, Geospatial Information Technologies and Environmentally Conscious Precision Agriculture. The university set aside 20 acres of land to develop a 2.1 MW solar farm. Recently, UMES received a $1 million gift from Delmarva Power to launch a workforce training program for agriculture and renewable energy jobs and will launch the Green Collar Initiative, a series of energy conservation projects that will include training for rural residents working in agribusiness. The NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC) trains students in marine science to support the sustainable harvest and conservation of living marine resources.
UDC- the only public college in DC and the nation's only urban land-grant college, has been developing into a specialist in sustainability. The university's College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) oversees the Center for Sustainable Development & Resilience, an urban farm with a hydroponics garden and a food-producing green roof. UDC offers academic programs in urban sustainability and water resources management. Most recently, UDC recently opened a student center which received Platinum LEED certification, only the fourth notable structure in DC to receive this designation.
The Mickey Leland Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability is a key to Texas Southern's environmental legacy. Established by former Dean Robert Bullard, "The Father of Environmental Justice," the center organized a Climate Justice Roundtable, sponsored the Waste and Environmental Justice Summit and cohosts the HBCU Climate Change Student Conference with Dillard University. The college operates solar-powered cell phone charging stations and sponsors an annual Campus Sustainability Day. The W. K. Kellogg Foundation awarded TSU an $150,ooo grant to suport the planning of a Climate Education Community University Partnership- a consortium of HBCUs and vulnerable communities in the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast. In 2010 Texas Southern partnered with Evolution Solar to develop a Solar Energy Technology Program- a place where communities can learn the latest state-of-the-art technologies in solar energy production and application. Texas Southern also offers certificate programs in areas like solar panel installation and green energy consulting.
In 2010 Spelman made history as the 1st HBCU to have a newly constructed LEED certified building. Additionally, the 95-year old Laura Spelman Rockefeller Hall was renovated and received Gold LEED certification. Spelman launched the 'Sustainable Spelman' program, an initiative that consitsts of faculty, staff and students collaborating to develop ideas and practices for the college. Spelman's Green Ambassadors are part of a campus leadership program that provides training to help students promote sustatinability efforts among their peers. The college partnered with the other AUC members to participate in RecycleMania- an program for colleges to collect recyclable materials. For its endeavors, Spelman has been recognized by the Princeton Review as a Top Green College and as the TopGreen private HBCU by The Building Green Initiative.
Dallas' Paul Quinn College became nationally known when its president scrapped the football team and replaced the field with a farm. The 'We Over Me Farm', is an organic farm that provides fresh, healthy and affordable food to the south Dallas community, an area recognized as a food desert. Students are trained to work in the farm. Additionally, students got involved in local environmental advocacy work when helping to organize local residents to protest a proposed landfill that was to be built nearby. Paul Quinn began a partnership with Duke University to teach a course in environmental justice. Duke students spend time on Paul Quinn's campus and Paul Quinn students, visit Duke. In 2015 the university became host to an environmental charter school, the first private college-public school partnership in the state of Texas.
A small school, making a big impact, Huston-Tillotson is engaged in numerous projects to improve the environment and reduce its carbon footprint. For the past two years the college has been a finalist for the Second Nature Climate Leadership Award. The student-run 'Green is the New Black' program is an award-winning student movement created to promote campus sustainability projects. Students have exapanded the school's garden, outfitted additional recycling bins around campus and sent representatives to Paris, France as part of the HBCU Climate Consortium to participate in the Paris Climate Conference. H-T's president signed the Second Nature Climate Commitment, promising to reduce the university's greenhouse gas footprint. The university sponsors a Bulid Green Justice Forum- an annual environmental justice conference, offers an environmental students program, employs a Director of Sustainability and operates a 240 KW solar array.
FAMU has been recognized by both the Building Green Initiative and the Princeton Review for its green initiatives. Using the concept of #orangegoesgreen Florida A&M has established a Sustainability Institute designed to be a "living laboratory of innovations and learning experiences that generate global solutions." The university has partnered with “LifeGreen®” bicycles to create a fleet of bicycles in its student bike rental program, providing healthier and eco-friendly transportation on campus. FAMU also has recycling centers placed across campus for student use. The university is partnering with a company in Hungary to develop a metabolic hub that will treat and recycle wastewater. Additionally, FAMU was awarded a grant through the Home Depot "Retool Your School" program that will help fund an outdoor 'eco-classroom' adjacent to the campus recycling center. The area will is being converted into a new environmentally friendly space for students to gather, relax, and learn. It will include a solar panel energy system for power.
Dillard operates several programs to promote environmentally-friendly living. The Deep South Center for Environmental Justice was founded in 1992 "to collaborate on programs and projects that promote the rights of all people to be free from environmental harm." The center partners with Texas Southern University to host The HBCU Climate Change Conference. In 2008, Dillard began working with Brown University to advance energy efficiency and create campus and community projects that would lead to sustainable food and transportation improvements. Additionally, Dillard sponsors a Young Scholars Environmental Camp. The university also built two new LEED® registered buildings: the Professional Schools and Sciences Building, and the Student Union and Health & Wellness Center.
Recognized by the Princeton Review and Sierra Magazine, this 180-year-old institution has been active in its sustainability efforts. Cheyney organized an interenal Sustainability Task Force to address the university's challenges and make recommendations for improvement. More than 1/3 of the school's energy comes from renewable sources and almost all of its cleaning products are green certified. Cheyney also hosted a sustainability conference for colleges. Its new Carver Science Center, which opened in 2014, includes a green roof and received Silver LEED certification, while the university has been working to provide energy-related retrofits to the other buildings on campus. Its academic offerings include environmental sciences and aquaponics- Cheyney manages The Aquaculture Research and Education Laboratory.
Barber-Scotia is reinventing itself to prepare for the future. Using the mission of "Building a Model of Institutional Advancement and Excellence for the Future" the college has established a School of Energy. B-S C will be offering online certificate programs in Renewable Energy and Electrical Power and concentrations in Solar Power, Wind Power, Geothermal Power
Biomass and Fuel Cell Technology. This month the college was selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative’s Solar in Your Community Challenge, a $5 million prize competition that aims to expand solar electricity access.
(Note: Barber-Scotia College is not currently accredited)