Approximately $10 million was given directly to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. These monies were either granted to students for textbooks and educational needs or granted to HBCUs to cover tuition for the displaced New Orleans university students. Many of the New Orleans students had already paid tuition at their home institution a couple of weeks prior to Hurricane Katrina. The philanthropic contribution to HBCUs is as follows (click on link for more foundation information):

1. United Negro College Fund (via foundations, corporate and individual donors)- $4 million for disbursement to New Orleans black colleges and to displaced students

2. Mellon Foundation (via Southern Education Foundation)- $3.2 million to HBCUs to cover tuition expenses for displaced New Orleans students

3. The Tom Joyner Foundation- $1 million for direct disbursement to students

3. Mott Foundation (via Southern Education Foundation)- $1 million- $500,000 for scholarships & $500,000 for infrastructure replacement

4. Thurgood Marshall College Fund - $343,055 for direct disbursement to displaced students

5. Nellie Mae Foundation (via Southern Education Foundation)- $65,000 for New Orleans HBCU leadership

Note: $30 million has been allocated from the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund to higher education institutions throughout the Gulf Coast region. A partnership with the United Negro College Fund has been established, though it is not clear through communication channels as to the structure of the partnership and how monies will be awarded to HBCUs and their students.


Additionally, many foundations and individual philanthropists donated to the lives and communities impacted by the 2005 hurricane season. The following list is by no means exhaustive, but provides a glimpse into the American citizenry’s tendency to assist those in need regardless of governmental intervention. There are also countless others internationally who provided financial resources, voluntary person-power and/or words of encouragement for families and victims of the greatest natural disaster in recorded American history. Again, the following is a short list for major financial contributors:

1. Kellogg Foundation- $36.3 million
2. Oprah’s Angel Network- $10 million
3. MacArthur Foundation- $6 million
4. BellSouth Foundation- $5 million
5. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation- $3 million
5. Rockefeller Foundation- $3 million
6. Broad Foundation- $2 million
7. Lilly Corporation- $1 million
8. Arthur Blank Foundation- $800,000
9. George Soros’ Open Society Initiative- $665,000
10. The Twenty-First Century Foundation- Grants to 44 organizations providing assistance to Hurricane Katrina evacuees


Moreover, the students interviewed for The Roots Cried Out talked about the influence of the hip-hop culture in their lives. Some mentioned that by seeing hip-hop artists perform at HBCU homecoming festivities during their displacement helped them cope with being in a new academic environment and becoming acclimated. Within the pages, the students talk about hip-hop artists such as T.I., Jay-Z, P. Diddy, Ludacris, Juelz Santana, Li’l John and others. Because hip-hop holds sway over the generation of students interviewed, the following is a list of the genre’s financial contribution to those devastated by the hurricanes:

1. Jay-Z (Shawn Carter)- $1 million
2. Diddy (Sean Combs)- $1 million
3. Usher Raymond (via Usher's New Look Foundation)- $605,000, joining with Hibernia Bank, Freddie Mac and others to build 1,000 homes in the Gulf Coast region with Project Restart
4. David Banner (via Heal The Hood Foundation)- $500,000
5. T.I. (Clifford Harris, Jr.)- $263,000
6. Ludacris (Christopher Bridges via The Ludacris Foundation)- provided 20 families with rent free apartments for four months, food and clothes


Currently, in relation to HBCUs and displaced New Orleans students, there is still a financial need for displaced students who have decided to transfer completely to the HBCU. There is also a need for New Orleans HBCUs to provide incentive scholarships for potential students and shore up their enrollment to pre-Katrina numbers. Contact the HBCUs’ Offices of Institutional Advancement for further information on how you can be of assistance.

Disclaimer: The information contained within this website is based upon personal communication, written documentation and Internet-related websites. Every attempt has been made to verify the accuracy of the information. Please cite with discretion.

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