WHY HBCUs & MSIs?
Historically Black Colleges and Universities, through their executive leadership, stellar faculty and staff, exemplary students and alumni have historically and contemporaneously been summoned to lead the way for their host towns and communities, states, and regions as well as the country as a whole. In fact, many HBCUs, like many traditional universities, have the distinction of being both HBCU and Land-Grant Institutions and as such are charged with providing educational opportunities alongside research and outreach. Often disadvantaged, yet unwavering in sharing a societal responsibility via this dual designation, HBCUs and Land-Grant Institutions consistently summon the entire educational academy in the roles of leadership, research, and outreach. CDAC’s HBCU Clean Energy Initiative presents a unique opportunity for HBCUs to exemplify all three of these roles while aligning with governmental champions, industry partners, philanthropic organizations, and financial institutions to develop and implement sustainable projects that deliver environmental and economic impacts to the institutions themselves as well as to other end users including the broader community through projects such as residential and community solar.
Interdisciplinary Approach to Engagement
CDAC has developed the CEI Engagement Model to leverage the mutual interest of public and private partners to advance an economic development, environmental, and education agenda that aggressively targets and engages HBCUs and MSIs as thought leaders.
The model builds on the concept of establishing a network of HBCU and MSI senior C-Suite leaders to champions clean-energy research, diverse student-focused and STEM infused clean energy-related career development pathways, and family and community economic development outcomes for under-resourced communities and entrepreneurs on selected campuses and within host communities. Using a cross-disciplinary approach, campus and community-based initiatives are developed across strategic program areas.