Dillard University Receives $5 Million for Civil Rights, Other Internships

In Summary

Several HBCUs will receive funds as part of a settlement from a 15-year lawsuit concerning the unequal funding of these institutions.  

Dillard University received $5 million as a gift to create civil rights and public interest internships for its students. 

The historically Black university will get the largest of seven donations from The Kirkland & Ellis firm, the law firm that represented Maryland’s four HBCUs in a 15-year legal fight over equal funding. 

Related: HBCUs Receive CARES Act Funding, Erase Debt for Students 

The lawsuit challenging underfunding resulted in a settlement of $577 million, which includes legal fees of $22 million and donations the firm has spread out over seven campuses’ civil rights efforts. 

In an email from Eddie Francis, director of communications and marketing at Dillard, he stated that students met with lead attorney Michael Jones to discuss equitable funding for HBCUs, according to the Associated Press

“Their feedback provided valuable insight into how historical underfunding has adversely affected HBCU students,” Francis said. 

Other HBCUs, such as Howard University, will now be able to use these funds for racial justice and civil rights initiatives.  

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