Howard Law Receives $1M Gift To Address Racial Inequities

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 29, 2021) — Howard University School of Law announced today that it has received a $1 million unrestricted gift from Microsoft. The gift will be used to help the law school create and administer a Request for Proposals (RFP) for interdisciplinary policy research on the topic of Racial Equity by Design, which will focus on furthering the critical goal of working towards racial equity through technology.

In the wake of the current movement for racial justice in the United States, research proposals by academic researchers who are underrepresented in their fields of study will be selected to examine racial inequities in technology today, and more importantly, how to begin to correct these inequities.  The emphasis for successful research proposals would include technological and/or policy solutions that could be implemented to address criminal justice reform, closing the wealth gap, addressing health disparities, and improving educational opportunities. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, the hope is that this policy research will aid in correcting racial inequities. It is especially important that industry leaders in the technology space, like Microsoft, work with academic researchers to explore evidence-based policy proposals to encourage racial equity through the use of technology.

“Howard University School of Law is honored to have the opportunity to be the host institution for Microsoft’s significant investment in this area,” said Howard University School of Law Dean, Danielle Holley-Walker. “With this generous gift, we will strengthen Howard Law in its commitment to meet its educational and service missions towards scholarship that will improve minority communities.”

Howard Law will create an advisory board of academic experts to help craft the design of the RFP and judge the proposals. Events that draw attention to the research conducted will be held, as well as a webpage created featuring all of papers researchers funded by the Racial Equity by Design project produced.

“At Microsoft, we’ve made a commitment to tackling challenges that obstruct racial equity and social justice reform,” said Sue Glueck, Microsoft senior director of academic relations. “Howard University School of Law has a long legacy of breaking down barriers of inequality. We’re proud to be able to offer this gift to help ensure underrepresented academic researchers have the funding and tools needed to discover solutions that advance racial equity.”  

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About Howard University

The Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center is Howard University’s flagship institutional setting for the study and practice of civil rights, human rights, and racial justice law and advocacy.

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 70 Fulbright Scholars. Howard