The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) opposes actions that could harm students at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs). On Thursday, September 19, despite passage in the U.S. House of Representatives and bipartisan support in the Senate, Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Senator Lamar Alexander objected to unanimous passage of the FUTURE Act (H.R. 2486), a move that has the potential to shutter opportunities for millions of students of color.

The FUTURE Act, passed by the House on September 17, would supply MSIs and HBCUs with $255 million of much-needed STEM-related funding so they can continue offering programs that prepare historically-excluded students with the education needed to thrive in today’s economy. The funding is currently set to expire on September 30, but the Act would serve as a two-year extension.

Lisa Cylar Barrett, LDF Director of Policy, says “The importance of the FUTURE Act, and every act that ensures access to higher education for people of color, cannot be overstated. LDF has fought long and hard for access to higher education for Black students and students of color, and we have no intention of slowing down. The passage of the FUTURE Act is critical.”

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Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.

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