The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announced Saturday it’s providing Clark Atlanta one of several Racial Equity Grants for the university’s Executive Leadership Institute, to train future presidents of historically Black colleges and universities. The grant is $1 million. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was created and is co-led by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician and teacher.
A 2017 study found the average tenure of a HBCU president is three years, which many educators believe creates instability. The average tenure of all college presidents is between six and eight years, according to more recent research.
Also Saturday, Clark Atlanta and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation unveiled plans to establish a social justice institute at the university with a $1 million investment. The center will be named after the coalition’s board chairman Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., a prominent business and civic leader in the Atlanta region.
The university said in a news release the institute will focus on civics education, voting rights, racial, economic, gender and social justice policy research, youth civic leadership development, entrepreneurship and community outreach across the nation. The institute will also provide internships, research assistantships and fellowships annually to undergraduate and graduate students at Clark Atlanta and other HBCUs.
“The institute will provide a unique opportunity to invest in the next generation of civil rights, women’s rights and social justice leadership to continue the fight for racial, economic, gender and social justice that lies ahead,” said Melanie L. Campbell, the coalition’s president.
Other organizations supporting the initiative include the Verizon Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation and the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame, university officials said.
Clark Atlanta is the largest, private HBCU in Georgia, with about 4,000 students. The university held commencements Saturday for the class of 2020 and 2021.