Rich in Black history but long underfunded, these HBCU campuses will finally be preserved

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A new pilot grant program is designed to help Historically Black Colleges and Universities preserve significant buildings and sites on their campuses—an initiative that is long overdue. Since their emergence before the Civil War and their expansion in the years following the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have been fundamental institutions in the lives of many Black Americans. More than 100 of these institutions still operate in the United States, with notable alumni ranging from civil rights leaders W.E.B. Du Bois and Martin Luther King Jr. to novelist Toni Morrison and Vice President Kamala Harris. And despite their role in the story of Black America, many are struggling to maintain and preserve buildings and sites of historic significance on their campuses. Read Full Story

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Mastercard will spend $500 million to expand financial access in Black communities

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Through helping to expand and digitize financial services, Mastercard hopes to tackle historic financial exclusion that the pandemic has exacerbated. Mastercard is pledging $500 million over the next five years to expand financial inclusion for Black individuals and businesses. Through three interconnected initiatives, and with the help of various partners, the financial services company aims to deliver tools and resources to allow many long-excluded African Americans to access affordable financial services and build prosperity. Read Full Story

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Ex-Google VP’s new app is helping 30,000 Kansas students return to college

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Former Google Maps and Google Earth exec Brian McClendon has launched a symptom-checking app aimed at helping communities contain COVID-19. Now he has to convince a generation of tech skeptics to use it. Over the summer, as Kansas was seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, its state university was plotting a way to keep transmission down on campus. While the majority of the University of Kansas was still locked down, its administrators decided to open up labs and research buildings, the contents of which could not be accessed online, to staff. Read Full Story

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The world’s most unconventional use of business cards

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These cards could save one of Japan’s most famous buildings. Should weird architecture be preserved? Often more expensive to maintain and less versatile than many contemporary buildings, groundbreaking architecture from the past is perpetually threatened with demolition . Advocates, meanwhile, insist that it should be maintained on historical and sentimental value alone. Read Full Story

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Who does historic preservation really benefit?

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An apartment complex by the celebrated architect Paul Rudolph is the latest Modern icon to spark debate over balancing the needs of residents and preserving historically significant design. This past January, in Buffalo the second phase of demolition for a low-income housing complex called Shoreline Apartments commenced. Read Full Story

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Dell ranks near the top of Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators

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The company supports diversity among its employees around the world. Four years after its acquisition of EMC, the computer giant continues to spend more than $4 billion a year on research and development. Last year, more than 40,000 of the computer giant’s employees participated in 13 employee resource groups across 60 countries, and through a program called Project Immersion, Dell employees can also lead courses at select historically Black colleges and universities. Each year, the company honors outstanding contributors along its supply chain during its Innovation Olympics. Read Full Story

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With graduations canceled, students are using ‘Minecraft’ to recreate college campuses

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The online video game lets Gen Z rebuild its physical campuses from scratch. Coronavirus has forced schools around the world to close, and with the virus showing no signs of slowing down, most institutions have already postponed their commencement ceremonies or moved them online. Students haven’t been able to engage with classmates and coursework in person, but they’ve used their time at home to create a new type of year-end experience using Minecraft . Read Full Story

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Help your favorite historic restaurant survive the pandemic by nominating it for an Amex grant

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American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation are starting a $1 million grant program for eateries with a special cultural significance. Every day we hear about another classic restaurant that has gone belly up because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some of these establishments have been around for decades. They are cherished by their neighborhoods and communities, and once they’re gone, they can’t be replaced. Read Full Story

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Killer Mike’s new digital bank aims to build wealth in Black and Latinx communities

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Named after the historic neighborhood in Tulsa that was once dubbed Black Wall Street, Greenwood’s mission is to provide equitable financial services. Rapper Michael “Killer Mike” Render has long been an advocate for supporting Black-owned businesses and circulating money within Black-owned banks. Back in 2016, he spearheaded a call to action for financial empowerment that led to other influential rappers moving their money to Black-owned banks, with everyday citizens following suit in droves . Read Full Story

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