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Delaware State University & USAID Enter Into Historic Agreement
Partnership provides research and learning opportunities for DSU students in the areas of food, water and public health
From Bay to Bay News …
Dr. Tony Allen, president of Delaware State University, and Samantha Power, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, signed a memorandum of understanding Monday — the first between a historically Black college/university and the agency.
“Today, as we sign this MOU, remember our vision: the most diverse contemporary HBCU in America,” Dr. Allen said. “In order for us to do that, we’ve got to do the little things and the big things well. Today is a big, big moment.”
The formal agreement between the two parties will provide learning opportunities for DSU students and new resources for researchers at the university, while making DSU a key manager of HBCU inputs on food, water and public health policy worldwide, according to a news release from DSU.
USAID is an independent agency of the federal government that works in international development and humanitarian efforts. It was founded in 1961 through an executive order by President John F. Kennedy.
“(USAID) spends tens of billions of dollars helping bring into being a more just, sustainable and vibrant world,” Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., said during the announcement Monday.
Dr. Allen said USAID is “not an unlikely partner” for the university. He said HBCUs like DSU have established networks overseas and considerable agriculture-related technical expertise.
Ms. Power, a former United Nations ambassador whose visit to DSU on Monday marked her first domestic in-person appearance in her new USAID position, said this partnership will help change the trajectory of historic inequities in funding and opportunity given to HBCUs.
She said USAID is committing to hosting important conversations with DSU on topics of mutual interest. She listed climate-change adaptation, fighting malnutrition and strengthening water security as examples.
USAID also will utilize DSU faculty and staff to promote fellowship opportunities for both students and professors, she said. USAID and DSU will work together to create courses on international development, as well.