HBCUs Latest Extramural Awards
Dillard Awarded $10.5 Million from
National Institutes of Health
Dillard University recently received a major grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health
Sciences (NIEHS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The Institute awarded the $10.5 million
grant to Dillard’s Deep South Center for Environmental Justice (DSCEJ), which will train individuals in
asbestos, lead, construction, and Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response
(HAZWOPER). The award to Dillard was one of only 10 grants awarded nationwide to institutions
including UCLA, Rutgers Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences, and the United Steelworkers.
The worker training initiatives will occur at strategic sites across the Gulf Coast and throughout the
country with training programs established in Houston, Detroit, Pensacola, Savannah and New Orleans.
Dillard’s consortium of training sites will attract and provide training for over 500 participants. Through
formal arrangements with HBCUs, community based organizations, unions and industry; Dillard’s
program staff will provide environmental health and safety training for underserved populations as well
as currently employed workers within environmental remediation and related fields.
In addition to training and outreach, Dillard’s DSCEJ programming also includes a research focus,
which is spearheaded primarily by the Center’s project director and principal investigator, Dr. Beverly
Wright. Under her leadership, the Center has produced a number of publications as well as regional and
national conferences regarding environmental justice-related issues.
Dr. Wright and Dillard’s DSCEJ have managed a number of projects from the National Institutes of
Health (NIH), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Labor, and the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the past 20 years. The Center also led critical training
and research efforts in the gulf coast region for small businesses, first responders, residents and
hazardous waste industry workers following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as well as the Gulf Oil Spill in
2010. Additionally, following Hurricane Sandy, the DSCEJ was called on to lead clean up training
efforts in New York and New Jersey. “We are extremely excited to be able to continue our work
exhibiting excellence and developing sound practices which have advanced the quality of our training
programs over the years. We are gratified and excited about the increased support from the NIEHS to
do this most important work,” said Dr. Wright.
According to Theodore Callier, assistant vice president for Sponsored Programs, Dillard faculty and
researchers have consistently secured increased support from the NIH in recent years. “Given the list of
recipients, this latest NIEHS award demonstrates the level of confidence the agency continues to have
in Dillard’s Center.”
Grant activities will begin later this month and continue
through July of 2020.
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