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What They Are Saying: More Than $33.5 Million in Internet for All Grants to 12 Minority-Serving Colleges and Universities

For Immediate Release
January 30, 2023

News Media Contact:
NTIA, Office of Public Affairs, [email protected]

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced today it has awarded 12 grants as part of the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program (CMC).

These grants, totaling over $33.5 million, will expand community technology hubs, upgrade classroom technology, and increase digital literacy skills at 12 minority-serving institutions in 10 states.

Here’s what they are saying about today’s Connecting Minority Communities grants:


H. Councill Trenholm State Community College

Dr. Kemba Chambers, College President

“We are excited to receive these grant funds from NTIA to connect with Mercy House/MAP Center to build digital skills and broadband awareness for many individuals who are often underserved as well as to build the digital skills and IT workforce capacity in Montgomery.”


University of Arizona

Governor Katie Hobbs

"Connecting Arizonans to high-speed broadband is one our highest priorities, because it’s how we prepare for the economy of the future. It is absolutely critical that all communities across our country are included in that future. We are grateful that these funds will be used to hire and train the leaders of tomorrow."


Loma Linda University

Governor Gavin Newsom

“California is expanding access to high-speed broadband internet across the state so that all our communities can thrive in today’s digital world. Institutions of higher learning are important partners in this effort, and this grant will support Loma Linda University’s work to expand online courses and bolster students’ digital skills education. California thanks the Biden Administration for its commitment to closing the digital divide across the country.”


Governor J.B. Pritzker

“Internet access is not a privilege—it’s a necessity. From job searches to educational opportunities, high-speed, reliable broadband is a must-have in our 21st century economy. My administration remains laser-focused on expanding broadband access to every Illinoisan—no matter where they are. And thanks to the Connecting Minority Communities Program, St. Augustine College and Dominican University will receive millions in funding to expand and improve broadband capabilities in their communities, while advancing technology training for the next generation of Illinoisans.”

Dominican University

Anne Deeter, Executive Director of Planning/Special Assistant to the President.

“This grant will make an immediate and significant impact on our campus in our technology infrastructure, digital skills education and classroom modernization. Addressing technology gaps through an innovative, targeted approach will strengthen our commitment to inclusivity and enrich technology equity for all current and future DU students.”

St Augustine University

Dr. Reyes Gonzalez, President

“We’re so excited to be given the opportunity to positively affect the lives of thousands in the underserved communities in the Chicagoland area through the work we’ll do in providing expanded broadband access, and develop digital literacy skills to improve their daily lives.”


Simmons College of Kentucky, Inc.

Governor Andy Beshear

“I want to thank NTIA for this generous grant, because it’s a win-win for West Louisville and for one of our historic HBCUs. Simmons College students will have better and faster internet access as they work toward their degree. They’ll have a dedicated space to learn more about digital skills and technology. And best of all, they are sharing this amazing learning center with their community, to help lift others up through education. This is the spirit of Team Kentucky in action.”


Coppin State University 

Governor Wes Moore 

"Establishing this level of connectivity in Baltimore will help empower our communities, improve education, and promote skills training and workforce development to help grow our economy. Every Marylander deserves access to high-speed internet, and this is exactly the kind of partnership and innovative initiative we need to help close the digital divide.” 

U.S Senator Ben Cardin 

"Coppin State University is an HBCU with an established legacy of academic merit, but the institution has taken on a paramount role of leadership by creating the Connect Eagle Nation Program. From healthcare to homework, having a reliable internet connection has become critical in our everyday lives. This program will provide everyone - regardless of zip code - the access they need to excel." 

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen 

“Every Marylander deserves affordable, reliable access to the internet and the opportunity to participate in the 21st century economy. With this federal investment we fought to secure, Coppin State will not only be able to provide underserved communities with the physical tools to get online, but will also help equip Baltimoreans with the skills they need to take full advantage of those tools. The ConnectEagle Program is a smart approach to expanding equitable broadband access, and I’ll keep working to invest in efforts like this until every community in our state is connected to high-speed internet.” 

Congressman Kweisi Mfume 

“The digital divide is real. It impacts whole communities of school children, job seekers, healthcare workers, care providers, and so many others who fall on the wrong side of digital access. Leveraging federal funds to ensure more of our neighbors have access to digital power is a victory for all of Maryland and America. This is more good news for Maryland’s 7th Congressional District. I applaud Coppin State University for leading the effort to level the playing field here.” 

Anthony L. Jenkins, President, Coppin State University 

“The internet and mobile technology are critical tools for accessing and sharing information every day. Socioeconomic status should not determine access, or opportunities for individuals or our communities, in Baltimore or anywhere else. We appreciate our local, federal, and business partners who are committing their funds and expertise to this project. We look forward to a dynamic collaboration that will make great progress in closing the digital divide in West Baltimore.” 

North Carolina

Governor Roy Cooper

"North Carolina has more four-year historically Black colleges and universities than any state in the country and these outstanding educational institutions are preparing the leaders of today and tomorrow. High-speed internet is essential, and this funding will help more students learn, work and connect in our increasingly digital society.”

Elizabeth City State University

Dr. Karrie G. Dixon, Chancellor of Elizabeth City State University

“Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) is an engaged community partner in northeastern North Carolina with a legacy of transforming lives, strengthening our communities and contributing to the growth of the region and state. ECSU is grateful to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for investing more than $2 million in an initiative that will significantly enhance the university’s technology infrastructure. Additionally, ECSU will partner with local government, foundation and educational entities to directly and positively impact children and families in under-represented and underserved populations. By providing access to high-speed broadband internet, we are closing the gap and opening a gateway of opportunities that will build more socially and economically equitable communities.“


Central State University

Dr. Jack Thomas, President of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio.

“I would like to thank the National Telecommunication and Information Administration (NTIA) for awarding Central State University $3,000,000 to expand broadband internet access to citizens in Wilberforce, Ohio, and beyond. High Speed broadband availability can no longer be considered a luxury item, reserved for large metropolitan cities and affluent communities, but has increasingly become a necessity for smaller, rural communities that wish to connect seamlessly to the world. The Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program allows Central State University to provide this critical service in the areas that surround our campus.”


Lincoln University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Brenda Allen, President, Lincoln University, Pennsylvania.

“We are extremely grateful to the NTIA/CMC Pilot Program Team for this major grant award. Improvements to Lincoln University (of Pennsylvania) broadband infrastructure and its expansion will aid in closing the significant gaps that the majority of HBCUs, TCUs, and MSIs encounter including broadband access, digital adoption, and skilled staff. The NTIA/CMC funding will enable us to implement improvements to the campus network that will enhance security and protection against cyber-attacks as well as engage in network redesign that will provide a more stable technology platform to support many other much needed capabilities and system upgrades. The completion of the proposed project will result in a stable, reliable, and fluid infrastructure that will support a positive, functional learning environment.”