February 15, 2022
The American Council on Education is calling on Congress to take action following weeks of bomb threats against historically Black colleges and universities. A total of 64 higher ed associations and organizations including ACE signed a letter Monday that called the threats acts of terror fueled by racist motivations.
The letter asks Congress to begin expedited hearings on “the persistent issues underlying these crimes” and how to prevent them in the future.
It also asked Congress to pass a concurrent resolution condemning threats of violence against HBCUs and affirming support for the institutions and their students.
More than a dozen HBCUs have been forced to clear campuses and cancel in-person classes following bomb threats this year. Fisk University, in Tennessee, issued a shelter-in-place order Monday after receiving a series of threats. The same day, Howard University, in Washington, D.C., received a bomb threat for the fourth time since the beginning of January and told students and employees to stay indoors.
ACE wrote to Congressional leaders of both parties after consulting with UNCF, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.
“It’s obviously impossible to detach these threats from the fact that they’re targeting Black institutions,” said Jon Fansmith, assistant vice president of government relations at ACE. “I’m surprised at how little national attention has been paid to this issue, considering the significance of HBCUs and the seriousness of the problem.”