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Johnny TaylorPresident and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, made a major announcement on NewsOne Now on Thursday that will affect Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund will partner with the Koch Foundation to establish a $25.6 million dollar research initiative titled the Center for Advancing Opportunity.

The multi-million dollar initiative funded by the Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation will begin “listening to the African-American community and other fragile communities,” Taylor said.

The “first of its kind” initiative will be led by HBCU students and faculty, with a focus on “identifying and removing barriers for opportunity for the members of fragile communities.”

Taylor told Roland Martin during Thursday’s edition of NewsOne Now, “We’re ultimately trying to find out what are those things that are creating barriers for people in our community.”

Dr. John Hardin, Director of University Relations for the Charles Koch Foundation, explained the organization has decided to launch this initiative because they “believe in the transformative power of education … the same as TMCF.”

Hardin continued, “Charles Koch has been supporting higher education for over half a century, because we believe education is the place where people have a phenomenal opportunity to discover and develop their unique skills, their talents, and their abilities that they can then use to improve other people’s lives, their own lives, and society.” 

Watch Roland Martin, Johnny Taylor, and Dr. John Hardin discuss the Center for Advancing Opportunity in the video clip above.

Watch NewsOne Now with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.


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Thurgood Marshall College Fund & Koch Foundation Partner For $26M Research Initiative  was originally published on