U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Announces 20 Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders, Week of Activities with HBCUs

May 20, 2021

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is pleased to recognize 20 institutions as “Fulbright Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Institutional Leaders,” for their noteworthy engagement with the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship international educational exchange program, during the 2019-2020 academic year. ECA established the Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders Initiative to recognize and commend the strong partnership between the Fulbright Program and HBCUs and to encourage the entire network of HBCUs to increase their Fulbright engagement. This initiative is part of the U.S. State Department’s long-standing commitment to build diversity and inclusion within the Fulbright Program and within the Bureau’s exchange programs overall.

“Congratulations to this year’s 20 Fulbright Historically Black College and University Institutional Leaders,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Matthew Lussenhop. “We salute you and your institutions for your engagement with the Fulbright Program, and for your commitment to providing life-changing opportunities to students, faculty, and administrators. HBCU participation is critical to fully representing the diversity of the United States through the Fulbright Program."

To coincide with the announcement of the 20 recognized institutions, several days of activities will celebrate the achievements that HBCUs have made with the Fulbright Program to encourage more HBCUs to increase their engagement with the program and to raise awareness of Fulbright opportunities among HBCU students and faculty.

Throughout the week of May 24 – May 28, Fulbright's social media will highlight the 2019-2020 HBCU Institutional Leaders through stories and videos in collaboration with Watch the Yard, a platform for Black Greek life created by Fulbright alumnus Jonathan Rabb. The Fulbright Program’s flagship Twitter account will also co-host a Twitter chat with the Fulbright HBCU affinity group, founded by Fulbright alumna Ashley Brown-Grier, to discuss HBCU engagement with Fulbright and international education. Follow us on Twitter @FulbrightPrgrm at 3:00 to 4:00 PM EDT on May 27th to join the conversation.

To conclude the string of events, and to celebrate the Program’s 75th anniversary, the Fulbright Program will host the Fulbright HBCU Symposium on June 3 to discuss Fulbright opportunities and resources for HBCUs, the benefits of a Fulbright experience, and the role that the Fulbright Program can and does play in supporting HBCU campus internationalization and global awareness and engagement. The symposium will feature opening remarks by Fulbright alumna Dr. Ruth Simmons, President of Prairie View A&M University, and other Fulbright alumni from HBCU Institutional Leaders as discussants for the workshop. This event is open to the public and is specifically designed for HBCU faculty, staff, and stakeholders. Register here.

Since its inception 75 years ago, the Fulbright Program has given over 400,000 talented and accomplished students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to important international problems.

Each year, the U.S. Congress appropriates funds to the U.S. Department of State to sponsor the Fulbright Program. Many foreign governments contribute substantially as well. Additional direct or in-kind funding is provided by U.S. and foreign host institutions, non-governmental organizations, private organizations, corporate partnerships, and individual donors.

Over many years the Fulbright Program has designed and implemented a wide range of initiatives to increase participant diversity and inclusion. The program strives to ensure that its participants reflect the diversity of U.S. society and societies abroad. Fulbrighters come from all backgrounds and are selected through an open, merit-based competition, regardless of their race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

The Fulbright Program’s robust diversity strategies and initiatives have included collaboration with a host of diversity-related associations and organizations such as the White House Initiative on HBCUs, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, the American Association of Community Colleges, and Diversity Abroad. The Program also works with diversity-focused media and is engaged with hundreds of minority-serving institutions and other diverse colleges and universities. The Fulbright Program is keenly aware its efforts to increase and enhance diversity necessarily must be coupled with inclusion. The Program has taken various measures to help ensure that all participants have successful and rewarding exchange experiences abroad.

For more information on the Fulbright Program’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, see the U.S. Student Program website: https://us.fulbrightonline.org/about/diversity-inclusion.

Follow the Fulbright Program’s social media accounts and websites for highlights on HBCUs and Fulbright:



Fulbright HBCU Institutional Leaders*  

  • Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, AL  
  • Bluefield State College, Bluefield, WV  
  • Central State University, Wilberforce, OH  
  • Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, NC  
  • Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL  
  • Howard University, Washington, DC  
  • Jackson State University, Jackson, MS  
  • Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, Lincoln University, PA  
  • Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena, MS  
  • Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA  
  • Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD  
  • North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC  
  • Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, TX  
  • South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC  
  • Spelman College, Atlanta, GA  
  • Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN  
  • Texas Southern University, Houston, TX  
  • Tougaloo College, Jackson, MS  
  • University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC  
  • Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA 

*based on their engagement with the Fulbright Program in 2019-2020