Q: What is a fragile community?

CAO defines a fragile community as communities where residents — no matter
their race or ethnicity — face significant barriers to opportunity. These communities
are characterized by high crime, lack of quality educational options, and severely
limited economic and social upward mobility opportunities.

Q: What is an HBCU?

An HBCU is a congressionally defined term that means Historically Black College
and University. In order for a school to be considered an HBCU it must meet three
criteria. It must be:

  1. An accredited institution of higher learning;
  2. Established before 1964; and
  3. Created with the principal mission of educating black Americans.

HBCUs are historically black but not exclusively black. HBCUs offer educational
opportunity to all students, regardless of race. Of the 101 HBCUs, 53 are public and
48 are private.




Q: How much money from this gift goes to each university research center?

The Center for Advancing Opportunity will tailor grants to university faculty based
on the proposed research and programs.


Q: How many HBCU campus research centers will be funded and where will they

The campus research centers we support will be determined by the proposals we
receive. We look forward to reviewing grant requests from many researchers
working to expand their work in issues such as education, criminal justice, and


Q: What is the difference between the Washington, DC center and the campus
research centers?

The headquarters for the Center for Advancing Opportunity, located in Washington, DC,
serves as the administrator of grants and the coordinating body for all projects
under the center – such as the annual research with Gallup and the student
scholarships. Campus-based centers are faculty-driven and are focused on their
individual research priorities, such as education, criminal justice, and


Q: Will the focus be more overall on criminal justice reform, education reform or

Ultimately, the focus will be dependent on the findings of the independent
research conducted at each of the campus research centers.