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NNPA Receives $1.5 Million Gates Grant for Education Campaign

Stacy M. Brown | 2/3/2017, 6 a.m. | Updated on 2/2/2017, 2:15 p.m.
NNPA, a network of 211 Black-owned media companies, has received a $1.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates ...
NNPA, a network of 211 Black-owned media companies, has received a $1.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support a three-year, multi-media public awareness campaign focusing on the unique opportunities and challenges of the recently enacted Every Student Succeeds Act-Ben Chavis Courtesy Photo

“Despite past laws, many minorities have been left behind,” said Primas. “NNPA will be instrumental in ensuring that all stakeholders are aware of the components in the ESSA law that will increase the number of students that are college ready.”

Specifically, the NNPA will research state efforts to ensure success for all students, gather feedback while conducting forums, and maintain multiple platforms to keep the community informed, she said.

“For the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to give the grant to NNPA to fund a 36-month multi-media public awareness campaign focused on the unique benefits and challenges of ESSA to the African-American community, means that the Gates Foundation understands and appreciates the value, reach, and influence of NNPA,” Primas said.

NNPA Chairperson and Washington Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes said she is proud that NNPA will be counted on to get the word out about ESSA to the NNPA’s 20 million newspaper readers and those who Follow and Like the Black Press USA on social media.

“We look forward to inciting interest and action around ESSA and making it a household name throughout the community,” Rolark Barnes said, noting Obama’s words when he signed the bill into law.

Obama said: “With this bill, we reaffirm that fundamentally American ideal – that every child, regardless of race, income, background, the zip code where they live, deserves the chance to make of their lives what they will.”

In a statement, Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Va.), ranking member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, said passing ESSA was a “critical step in our work to make sure all children have access to a high-quality public education, no matter where they live, how they learn, or how much money their parents make.”