February 15, 2023

BSU Receives $1.5 Million Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence Grant

Black Male Educators Project Supported by U.S. Department of Education Funding

BSU Receives $1.5 Million Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence Grant


MEDIA CONTACT: David Thompson, dlthompson@bowiestate.edu, 301-860-4311

(BOWIE, Md.) – Bowie State University has received funding from the U. S. Department of Education’s Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence Program that will exceed $1.5 million over four years to support The Bowie Black Male Educators Project. The university is one of only twelve institutions, and the only HBCU to be awarded a grant from the new program.

The Black Male Educators Project works to increase the number of Black male teachers who are prepared to work with students in early childhood, elementary, secondary, and special education with the knowledge, understanding and skills in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Ultimately, the university’s ability to bring more focus on Black male teachers will be bolstered through curriculum program redesign and faculty development.

“It’s no secret that Black male teachers are in short supply,” said Dr. Julius L. Davis, founding director of Bowie State’s Black Male Educators Project and College of Education professor. “Blacks comprise 6 percent of all teachers and black men are less than 2 percent. This grant will enable us to recruit and prepare 50 Black Male educators in early childhood/special education, elementary or secondary education who can provide culturally relevant instruction and work with students and families. Through our program redesign, we’ll create a pathway for Black male teachers to become certified in ESOL to meet the changing demographics in our schools,” said Dr. Davis.

A redesigned curriculum will encompass all teacher education programs at BSU and reflect up-to-date research in the areas of race, ethnicity, culture, language, disability, technology, and other experiential learning modes. The university will also develop five ESOL courses that will be used to prepare teacher candidates to become certified in ESOL.

 “We’re at a tipping point in education and the need for Black male teachers has never been greater,” said Dr. Davis. “The Augustus F. Hawkins Centers of Excellence Grant along with our Black Male Teachers College Program, Right to Passage Program for boys at Annapolis Middle School, STEM programs and other initiatives will solidify Bowie State’s position as a national leader in preparing Black males to become teachers.”

Bowie State’s Black Male Educators Project is differentiated from similar programs across the nation because most do not work with middle and high school students; the participation from alumni, undergraduate and graduate students; and the bonds that have been established with organizations such as The Building Our Network of Diversity (BOND) Project, National Association of Black Male Educators, Real Men Teach and others to address the issue.

“Every child in America deserves and needs a teacher who looks like them,” said Curtis Valentine, deputy director of the Progressive Policy Institute’s Reinventing America’s School Project. ”Fortunately, Bowie State University may very well be the answer.  If their track record is any indication, the U.S. Department of Education’s historic grant to Bowie State and Dr. Julius Davis will invariably increase the number of Black men in education at a time when America’s inequitable education system needs them the most.”


About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit bowiestate.edu.