Tag: 2022


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By Langston University Office of Public Relations

LANGSTON, Okla. – Inasmuch Foundation has awarded Langston University a $200,000 grant for its “Forward Together Project,” a solutions-based media initiative designed to bring the historically rich and diverse communities within and surrounding its Langston, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City campuses.

Langston University is a historically black institution founded in 1897. With an enrollment of approximately 2,000, Langston University is the only HBCU in Oklahoma; and its core mission is education for service.
That dedication to service is at the heart of the Forward Together Project.

The history of Oklahoma, particularly the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, is well documented, and its impact continues to be palpable, influencing perceptions, relationships and interactions among locals and people far beyond the region.

Through storytelling, social media tools, engagement analytics and community forums; Langston University’s Broadcast Journalism program, known for award-winning student work, will house the Forward Together Project. Students under the direction of professional journalists and professors will provide a collaborative platform for residents and civic leaders who, while ever mindful of the painful scars of the Oklahoma’s past, are inspiring hope and changing the narrative.

“We are immensely proud of the accomplishments of our students and our faculty. This generous gift will allow them to utilize their talents and training to advance this important work,” said Langston University President Kent J. Smith, Jr.

Inasmuch Foundation, based in Oklahoma City, champions journalism, education, human services, and community to improve the quality of life for Oklahomans. Founded by Edith Kinney Gaylord in 1982, The Foundation has funded programs and initiatives at several other universities, and this is the first project Inasmuch Foundation has funded at Langston University.

“The Forward Together Project will provide first-hand professional opportunities to Langston University journalism students,” said Robert J. Ross, Inasmuch Foundation Chairman and CEO. “Forward Together will produce impactful stories and showcase the beginning of a talent pipeline of Black Oklahoma journalists.”

Production on the project is expected to begin immediately, with the first stories expected to air sometime in mid-2023. Langston University is planning a community engagement event for early 2023 to solicit ideas for future projects.


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By Jet Turner, Langston University Public Relations


LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University announced at its 17th Annual President’s Student Scholarship Gala that Griffin Media has made the largest corporate donation in university history, gifting the university its KWTV News 9 building located at 7401 N. Kelley Ave. Langston University takes possession of the building in January 2023.

President and CEO of Griffin Media David Griffin said the company was working to bring new, advanced technology and sets to the newscast. Installing new equipment in their current building would tie them to the location for the next 15 years. Griffin Media had another goal in mind, that is to plant its flag in downtown Oklahoma City.

This left Griffin with a dilemma: What would the company do with its existing home of more than seventy years?

“If we abandon this building there is going to be a hole in this community, and we just did not want to leave this community alone,” Griffin said. “So, we went on a search to see how we could be a part of something bigger than ourselves. And then it just dawned on me, Langston has a journalism program.”

The gift totals over $10 million, and includes the building, the surrounding land, all the existing equipment used for the News 9 newscast, every table and chair, the computers, the fiberoptic cabling and more. The site will also be home to the Center for Media and Community Advancement at Langston University funded in part with a grant from the Inasmuch Foundation.

Langston University President Kent J. Smith, Jr. said this gift will not only impact our journalism program, but it will also impact the entire university community.

“There is an entire business behind news production. From computer technology to marketing and sales, our students will have the benefit of learning here. Now we can think of Oklahoma City and our Oklahoma City campus in an entirely different realm that we could not imagine before,” Smith said.

This gift will revolutionize how Oklahoma’s only HBCU produces new journalists and will impact every aspect of the profession.

Griffin Media has committed to a long-term unprecedented partnership with Langston University. News 9’s on-air and behind-the-scenes talent will teach classes, mentor students and provide opportunities for LU students to learn from them on state-of-the-art equipment.

“If you’re looking for something to believe in that will fundamentally change not only Langston University but journalism as a whole there is no doubt in my mind that this is it,” Smith said. “If you cannot get excited about that I do not know what gets you excited.”


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By Langston University Office of Public Relations

LANGSTON, OKLAHOMA – Langston University (LU), a historically Black college/university (HBCU), has been awarded two grants by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NDILRR), Administration for Community Living totaling $5.6 million: (1) Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Advancing Employment Equity for Multiply Marginalized People with Disabilities ($4.6 million over 5 years) and (2) Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) Solutions-Focused Translational Research to Enhance Equity in Employment Outcomes and Experiences Among Multiply Marginalized Persons of Color with Disabilities ($1 million over 5 years). Dr. Corey L. Moore, Professor and Founding Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Studies, will serve as Principal Investigator/Director for both grants.

“These major RRTC and post-doctoral ARRT grants help to position LU as a preeminent national leader on the frontier of cutting-edge employment and wealth equity research for multiply marginalized persons with disabilities and developing the future cadre of culturally competent under-represented equity research leaders, especially those with disabilities, available to study and generate translational solutions to these issues” said Moore, who is also the Principal Investigator the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Research and Capacity Building for Minority Entities at LU.

The first award, “RRTC on Advancing Employment Equity for Multiply Marginalized People with Disabilities” involves a consortium of researchers at the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies (IHDPS) at the University of Kansas, Gallaudet University, Center for Transition and Career Innovation for Youth with Disabilities (CTCI) at the University of Maryland, College Park, Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities (RIIC) at the University of Montana, Kessler Foundation, and Institute on Disability (IoD) at the University of New Hampshire. The goal is to reduce employment disparities and wealth inequities experienced by multiply marginalized persons with disabilities as defined by race, ethnicity, LGBTQIA+ status, poverty status, and rural locale.

One of the key studies will be carried out in partnership with the Beginning Business Incubator and Fund Company (ITB) in the Hampton and Hampton Roads Virginia, Greensboro North Carolina and Monongalia West Virginia areas, training and mentoring multiply marginalized entrepreneurs with disabilities through small business start-up incubators (i.e., hybrid verses virtual incubator) to assess entrepreneurial outcomes. The new center will link ITB with the Gallaudet Innovation and Entrepreneurial Institute, Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City, and Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services to recruit, train, and/or mentor these entrepreneurs as study participants.

The second award, “Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) Solutions-Focused Translational Research to Enhance Equity in Employment Outcomes and Experiences Among Multiply Marginalized Persons of Color with Disabilities” will train and mentor 4 to 6 post-doctoral fellows in collaboration with Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI), North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University ([NC A&T] HBCU), South Carolina State University (HBCU), and the Kessler Foundation. The goal is to enhance fellows’ research skills (i.e., methods and grant-writing) through mentorship, advanced research methods training seminars, and hands-on employment equity research and set them on course for stellar academic and research careers. The National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns (NAMRC) will partner across both grants in helping to facilitate grant-writing trainings targeting underrepresented researchers, especially those with disabilities.

“The new RRTC and ARRT program are critical to the university and its unique HBCU status in contributing toward lessening the national burden of employment and economic inequality affecting people with disabilities from underserved communities through research and building the next generation of research leaders”, said Dr. Kent J. Smith Jr., President of Langston University.

Rehabilitation Research and Training Center grants fund coordinated, integrated and advanced programs of research, training, and information dissemination in topical areas specified by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). These centers conduct research to improve rehabilitation methodology and service delivery systems, improve health and functioning; and promote employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities. The Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training grants provide advanced research training to eligible individuals to enhance their capacity to conduct high quality multidisciplinary disability and rehabilitation research to improve outcomes for people with disabilities across health and function, employment and community participation domains.


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By Christina Gray, Media Relations Specialist

LANGSTON, Okla. – Langston University announced that Dr. Jewel H. Bronaugh, Deputy Secretary of Agriculture at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be this year’s distinguished guest speaker at the Commencement Ceremony. This year’s ceremony is set to be held in person at the W.E. Anderson Stadium on the Langston campus on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 10:00 AM.

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Bronaugh to campus for this special occasion. She is a champion for our country’s rural communities, families, farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers,” said Dr. Kent J. Smith, Jr. “Her work with the USDA is game-changing. Most recently, she worked on a $1 billion investment that will transform rural areas across the country. This initiative will help strengthen access to health care for those who reside in those communities.”

The USDA has supported a broad range of research and extension programs over the years within the School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences. The most notable is their support of the E Kika De La Garza American Institute for goat research. They have also collaborated with our teams to help advance our international reach through small ruminant projects. This support has been vital in providing the support to build structures for irrigational systems for countries all over the world.

“As we prepare to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Dear Langston, it was important to us that we pay homage to our history as a USDA supported land grant university, said Dr. Wesley Whittaker. “The USDA partnership with LU has been instrumental. The financial support they provide has helped exponentially grow opportunity for the University’s academic and extension research, fellowship training, as well as providing student scholarship and internship opportunities.”


Langston University (LU) was founded as a land grant college through the Morrill Act of 1890. It was officially established when House Bill 151 passed on March 12, 1897, and named the Colored Agricultural and Normal University. The bill mandated the University to receive federal funds matched by state funds for the support of agricultural research and cooperative extension and community engagement.

Langston University (LU) was established prior to statehood. LU was founded in 1897 as a land grant institution, it is the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the state of Oklahoma. LU has both a rural and urban mandated mission with campuses in Langston, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and one extension in Ardmore. Langston University produces top academic scholars within the six schools that house the degree programs. LU boasts a total of 30 undergraduate and 5 graduate degree programs are offered within Agriculture and Applied Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Behavioral Science, Nursing and Health Professions, and Physical Therapy. Currently, the top majors are nursing, health physical education and recreation, liberal education, and psychology.