Urban Health Accelerator - HBCU 

The 2019 application period is closed.  We look forward to hearing your project solution in 2020. 

Community environments play an important role in health outcomes. People living just 5 miles apart can in some cases have a difference in life expectancy of more than 20 years due to factors such as economic stability, education, societal influences and health care.  

Through the American Heart Association’s 2019 EmPOWERED to Serve Urban Health Accelerator-HBCU pilot, schools have an opportunity to secure a $100,000 grant to implement a community-based idea that changes behaviors, expands access and improves long-term health by overcoming challenges in urban communities. 

The program grew from the successful Urban Health Accelerator and includes an eight-week, MBA-style, intense training and grant opportunity designed to challenge applicants to develop innovative solutions to help solve health disparities in under-resourced communities. The American Heart Association Eastern State region formed a collaboration with the Community Campus Partnership for Health’s to implement the first ever Business Accelerator- HBCU in 2019. 

This year’s showcase event was held in April of 2019, and the current application process is now closed. However, applicants and interested communities are encouraged to read the below information and check back for 2020 Business Accelerator- HBCU updates in the late fall of 2019.

Consider this: 100 public and private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) make up only 3 % of today’s higher education institutions, but they produce 24% of African American science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduates. HBCUs have created a hub for scholastic achievement in STEM-related fields providing a unique opportunity to bridge academic excellence and the needs of surrounding communities.

As a reminder, the 2019 application period is closed.  We look forward to hearing your project solution in 2020. 

Application Process

Schools submitting projects for the Urban Accelerator – HBCU must:

  • Be an HBCU located within the following: Maryland, DC, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Augusta, Georgia.
  • Develop strategies focused on policy, system and environmental (PSE) changes through a health equity lens.
  • Secure the approval of the college/university president or chancellor and have an administrative lead submit the application.

After submitting the proposal, the selected HBCUs can expect to:

  • Invite talented, socially conscious students through application or faculty recommendation to participate as a member of the participating team.
  • Collaborate with community members to activate projects designed to solve health equities and promote social justice.
  • Receive the tools, resources, and mentors to help teams design a sustainable and scalable project.
  • Attend the 2019  EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator Finale. 
  • Participate in an intensive, multi-week training designed to strengthen projects and prepare teams for Accelerator presentations.

Finalists will be invited to present their concepts at the EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator – HBCU Showcase. 
Up to two schools will be awarded grants to implement their plan.


Food Access and Healthy Living

30 million people in the United States have no easy access to healthy food.

 Health Impact Issues

Too many communities lack places to buy healthy food, get good health care and be physically active.