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USAID Signs First MOU Under the Minority-serving Institutions Partnership Initiative with Delaware State University to Promote Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in Food and Water Security


Today, Administrator Samantha Power and Delaware State University (DSU) President Tony Allen signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the international development workforce, and to shape the research and technology agenda. The two institutions committed to working together in the research of agriculture-led economic growth, resilience, nutrition, and water security.

This partnership is the most recent action under the USAID Minority-Serving Institution Partnership Initiative. It aligns with the U.S. government’s Global Food Security Strategy and the U.S. Global Water Strategy, priorities for the Biden-Harris Administration and USAID. At last month’s United Nations General Assembly, President Biden announced a $10 billion commitment to end global hunger, malnutrition and poverty, half of which would go toward Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global food security and hunger initiative led by USAID.

In support of Feed the Future, DSU and USAID will share knowledge and learning about the development of cutting-edge solutions to increase food crop yields of smallholder farmers, strengthen resilience in communities, and expand job opportunities on and off the farm—including for women and young people.

The MOU, which is the first of its kind, outlines additional USAID commitments, including sharing information about paid internship opportunities for all students and graduates and advising DSU faculty on curriculum and research topics in the areas of agriculture; nutrition; resilience; climate adaptation; water security, sanitation, and hygiene; and food-systems policy. The Agency will connect DSU with the John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer Program(link is external), as well as other USAID development innovation and research opportunities.

DSU, founded in 1891, has a long history as one of America’s most respected Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). DSU will partner with USAID through its Global Institute for Equity, Inclusion, and Civil Rights. At the Global Institute, researchers and affiliated organizations work together to study and build social infrastructure through community and economic development, particularly in global communities of color.

Today’s MOU is part of an Agency-wide commitment to build a more diverse pipeline of talent and a USAID that is a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable place to work. In the last month, the Agency hosted two virtual conferences and career expos for students, faculty and alumni from HBCUs and Hispanic Serving Institutions.

For the latest updates on USAID’s work on diversity, equity and inclusion visit our website.

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