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Tougaloo College Awarded $20 Million to Help Achieve Health Equity through Education

Following the graphic and widely viewed murder of George Floyd in 2020, Tougaloo College launched the Reuben V. Anderson Institute for Social Justice to engage with students about social-justice issues through theory, practice and initiatives. Students in the program research issues that personally affect them such as TANF and income-tax credit, among other topics.

To further expand on the work already being done at the institute, the Gilead Foundation has awarded the HBCU a $20-million grant through its Creating Possible Fund, which supports creative and large-scope strategies to advance health through education equity.

Launched in 2021, the foundation is a nonprofit whose goal is for everyone to have fair access to health prosperity. The foundation’s three main pillars toward achieving this mission include supporting and implementing the Creating Possible Fund; endeavoring to serve communities where Gilead employees live and operate; and aligning with their employees’ interests in being able to match their donations to nonprofit organizations.

Director of Advancing Health and Black Equity for Gilead Sciences Tiffany West said Tougaloo College’s rich history as a Mississippi-based institution was one of the many reasons the foundation chose the school as a recipient for the Creating Possible Fund. Photo courtesy Gilead Foundation

“We’ve seen firsthand the barriers that individuals face in being able to achieve the best possible health outcomes,” Gilead Foundation President and Vice President of Public Affairs Gilead Sciences Korab Zuka told the Mississippi Free Press. “These barriers—such as poverty and employment, lack of education, housing insecurity—these are all barriers that are getting in the way of individuals living their full potential.”

The foundation chose Tougaloo College because it has a rich history as a Mississippi-based leader in education and because a large portion of the state’s health professionals graduated from the institution. Tougaloo was a natural fit, Director of Advancing Health and Black Equity for Gilead Sciences Tiffany West said.

“We know that research shows that health inequities mirror educational inequities, and the pathway to stability is through education,” she told the Mississippi Free Press. “So, we’re proud to support grantees like Tougaloo College and their focus on social

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