Document Type


Date of Award



Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs (SOPA)

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Environmental Policy

Committee Chairperson

Sheri L. Smith

Committee Member 1

Bumseok Chun

Committee Member 2

Glenn S. Johnson

Committee Member 3

Colette M. Taylor


• Applied GIS • Grantmaking & Philanthropy • HBCU Neighborhoods • Quantitative Methods • Urban Higher Education • Urban Planning


Most historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are in metropolitan areas and operate as anchor institutions in predominantly minority-occupied neighborhoods (Wright, 2021). Because HBCUs are in the heart of diverse communities, their level of responsibility is automatically heightened solely because residents look to these cultural institutions to analyze and provide solutions for their neighborhoods’ unprioritized or neglected problems (Lowe & Shipp, 2014). In efforts to apply quantitative methods to assess social opportunity for HBCU neighborhood residents, I selected U.S. Census datasets to analyze as policy-relevant factors in R and use QGIS to investigate the geography of opportunities between 1990–2019 within a 1-, 3-, and 5-mile radius for 99 HBCU campuses. Findings from this research revealed more than 70% of 100 HBCUs had low opportunity between 1990–2019. The purpose of this research was to explore quantitative methods that could be applied to create an opportunity index to inform HBCU decision-makers and community stakeholders in need of community revitalization grant funding while planning for equitable neighborhood outcomes. This dissertation was the first of its kind to identify and illustrate the geographies of opportunities for accredited HBCUs. As an HBCU alum, I hope this dissertation will uncover quantitative methods that can be used to create sustainable community revitalization grantmaking policies that will bolster investment in and stabilization of HBCU neighborhoods without the consequences of gentrification.


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