NewsOne Featured Video

Melissa Brown, Sr. Manager of Marketing at Home Depot, joined Roland Martin Wednesday on NewsOne Now to discuss their HBCU “Retool Your School” grant program. More than $250K will be awarded to nine HBCUs to reinvigorate their schools through sustainable and lasting campus improvements.

According to Brown, since the “Retool Your School” program launched in 2010, Home Depot has awarded nearly $1 million to HBCUs. This year, Home Depot will “award an additional $255K” to the winning institutions.

Brown explained that Home Depot does not just hand over a check to the HBCUs, “we actually provide the sweat equity as well,” she said.

“We team up with our local Home Depot stores, partner them with the school that has won the grant in their community, and we go out to the college campuses and we roll up our sleeves … we help the campuses realize the projects that they told us that they wanted to do.”

All HBCUs are eligible to apply for the grant; the only criteria is that the school must be accredited.


For the first time in program history, The Home Depot will award THREE (3) Tier I $50,000 grants! This year, we’ve designed a new way to increase participating schools’ chances of winning $50,000. Check it out . . .

  • New Cluster Structure — increases your chances of winning $50,000. AllHBCUs competing for a grant will be placed into one of three clusters, based on student enrollment. The clusters are identified as follows:
    1. Cluster 1: 4,000+ students
    2. Cluster 2: 1,200-3,999
    3. Cluster 3: less than 1,199 students

With the incorporation of clusters, participating HBCUs are now only in competition with those schools similar in size based on student enrollment.

  • New Grant Structure — $255,000 will be awarded across 9 HBCUs! This year EACH of the three (3) clusters will award a
    • Tier I Grant – $50,000
    • Campus Pride Grant – $25,000
    • Tier II Grant – $10,000

The Campus Pride Grants will go to the school in each cluster with the most online votes and social media activity.

For more information about Home Depot’s “Retool Your School” campus improvement program, visit

Be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.

SEE ALSO: This HBCU Needed Millions & Turned To Its Own — Here’s What Happened