Just 5% of doctors in the United States identify as Black or African American, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Now, a new partnership between Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.––America’s oldest Black fraternity—hopes to address the shortage of Black male doctors, the Tulane News reports. 

Under the agreement, all application fees for fraternity members who apply to the school of public health’s online master’s programs in such fields as community health sciences, environmental health sciences and health administration will be waived. In addition, those who participate will benefit from tuition discounts that rise along with the enrollment of more fraternity members. 

Tulane University plans to develop a preparatory program for undergraduate fraternity members interested in graduate and professional school.

“It makes a difference to have public health practitioners reflect the communities in which they work,” said Alicia Battle, PhD, dean of online programs for the school, in a recent statement about the partnership. “That means we want more students and graduates representing communities of color and indigenous populations, and also representing gender diversity, including more men. We are excited to welcome the men of Alpha Phi Alpha to Tulane.”

“The recent global pandemic and its disproportionate impact on communities of color is a great reminder of the need for more professionals of color in the field of public health,” said Willis L. Lonzer III, PhD, the general president of Alpha Phi Alpha. “We are confident that this partnership with Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine will positively impact the field and our communities.”

Public health is not the only social issue that academic institutions can help to improve. Read “Report Finds Med Schools Must Better Promote Racial Justice.”