Leading Hispanic Veterans Advocacy Group Calls for More Research Funding at Hispanic Serving Universities

WASHINGTON, DC, August 29, 2022 – The Hispanic Veterans Leadership Alliance (HVLA), one of the nation’s leading Hispanic veterans advocacy organizations calls on the Department of Defense (DOD) to fund research at Hispanic serving research universities.

The U.S. Air Force (USAF) announced in June, 2022 a Universities-led Affiliated Research Center (UARC) initiative that considered only historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) candidates, at the exclusion of Hispanic serving research universities.

“This is a regrettable oversight by the USAF and DOD,” said HVLA President Ricardo Aponte. “Hispanic-serving research universities should not have been excluded from the opportunity to participate in UARC. There are many worthy Hispanic serving universities with solid research programs which can make important contributions to our nation’s defense. These institutions have very bright research students who would benefit greatly from this initiative.”

The HVLA urges the House Armed Services Committee to request a briefing by DOD about research funding at minority serving institutions. Further, HVLA asks the Committee to make research funding a priority at Hispanic serving research universities and that DOD consider the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities as one of the partners of choice.

“The USAF and DOD’s actions on UARC clearly demonstrate that there is still much work to be done for our armed services to be more inclusive,” added Aponte. “The HVLA will be vigilant.”


The Hispanic Veterans Leadership Alliance (HVLA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization of senior leaders, military and civilian, committed to overcoming the profound lack of Hispanic diversity and inclusion throughout the senior ranks of the DoD. Our mission is to advance the inclusion of Latinos across all leadership levels in the US Armed Forces, military and civilian.

Media Contact
Ricardo Aponte, Brig Gen, USAF (ret)
President, HVLA
Email: ricoaponte@gmail.com
Web: https://hvlavets.org

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