Smokie Norful

(PINE BLUFF, AR) – GRAMMY-award winning singer and pastor, Class of 1995 graduate Smokie Norful will deliver the commencement address to the fall 2020 graduating class at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff during a virtual commencement to be held on Friday, December 18, 2020, at 6 p.m. CST via YouTube.

Norful is best known for his 2002 album I Need You Now and his 2004 release, Nothing Without You, which won a GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album in 2005.

Norful, a minister who is also the son of an African Methodist Episcopal Church minister, was born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas but grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, deeply involved in his father’s church. He graduated from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff as a history major and spent four years teaching high school. In 1998 he felt “called” to the ministry, and pursued a Masters of Divinity degree at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Upon graduation and ordination, he took a position as assistant pastor at a church in Chicago. He participated in an album release by the Thompson Community Choir, a well-known gospel group, and contributed a song as well as solo vocals. He was then offered the opportunity to make a solo album for EMI Gospel, I Need You Now. The album was a slow starter but eventually went gold, spending two years in the upper reaches of the Billboard Gospel Charts.

He was nominated for and won a GRAMMY in 2005 for Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album. He is also signed to EMI-CMG Publishing and his own Norful Music Publishing as a songwriter. He performed on June 6, 2005, for President George W. Bush in a concert honoring Black Music Month. Norful is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and pastors the Victory Cathedral Worship Center in Chicago and Bolingbrook, IL.

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About the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is a public comprehensive HBCU 1890 Land-Grant Institution. The University embraces its land-grant mission of providing cutting edge research, teaching, outreach, and service programs that respond to the social and economic needs of the state and region. Its mission is to promote and sustain excellent academic programs that integrate quality instruction, research, and student learning experiences responsive to the needs of a racially, culturally, and economically diverse student population. Ultimately, the University is dedicated to providing access and opportunity to academically deserving students and producing graduates who are equipped to excel through their contributions and leadership in a 21st century national and global community. For more information, visit www.uapb.edu.

(DOVER, Del.) – President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have named Delaware State University President Tony Allen to serve as the Chief Executive Officer to lead the four-member Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) that will organize the activities surrounding the Jan. 20 swearing ceremonies in Washington D.C.

Dr. Allen has known the President-elect and his family for 25 years – four years of which he served as a special assistant and speechwriter for then-U.S. Senator Biden in the late 1990s. The Delaware State University President said he is deeply humbled to help organize the historic inauguration “of a good and decent patriot” during an unprecedented time in the country’s history.

“As the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden alongside Kamala Harris, the first woman of color to be elected Vice President of the United States, will work hard for all Americans and lead us toward our nation’s highest calling – ‘ a more perfect union,'” said Dr. Allen. “This year’s inauguration will look different amid the pandemic, but we will honor the American inaugural traditions and engage Americans across the country will keeping everybody healthy and safe.”

According to the Nov. 30 Announcement, also named on the PIC were:

  • Maju Varghese, Executive Director – the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Advisor on the Biden-Harris campaign from the primaries through the general who oversaw the campaign’s day-to-day operations and led the entire campaign through an unprecedented shift to remote working. He previously served in the Obama White House in various roles, including Assistant to the President for Management and Administration and Deputy Director of Advance.
  • Erin Wilson, Deputy Executive Director – the Biden-Harris campaign’s National Political Director throughout the primary and general elections, who was the senior staff member responsible for relationships with hundreds of elected officials and leaders across the country. Previously, Wilson was a senior aide in Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey’s office, most recently serving as his State Director and Senior Advisor to his 2018 reelection.
  • Nevada State Sen. Yvanna Cancela – one of Joe Biden’s earliest elected supporters, endorsing him the day he announced his campaign. Sen. Cancela was a senior advisor in Nevada during the primary election, helping steer Biden’s comeback, as well as in the general election to secure another victory in the Silver State.

Additionally, the PIC is also unveiling its website BidenInaugural.org, which includes a web store with exclusive inaugural merchandise and collectable. The PIC is also launching its social media presence on Instagram and Twitter under the handle @Inauguration46 where Americas can visit for the latest news and information about the inauguration.

The PIC will work closely with the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) to coordinate all activities surrounding the 59th inaugural ceremonies, prioritizing keeping people safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19 while engaging all Americans.

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(FAIRFIELD, Ala. – 11/23/20) – Miles College announced a multi-million dollar collaboration with IBM on a comprehensive program designed to develop diverse and high demand skill sets that align with industry needs and trends so both students and faculty can develop the skills they need today for the jobs of tomorrow.

IBM and Miles College are building on the need to advance digital skills in education and are dedicated to providing future focused curriculum and educational tools to help train the diverse workforce of tomorrow in fast-growing technologies such as Al, blockchain, data science, cybersecurity, cloud and quantum.

“Miles College celebrates IBM’s leadership in recognizing the value of investing in HBCU students as current and future leaders and innovators in the technology workforce,” said Bobbie Knight, Miles College President. “While the digital divide has historically placed many students as a technological disadvantage, this initiative will absolutely help narrow the gap,” said Knight.

The collaboration extends IBM’s recent investment in technology, assets, resources and skills development with HBCUs across the United State through the IBM Skills Academy Academic Initiative.

“Equal access to skills and jobs is the key to unlocking economic opportunity and prosperity for diverse populations,” said Valinda Scarbro Kennedy, HBCU Program Lead, IBM Global University Programs. “As we announced earlier this fall, IBM is deeply committed to helping HBCU students build their skills to better prepare for the future of work. Through this collaboration, Miles College students will have an opportunity to gain modern skills in emerging technologies across hybrid cloud, quantum, and Al so they can be better prepared for the future of work in the digital economy.”

As part of its multi-year Global University Programs which include the IBM Academic Initiative and the IBM Skills Academy, IBM is providing more than $100M in assets, faculty training, pre-built and maintained curriculum content, hands on labs, use cases, digital badges and software to select HBCUs. The IBM Academic Initiative provides access to resources at no-charge for teaching, learning and non-commercial research with recent enhancements including access to guest lectures. The IBM Skills Academy is a comprehensive, integrated program through an education portal designed to create a foundation of diverse and high demand skill sets that directly correlate to what students will need in the workplace. The learning tracks address topics such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, blockchain, data science and quantum computing.

IBM’s investment in HBCUs like Miles College is part of the company’s dedicated work to promote social justice and racial equality by creating equitable, innovative experiences for HBCU students to acquire the necessary skills to help unlock economic opportunity and prosperity.

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About IBM
IBM is a global leader in business transformation, serving clients in more than 170 countries around the world with open hybrid cloud and Al technology. For more information, visit www.ibm.com.

About Miles College
Miles College, founded in 1898, is a premier liberal arts institution located in metropolitan Birmingham within the corporate limits of the City of Fairfield. The noble founders of the institution saw educated leadership as the paramount need in the black community. Miles, which is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and accredited by Commission on Colleges for the awarding of Baccalaureate Degrees, is the only four-year institution in historic Birmingham, Alabama designated as a member of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).For more information, visit www.miles.edu.

(BEAUFORT, S.C.) – The National Park Service announces the first eight community sites to be included in the newly established Reconstruction Era National Historic Network. The national network launched in March 2020, will connect sites across the country who provide education, interpretation and research for the period of Reconstruction. The Reconstruction Era (1861-1900) is one of the most fascinating and misunderstood periods in American History and includes stories of freedom education and self-determination.

The new community sites added to the network include several Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) created during Reconstruction, a site manged by the South Carolina State Park system which interprets the stories of freedom and tenant farming, and a school which was created shortly after the Civil Ward to provide education to the formerly enslaved. Specifically, they are Allen University, Benedict College, Claflin University, Clinton College, Mather School, Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site, South Carolina State University and Voorhees College.

Allen University
Benedict College
Claflin University
Clinton College
South Carolina State University
Voorhees College

Mather School and Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site.

“The Reconstruction story is a national story,” said Scott Teodorski, Superintendent. “It includes sites from all over the country. Some of the sites are manged by the National Park Service and many are not. The Reconstruction Era National Historic Network provides an opportunity to connect these sites and to connect visitors to their stories as part of the Reconstruction Era. We are very excited to welcome these new sites to the network and look forward to working with them.”

The John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, signed into law on March 12, 2019, outlined the creation of the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network. This network manged by Reconstruction Era National Historical Park, includes sites and programs that are affiliated with the Reconstruction Era, but not necessarily managed by the National Park Service. This network is nationwide and works to provide opportunities for visitors to connect to the stores of Reconstruction. For more information about the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network, visit: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/reconstruction/network.htm.

For more information about Reconstruction Era National Historical Park, visit www.nps.gov/reer or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ReconstructionNPS.

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(CHICAGO, IL – 11/19/20) As Chicago State University students nearing graduation prepare to lead in their professions and communities, the institution announces that Chicago’s Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot will serve as the Fall 2020 Commencement speaker. Mayor Lightfoot will address the graduating class on December 17 at 11 a.m. for the university’s first virtual commencement ceremony.

“We are honored to have Mayor Lightfoot speak at this year’s commencement ceremony,” said President Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq. “As the city’s first African American female mayor who has focused her administration work on bringing resources to all of Chicago’s neighborhood’s while also governing during a challenging period, our graduates will benefit tremendously from her insights as a civic leader and a trailblazer.”

About Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot

Mayor Lightfoot has undertaken an ambitious agenda of expanding opportunity and inclusive economic growth across Chicago’s neighborhoods and communities, with early accomplishments including landmark ethics and good governance reforms, worker protection legislation, and closing a then-record $838 million budget gap, as well as key investments in education, public safety and financial stability. Mayor Lightfoot also placed Chicago on the path to a $15 minimum wage by 2021.

In response to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, Mayor Lightfoot has led a coordinated, citywide response across government, business, and community organizations to effectively address its spread and broader public impact, including the creation of the Racial Equity Rapid Response Team, the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force, among other actions. 

Prior to her election, Mayor Lightfoot most recently served as a senior equity partner in the Litigation and Conflict Resolution Group at Mayer Brown. Previously, she also served as a civic leader in roles that include President of the Chicago Police Board, as well as the Chair of the Police Accountability Task Force.

A native of Massillon, Ohio, Mayor Lightfoot has been a resident of Chicago since 1986 and lives on the Near Northwest Side with her wife Amy Eshleman and their daughter.

The fall commencement ceremony is not Mayor Lightfoot’s first visit to CSU, having addressed the campus and community members during a forum with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in March 2019, weeks before her election in April 2019.

“Having Mayor Lightfoot as our commencement speaker is an honor,” said Jasmine Moss, CSU Communications major and Fall 2020 graduating senior. “She has had a tremendous impact on the city of Chicago, in particular the Southside where Chicago State is located. As I prepare to graduate during an uncertain time, I look forward to learning from the insight of a leader mapping the city’s path forward.”

About Commencement

Commencement will be held on Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 11 a.m. The public is invited to watch the ceremony streamed online at www.csu.edu. Learn more.

About Chicago State University

Chicago State University (CSU), founded in 1867, is the oldest public university in the Chicago Metropolitan area. The University’s five colleges offer over 70 undergraduate and graduate degree-granting and non-degree programs. CSU is committed to equity in education, serving as the only U.S. Department of Education-designated four-year Predominantly Black Institution in Illinois and ranked by a Harvard economist in the top 4% of public and private universities nationwide in supporting graduates’ economic mobility. The University serves as a prominent civic space on the greater South Side of Chicago by hosting a multitude of athletic, educational, cultural, and recreational activities. The University is located near public transit that provides convenient access to the campus. For more information, visit www.csu.edu.

Dr. W. Franklin Evans, WLU’s 37th President

(WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. – 11/19/20) – West Liberty University Board of Governors named Dr. W. Franklin Evans as the university’s 37th president.

“I am pleased to announced that Dr. W. Franklin Evans has accepted our offer and agreed to become West Liberty University’s 37th President. He will be a strong leader and we welcome him to the Hilltop and look forward to introducing him to our alumni, donors, friends and the wider community,” said Rich Lucas, chairman of the search committee and the Board of Governors.

Evans will be the first Black president in the 183-year history of West Liberty and will assume the presidency on January 1, 2021.

“It is a great honor being selected as the next president of West Liberty University, the oldest and most historic public institution in the state. I am grateful to the West Liberty University Board of Governors for its confidence and support of my selection to lead this amazing institution,” said Evans.

Evans will succeed Dr. Stephen Greiner who has served as president since January 2016. He is the current president of Voorhees College and has 25 years of experience in education. Prior to being named president, Evans served as interim president of South Carolina State University (SCSU), in Orangeburg, S.C., where he also served as provost and chief academic officer.

Prior to SCSU, he served as vice president for academic affairs at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va., where he was instrumental in leading the institution through a successful reaffirmation of accreditation and establishing an Honor College, along with a bachelor’s of fine arts and master’s in education degrees.

He also worked at Elizabeth City State, J.F. Drake State Technical College, Alabama A&M University, and Tennessee State University.

In 1994, Evans earned a doctoral degree in higher education administration from Georgia State University. He earned a degree in journalism, middle childhood education, curriculum and instruction, as well as administration and supervision from Georgia State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in entomology from the University of Georgia in 1984.

Earlier this year, Evans was named a 2020 Most Dominant HBCU Leader by the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), recognized for being a dominant and influential leader, focused on the progress of moving institutions forward such as Voorhees College.

He was born in Augusta, Ga. and is active in the NAACP, Black Family Preservation Group, the National Association of Black School Educators, and Toastmasters International and has served on the boards of the Sickle Cell Association, Boys and Girls Club, Kiwanis Club International and the AIDS Action Coalition. He is an ordained elder with the Church of God in Christ.

West Liberty University’s search for its next president began last spring after President Stephen Greiner announced his intended June 30, 2020 retirement last November. The search was delayed due to the pandemic and Greiner agreed to stay on at the request of the Board of Governors.

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About West Liberty University
West Liberty University is West Virginia’s oldest public university and today it offers more than 70 undergraduate majors, plus a growing number of graduate programs, both online and on campus. For more information, visit www.westliberty.edu.

(TALLADEGA, AL) – The recent Coronation of Miss Talladega College 2020-2021 Patria Gatson was unlike any of the college’s previous coronations.

“COVID-19 has forced colleges to find creative ways to maintain their cherished traditions. Our Miss Talladega College 2020-2021 Coronations was held outdoors, and our queen arrived in a horse-drawn carriage wearing a face shield,” said Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, Talladega College President. “Many people thought the outdoor event was among our most beautiful coronations ever and said the horse-drawn carriage added an extra-special touch. Some suggested that we hold future coronations ceremonies outside. In the midst of the pandemic, measure initially taken as health and safety precautions may actually inspire many colleges to form new traditions.”

Mr. Anthony Jones, who served as the Miss Talladega College advisor for over 20 years, added, “In our many decades of holding the Miss Talladega College coronation, the event was never outdoors and our queen has never arrived on a horse-drawn carriage.”

While the weather in the small Alabama town was pleasant enough for the November gathering, taking a traditionally indoor event outside presented a variety of unexpected challenges. Had he not set up early, Jones believe the event might have been a disaster.

“The wind kept blowing up the backdrop. We had to pin it down and find bricks to hold it in place. We also had to carefully select and secure the greenery to make sure nothing blew away,” said Jones.

The greatest challenge for Jones was figuring out how to make the event, which traditionally runs 1 1/2 hours and attracts throngs of students and alumni, into an elegant 30-minute affair with socially distanced chairs and relatively few attendees. Dr. Hawkins applauded Mr. Jones’s for accomplishing this mission and making the event special for Miss Talladega and her Royal Court.

“Miss Talladega College, Patria Gatson, is an exceptional scholar and an outstanding campus leader. She and members of her royal court deserved their special day. While I made the difficult decision to cancel Homecoming and many other significant events due to the pandemic, I am pleased that Mr. Jones used his creativity to help us safely maintain – and enhance – our coronation tradition.”

Patria was crowned by Dr. Hawkins, Miss Talladega College 2019-2020 De’Jha Billingsley and Mr. Talladega College 2019-2020 Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Ndiaye. Members of the the Royal Court included Miss Senior Jordan Dubose, Gentleman in Waiting Robert Walker, Miss Junior Ayala Seaborn, Mr. Junior Kobe Dickerson, Miss Sophmore Chaniaya McKenzie, Mr. Sophomore Trayon Miller, Miss Freshman Christian Mckinney, and Mr. Freshman Ulises Rivera Jr. Miss Talladega College 1994-1995 Terri A. Harvill delivered the invocation, and Talladega College Show Stopping Crimssonettes dancers Yvonne Hamilton and Ranisha Morris performed.

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About Talladega College
The oldest private Historically Black College in Alabama, Talladega College was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, William Savery and Thomas Tarrant. Talladega College is the home of the renowned Hall Woodruff Amistad Murals, which received rare reviews from the New York Times during a three year, eight-city tour. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

Thomas K. Hudson, J.D., President of Jackson State University

(JACKSON, MISS. – 11/19/20) – The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning named Jackson State University Acting President Thomas Hudson as president of the university at its meeting held earlier in Jackson. Hudson was named acting president earlier this year.

“As a Jackson State University alumnus, I am extremely pleased that we have identified one of our own to serve as president,” said Dr. Steven Cunningham, a member of the Board of Trustees. “We have witnessed the great strides he has made over the past nine months and have full confidence that he will continue to demonstrate the great love he has for this university by providing outstanding leadership for students, faculty, staff and alumni.”

As Acting President, Hudson has provided leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic and the university’s Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges reaffirmation process. He has also helped to improve the university’s financial position.

“Naming Thomas Hudson as president provides much-needed stability in leadership at the institutions,” said Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., Commissioner of Higher Education. “He has done an excellent job leading the university during an extraordinarily difficult time. I am pleased to continue working with him to advance Jackson State University and the university system.”

As Special Assistant to the President and Chief Diversity Officer, Hudson served on the executive cabinet and provided guidance to senior leadership on all topics related to the university’s future course and trajectory. With the Division of Human Resources and Office of the General Counsel under his purview, Hudson oversaw Institutional EEO and Title IX implementation and collaborated with other executive administrators on matters of curriculum, guidelines and practices.

“I am extremely appreciative and beyond humbled for the opportunity to continue to build upon Jackson State University’s extraordinary legacy,” said Hudson. “I recognize that it is an honor to serve in a leadership role, but it is an extreme honor and privilege to serve my alma mater – Jackson State University and the community I grew up in.”

“My focus remains the same and that is to ensure the success of our students, faculty and staff and the long-term viability of JSU. I would like to thank the IHL Board of Trustees for entrusting me to lead. I want to thank my wife, daughters, mother and all of my family for their infinite love and support. I also want to thank JSU administrators, faculty, staff and alumni for their deep-rooted dedication to JSU and their immovable belief in the power of a JSU education,” Hudson continued.

He also established collaborative partnerships with the University Veterans Center and Office of Disability Services to address the underrepresentation of employees from these groups. He also served as the president’s liaison for the Division of Athletics.

“My hope is that this historical event marks the first day of many more noteworthy achievements for our beloved Jackson State University,” said Dr. Dawn Bishop McLin, President of the JSU Faculty Senate. “During this transition the Faculty Senate took special care to share areas of concern with President Hudson, now we will continue to work with him towards the realization of improvements in shared governance, faculty pay equity, improving the research infrastructure, and the overall University welfare during the current COVID-19 crisis and beyond. It is this type of collaboration that is essential to advance the mutual interests, for our students, our faculty, our alumni, and our University, so that we will share a bounty of success in our collective futures. In our aspirations to be one JSU, there are some that may not be pleased with the process in its entirety but it’s my hope that we now more than ever, galvanize our efforts in spirit and deed to fully support our University’s leader, President Thomas K. Hudson.”

A member of the Jackson State staff since 2012, Hudson has also served as Chief Operating Officer/Chief Diversity Officer, Chief Diversity and EEO Officer/Title IX Coordinator. As Chief Operating Officer, Hudson implemented cost-saving measures that resulted in a 10 percent decrease in the university’s operational budget, coordinated academic and administrative restructuring efforts, resulting in an annual savings of $4 million, and led institutional efforts that changed a projected year-end and deficit to an approximate $3 million cash balance.

Appointed as the inaugural Chief Diversity and Equal Opportunity Officer at Jackson State, Hudson received the Presidential Creative Award for efforts in designing a program to bring awareness of interpersonal violence prevention to the student body and he designed and implemented the first university-wide training designed to eliminate implicit bias for search committees. In addition, he developed strategies for increasing the number of female faculty members in STEM disciplines, resulting in a 30 percent increase in hiring of women in these disciplines over a three-year period.

Hudson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Jackson State University and a law degree from the University of Mississippi. Before joining the staff at Jackson State, Hudson founded his own law practice and served as an EEO specialist for the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA in Clinton.

Hudson serves as Co-Chairperson of the JSU Strategic Planning Committee and Vice Chairperson of the university system’s Chief Diversity Officers’ Council. He is a member of the Margaret Walker Alexander Center Board of Directors and the JSU Athletics Hall of Fame Foundation Board of Directors. He served as the Bias and Policy Lead for the National Science Foundation Grant at Jackson State University from 2013 to 2017 and served as Chairperson of the Director of Disability Services Search Committee in 2016.

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About the Mississippi IHL Board of Trustees
The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities of Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi. For more information, visit www.mississippi.edu.

About Jackson State University
Jackson State University, an HBCU and comprehensive urban research university, is to provide quality teaching, research and service at the baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral levels to diverse populations of students and communities using various modalities to ensure that they are technologically-advanced, ethical, global leaders who think critically and can address societal problems and compete effectively. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu.

(CHICAGO, IL) – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), a educational advocacy organization is participating in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that unleash the collective power of individuals, communities, and organizations to encourage philanthropy and celebrate generosity worldwide. Giving Tuesday will kick-off the generosity season this year by inspiring people to give back on Tuesday, December 1st, and throughout the year. The organization’s set fundraising goal is $50,000 to support initiative programming and provide scholarships to students at HBCUs and MSIs.

HCF whose mission is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, initiative programming, and services at HBCUs and MSIs has joined the global day to meet its fundraising goal of $50,000 to support initiative programs and scholarship funds that impact its advocacy efforts in support of students, HBCUs, and MSIs as well as to further the organization’s mission. We believe that this global movement can impact the org’s advocacy efforts.

“The HBCU Campaign Fund wants to continue to strengthen its advocacy mission for HBCUs, MSIs and higher education. Our organization will keep going to be among one of the leading that inspire and transform the HBCU and MSI community and assisting to reduce the financial burden on a students’ education,” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., HCF’s president and CEO, Founder. “With the help of our supporters, we believe we can do it to continue to be an asset to supporting the important assignment that our HBCU and Minority-serving institutions take on daily and that’s to provide a quality education to a Black and diverse population of students. The set fundraising goal will provide the leverage for our organization to strengthen our philanthropy ability to overcome and continue supporting our students, and higher ed institutions.”

Leading up to #GivingTuesday, you can join the movement by posting a #Unselfie on social media or speak about why you support HCF as a HBCU supportive organization and using the campaign hashtag #HCFGivingTuesday. You can sign-up to volunteer as a Social Media Ambassador to provide HCF’s #GivingTuesday campaign and share the #GivingTuesday socia media post/flyers (pictured below) on social media.

Those who are interested in supporting HCF’s Giving Tuesday initiative can visit the campaign page by clicking here. The organization has identified four scholarship funds and initiative programs that donors can assist with in reaching its goals to continue benefiting students and our partners.

  • Annual HBCU Football and Recruitment Tour
  • The Brenda G. Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund
  • Campus Student Ambassador Program
  • HBCU General Scholarship

Higher education can be debt of students in accomplishing their goals. In order to fulfill our mission at HCF and make a difference, the campaign for students, HBCUs and MSIs is vital. We are asking for your support and we hope that you choose HCF as your charity of choice on #GivingTuesday, December 1st!

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About HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF)
HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a nonprofit educational organization that support the significance and raises funds for scholarship, initiative programming, and for private and public HBCUs and MSIs. HCF remains a strong advocate for students and higher education. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

About GivingTuesday
GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past seven years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundred of million people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Fore more information, visit www.givingtuesday.org.

(GULFPORT, MS – November 11, 2020) – Mississippi Power, in partnership with the Southern Company Charitable Foundation, is announcing on November 11th the awarding of $825,000 in Technology Grants to four historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Mississippi.

Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Rust College and Tougaloo College will receive grants to provide students with scholarships, internships, leadership development and access to technology and innovation to support career readiness.

“Investing in Mississippi’s HBCU students is an investment in the future workforce of our state,” said Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony Wilson. “We believe engaging these graduates will help ensure a thriving economy for Mississippi for years to come.”

For more than 150 years, Mississippi’s HBCUs have provided African American students with high quality education and skills development when laws prohibited them from being admitted at predominately white colleges and universities.

“Ensuring students have the resources and support to learn, excel and graduate is a critical role of all higher learning institutions,” said Moses Feagin, Mississippi Power’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Diversity Officer. “Mississippi’s HBCUs produce leader and innovators. We want to support the mission of these schools and connect with the talent pipeline they’ve created.”

Southern Company announced it is awarding grants to support technology for 21 HBCUs across several states, through its charitable foundation.

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe reliable and environmentally responsible energy 23 southeast Mississippi counties. For more information, visit www.misssissippipower.com.

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