(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.

(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.

(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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As part of its overall $50 million, multi-year investment in HBCUs, announced in January 2020, Southern Company is providing grants to select HBCUs to fund technology tools, infrastructure, professional development and tech support for the 2020-2021 academic year

(ATLANTA, GA – November 11, 2020) – Southern Company announced on November 11th it is awarding grants to support technology for 21 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across several states through it charitable foundation.

This commitment is part of Southern Company’s overall $50 million HBCU initiative, announced in January 2020, to provide students attending these institutions with scholarships, internships, leadership development and access to technology and innovation to support career readiness. This round of grants will help address challenges created by the pandemic by funding technology tools, infrastructure support, professional development and IT services to select undergraduate HBCUs within the Southern Company system’s service footprint in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia.

“We are thrilled to partner with some of the country’s leading institutions of higher learning as we invest in the next generation of technology leaders,” said Thomas A. Fanning, chairman, president and CEO, Southern Company. “After speaking with many institutions across our footprint, we heard the call loud and clear: new and better technology is needed to deliver quality education to students, now and in years to come. The goal is to provide resources that will stimulate the kind of critical thinking that will allow students to embrace ideas that will drive the change required for success today and into the future. We look forward to seeing what students from these universities will achieve through the grants we are providing.”

Southern Company is honored to be part of a growing group of corporate and philanthropic partners who have increased support for HBCUs in the wake of the pandemic and mounting calls for racial justice. The company seeks to increase the spotlight on these institutions beyond the current moment, underscoring the importance of HBCUs in higher education and in American life. Since Southern Company’s HBCU initiative was launched earlier this year, the company has provided more than $6 million to school across its service territory.

“We are proud to be among those who are investing in HBCUs. Theses institutions are at the forefront of critical work around equity and innovation in America, helping us tackle some of our most complex challenges. I am excited to announce this round of grants and look forward to upcoming grant announcements that will be open to these important institutions,” said Chris Womack, who recently become the president of Georgia Power, as of Nov. 1.

As part of the $50 million initiative, this round of allocations will be awarded by the Southern Company Foundation to qualifying institutions in grants up to $500,000. Southern Company intends to open additional grant applications in support of other needs at qualifying HBCUs in the near future. The energy company will collaborate with academic leaders from across its footprint to identify areas of need and channel resources into the programs that will create the most impact.

This opportunity follows the $1 million gift from Southern Company Gas and the Southern Company Gas Charitable Foundation to Morehouse School of Medicine to support the university’s academic expansion and efforts to provide greater equity in health care. The funding enables the medical school to strengthen its educational offerings and research enterprise, including its budding Natural Products Research Center and the development of an Emerging Pathogens Research Team focused on topics such as coronavirsuses.

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About the Southern Company
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy company serving 9 million customers through our subsidiaries. We provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America, a leading distributed energy infrastructure company, a fiber optics network and telecommunications services. For more information, visit www.southerncompany.com.

Miss Talladega College 2020-2021 Patria Gatson holding up one of the t-shirts that students, faculty, and staff received at the 3rd Annual President’s Picnic.

(TALLADEGA, AL) – Talladega College held its 3rd Annual President’s Picnic which included great food and free t-shirts celebrating Talladega’s record-setting enrollment. The spacious new plaza outside the Dr. Billy C. Hawkins Student Activity Center gave Talladegans plenty of room to celebrate while social distancing.

Enrollment at Talladega has risen to an all-time high of 1,313 students, making the 2020-2021 academic year the institution’s 3rd consecutive year for record enrollment increases. Talladega’s previous record was set last year, when the college enrolled 1,230 students for the 2019-2020 academic year. Talladga also enjoyed a record-high enrollment increase in the 2018-2019 academic year, when the student population increased to 1,216.

Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, who helped cook the food for the celebration, said, “There are several factors driving admissions at Talladega College. We have outstanding academic programs, beautiful new facilities, positive rankings, conference-winning athletic teams, and a phenomenal band and choir. We also have a dynamic admissions team that works closely with prospective students to show them the value of coming to Talladega.”

Talladega College is ranked in three categories in the prestigious U.S. News and World Report 2021 Best Colleges Guide – National Liberal Arts Colleges, Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs) and Top Performers on Social Mobility. The Princeton Review named Talladega College among the “Best Southeastern Colleges” in its “2021 Best Colleges: Region by Region” section. Talladega has also been listed among Kiplinger’s best value colleges.

Talladega College’s new state-of-the-art residence hall opened in January 2019. The Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art, which houses the critically-acclaimed Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals and other great works of art, opened in January 2020. In addition, the Dr. Billy C. Hawkins Student Activity Center opened in August 2020.

The College recently graduated the first cohort to complete its online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems, Talladega’s first graduate program.

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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 Hale 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.

(MISSISSIPPI) – Mississippi Valley State University (Itta Bena) and Jackson State University (Jackson), both historically black colleges and universities were listed among Mississippi Public Universities that improve the lives of Mississippi’s youngest citizens in numerous ways. These Universities have programs that serve children, train teachers and other specialists who serve the health and educational needs of children. These Universities also partner with other organizations to support children and their families.

Mississippi Valley State University’s Department of Social Work prepares students to advocate for children and families. Established in 1972 as the Family and Community Service Program, it meets the needs of human services agencies in the Delta and beyond. Accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and offering a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, the program supports local social service delivery systems through faculty and student involvement in community and professional activities, including organizing an Annual Social Work Conference at MVSU, professional training workshops, and advocating at the state capitol in support of social work issues. MVSU also offers the Master of Social Work degree which opens the door to new and exciting career opportunities for social workers looking to expand their reach in the social work field.

For more information, visit www.mvsu.edu.

Jackson State University’s College of Education (COE) is using a five-year $1.25 million grant to train teachers of visually impaired students in the South. U.S. data reveal there is a critical need for certified profession-ready teachers locally, statewide and nationally in this field. The Office of Special Education Programs has a goal to produce 30 teachers as part of the federal department’s Deep South Synergy Training Teachers of the Visually Impaired Project. The COE is a leading producer of African-American graduates in education. Many graduates become k-12 educators helping to develop the minds of Mississippi’s youth. Adrienne McDowell, an alum of JSU’s COE, was named JPS Teacher of the Year in 2019. McDowell’s efforts moved her bottom 25-percentile students from minimal to passing on the 2017-2019 English state tests.

For more information, visit www.jsums.edu.

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About Mississippi Valley State University
Mississippi Valley State University,as a Carnegie Classified Master’s University, provides comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts and sciences, and professional studies. MVSU is fundamentally committed to positively impacting the quality of life and creating extraordinary educational opportunities for the Mississippi Delta and beyond. For more information, visit www.mvsu.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.

About the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning
The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in 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.

Centers and institutes are important components of the academic, research, and service mission of a college or university. They play an important role in enabling multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs and are a necessary part of a college or university’s infrastructure.

Centers and institutes have the potential for strengthening disciplinary programs by providing interdisciplinary course work, offering service learning opportunities, facilitating certificate programs, supporting degree program, enabling high levels of research productivity and providing external visibility for the college or university.

Here is a list of active Centers and Institutes at HBCUs:

Center for the Study of HBCUs | Virginia Union University

The Center for the Study of HBCUs, in partnership with the Southern Education Foundation (SEF), at Virginia Union University is a national research center whose vision is to become the country’s preeminent institution for the advancement of scholarship on Black colleges in the United States an beyond.

The national research center will conduct high-quality studies, serves as a connection and convener of the HBCU scholarly community, and disseminate publications that focus on the history, mission, and management of HBCUs.

Click here for more information

Center for Social Justice | Claflin University

Claflin’s Center for Social Justice embodies a number of Claflin’s guding principles, most importantly Commitment to Valuing People. At Claflin, people are valued by providing a safe, wholesome and healthy environment that fosters mutual respect, diversity, and inclusion. The Center of Social Justice at Claflin provides a platform of its mission to lead a national movement of change.

Click here for more information

Social Justice Institute | Philander Smith College

The work and mission of Philander Smith College is deeply rooted in social justice and equity – going back to its founding nearly a century and a half ago. Reimagined and reinvented in 2017 with strategic thought partners Auburn Theological Seminary and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the institute works to transform the campus, the community and the world.

The Institute seeks to embrace and catalyze work in social justice across multiple domains: education, health, environment, community, economics, politics, identity, civil, criminal, religious, racial, gender, and age.

Click here for more information

Law Center | Southern University System

The mission of the Law Center is consistent with the rich heritage of the Southern University System. The Law Center stresses legal education of high quality for qualified students from diverse backgrounds.

The Southern University Law Center is proud of the tradition established by the original School of Law – to provide quality legal education commensurate with high professional standards. The vision that compels the Law Center to seek excellence in every aspect of its program also fosters an environment that stimulates the intellectual processes and promotes professional development.

The center offers a dual degree Juris Doctor/Masters in Public Administration (JD/MD) program in cooperation with the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Southern University and A&M College.

Click here for more information

The John R. Lewis Institute for Social Justice | Fisk University

The John R. Lewis Institute is a continuation of the famous Race Relations Institute (RRI), which shaped so many conversation and policies during the 60s and 70s. The social, political, and economic issues that RRI founder Fisk President Charles S. Johnson identified during the 1940s are still critical to addressing and improving the existing disparities in the African American community.

This Institute includes a master’s program in social justice, in addition to certificate programs and undergraduate projects, research and forums.

Click here for more information

Center for Racial Justice | Dillard University

The mission of Dillard University’s Center for Racial Justice (CRJ) is to bring systemic change to the way policies is done in communities of color and to promote partnerships with law enforcement including police departments and sheriff’s office, graduate, and professional schools. The Center for Racial Justice will be a reservoir for lectures, research, advocacy training, civic engagement, and political participation.

Click here for more information

John Mercer Langston Institute for African-American Political Leadership | Virginia State University

The John Mercer Langston Institute for African-American Political Leadership (JMLI) at Virginia State University was created to honor the legacy of John Mercer Langston, the first African American Congressional Representative from Virginia and first president of Virginia State University.

JMLI’s mission seeks to assess, develop, and empower African American political leadership in the Commonwealth of Virginia through innovative programming, research, and advocacy. The Institute strives to promote an increased understanding of the historical significance, unique role and challenges faced by African American political leaders. A highlight of JMLI’s programming is the development and engagement of collegiate scholars who are interested in activism and pursuing careers in political science and public administration.

Click here for more information

– Updated November 9, 2020

(BALTIMORE, MD) – Coppin State University (CSU), a historically black university, has announced the dedication of a life-size, bronze monument of Fanny Jackson Coppin, the institution’s namesake. The monument will be erected in a prominent located on the campus on October 15, 2021. The institution invites guest to be a part of this history-making event where Fanny will have a permanent and physical presence.

In 1865, Fanny Jackson was appointed to the Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania), a Quaker school in Philadelphia. Within four years, she became head principal, from which position she influenced two generations of young people. In a letter to Frederick Douglass in 1876, she explained her commitment: “I feel sometimes like a person to whom in childhood was entrusted some sacred flame… This is the desire to see my race lifted out of the mire of ignorance, weakness and degradation; no longer to sit in obscure corners and devour the scraps of knowledge which his superiors flung at him. I want to see him crowned with strength and dignity; adorned with the enduring grace of intellectual attainments.”

Her school was centered on this dream. She explained the curriculum to include an Industrial Department, established a Women’s Industrial Exchange to display the mechanical and artistic works of young women, and founded a Home for Girls and Young Women to house workers from out of town. Moreover, she persuaded employers to hire her pupils in capacities that would utilize their education.

Fanny Jackson Coppin was born a slave in Washington, D.C., she gained her freedom, graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio, and founded the Philadelphia Institute that was the forerunner of Cheyney State University.

Coppin was founded in 1900 at what was then called Colored High School (later named Douglass High School) on Pennsylvania Avenue by the Baltimore City School Board who initiated a one-year training course for the preparation of African-American elementary school teachers. By 1902, the training program was expanded to a two-year Normal Department within the high school, and seven years later it was separated from the high school and given its own principal. In 1926, this facility for teacher training was named Fanny Jackson Coppin Normal School in honor of the outstanding African-American woman who was a pioneer for teacher education.

“Love wins when everything else will fail.”
-Fanny Jackson Coppin

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