(Photo by Division of Communications and Marketing/HBCU Campaign Fund)

JACKSON, MS – Jackson State University appears to have come out on top after the recent Mississippi legislative session. The university scored $500,000 toward the preplanning for construction, furnishing, and equipping a new dinning facility. This is good news for JSU, whose Heritage Dinning Hall was built in 1977 and has seen little renovation or upgrades.

Other funding includes $1,175,025 toward campus construction, renovations, and repair. Another $506,111 went toward the Urban Research Center, which is an increase $55,152. JSU’s College of Health Sciences – A CEPH Accredited School of Public Health, will receive $1,500,000 for construction, furnishing, and relocation to the university’s main campus. Currently, the school is located in the Jackson Medical Mall on Woodrow Wilson St.

President Thomas K. Hudson offered special thanks to Mississippi legislators and state leaders for their investment in Jackson State.

“We appreciate the state’s contribution in helping maintain and improve JSU’s infrastructure. Our university is a community staple and economic driver for the city, county, and state,” he said. “Funding further allows us to make a significant impact on the people and communities we serve.”

Even more important, campus improvements, Hudson said, will enhance the quality of life for current students and entice potential students to enroll.

JSU’s Government Relations Directors Jacqueline Woods also extended gratitude to the Mississippi Legislature under the leadership of Philip Gunn, speaker of the House of Representatives, and Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann. She further ackowledged the Hinds County delegation and Hudson’s leadership.

“These appropriations will allow JSU to continue to provide amazing educational opportunities to our students,” said Woods. “I look forward to continuing to focus on our legislative agenda as we work to expand programs, build out campus and bring positive change to our communities.”

Most recently, news of the state allocating $250,000 for a stadium study created quite the buzz. Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium has been home to the Tigers since 1970. Still, talks of a new stadium have recently resurfaced with the state again making a good-fath effort in helping make it a reality.

Hudson explained that the stadium study will help determine the overall cost for a new on-campus multi-purpose facility with modern concessions and amenities.

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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 enure that they are technologically-advanced, ethical, global leaders who think critically and can address societal problems and complete effectively. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu.

TALLADEGA, AL – Acclaimed scholar Dr. Karla FC Halloway delivered a poetic and inspiring message at Talladega College’s 2021 Alpha Chi Society Initiation Ceremony and Honors Convocation. During this enlightening virtual event, she charged students to make themselves ready for the path that will emerge when the pandemic ends.

“As rooted as we might feel in this moment – bound to the pandemic – rootedness happens only because roots burrow and stretch. They slip downwards. They thicken. It may be chaotic burrowing, but it is insistent,” stated Dr. Holloway, who is a 1971 graduate of Talladega College. “Sometimes roots emerge as braided trunks on an ancient temple’s ruins or as tentacles strong enough to split a stone, but roots find ways and means, and they grow old even whole they sprout new growth.”

Dr. Karla FC Holloway

Dr. Holloway received a B.A. from Talladega College, and M.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University, and a Master of Laws from Duke University. She has taught at a number of higher education institutions, but completed her tenure in the academy at Duke University, where she served as chair of African and African American Studies and dean of the Humanities and Social Science faculty. She retired in 2016 as distinguished James B. Duke Professor Emerita of English, and Professor of Law. At Duke University, she served as chair of the University’s Appointments, Promotions and Tenure Committee and a member of the Institute on Care at the End of Life. She was the founding co-director at the John Hope Franklin Center and Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of the Humanities.

Dr. Holloway has spoken internationally; won numerous awards and fellowships; and published eight academic books, two novels, and over 75 articles, essays, and public media presentations.

Her mother, father, and great-great grandfather were also graduates of Talladega College.

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About Talladega College
Talladega College, Alabama’s first private historically black college, is consistently ranked among the best southeastern colleges and top HBCUs in the nation. It was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, Williams Savery and Thomas Tarrant, and is the home of the renowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

CHICAGO, IL – HBCU Campaign Fund’s (HCF) Founder, President & CEO, Demetrius Johnson Jr., will return to his alma mater to serve as a Student Recruitment Specialist in the good faith of assisting the team in increasing enrollment at the institution. His tenure began on April 16th. He is excited to provide his passionate and student-centered enthusiasm to the team. This will be in addition to Johnson continuing his duties as the Founder, President & CEO at the HBCU Campaign Fund where he has served for eight years. He does not accept a current salary for his position at HCF.

Demetrius Johnson Jr., Founder, President & CEO at HBCU Campaign Fund.

Johnson has a total of three years of higher education experience, most recently serving as a Financial Aid Counselor at Mississippi Valley State University. Prior to that, he served as Admissions Communications Specialist at Lincoln University of Missouri from 2017 until 2019. Since 2015, he has served as the Founder, President & CEO of the HBCU Campaign Fund, an advocacy non-profit educational organization that supports the significance and raises funds for scholarships and services at HBCUs and MSIs.

“It is such an honor to return back home to my alma mater to continue my service from once that I had provided as a student with this amazing opportunity. I look forward to working alongside those who align with the same vision in reaching the ultimate goal in making a better future for our Dear Mother as an HBCU,” said Johnson. “I care deeply about my alma mater, I BLEED black and gold, and those who know me personally know that I truly do. I am eager to accept this task and ambitiously willing to prepare students for success. Vice Chancellor Dr. Braque Talley has a vision and It’s UAPB to the TOP!”

Described as a highly visionary and passionate leader at heart, Johnson is a strong advocate for HBCUs. His vision for HCF is to lead the organization forward as an essential tool for supporting students and higher education. His ultimate goal is to ensure that HBCUs remain the relevant institutions that they were created to be, by us.

“I really enjoy working and servicing the students with the neccessary essentials that they’re needing to be successful in their collegiate studies. I am a strong believer of customer service and being user friendly, which is the key to a successful staff to student relationship. Also, it plays a huge part in retention,” Johnson added.

Johnson has received numerous awards and recognitions since his presidency at HCF. He was named among the 2016 HBCU Top 30, Under 30 by HBCU Buzz. Also, he served on a number of committees and groups.

Johnson earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (2016). In 2016, he was selected to attend a four-week study abroad program at the University of Toulouse-Jean Jaures in Toulouse, France. He is currently working on his Master’s degree.

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About the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB)
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.

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

DALLAS, TX – The Dallas Foundation, the first community foundation in Texas, has announced the appointment of Dr. Michael Sorrell, President of Paul Quinn College, as the next Chair of The Dallas Foundation’s Board of Governors. Sorrell follows in the footsteps of his predecessor Jeanne Witman Bobbitt, who served as Chair since 2019.

Sorrell began his tenure on The Dallas Foundation’s Board of Governors in 2015, and is an active member of its Community Philanthropy Committee. With half a decade of experience serving the organization, Sorrell will lead the 16 members of The Dallas Foundation’s Board of Governors in building on the strategic plan adopted in 2019 and overseeing the governance of the Foundation’s funds.

“The Dallas Foundation is thrilled to have Michael lead our next era of impact as we work to reduce intergenerational poverty and make Dallas a brighter and more equitable community,” said Matthew Randazzo, President & CEO of The Dallas Foundation. “Michael brings a distinguished track record of success on issues facing Dallas and we look forward to his thought partnership and board leadership as we build a community where everyone can thrive.”

“Reducing intergeneratonal poverty by investing in the earliest years of child’s life will yield dividends for future generations and ensure that Dallas becomes an opportunity rich community for all of our neighbors,” said Dr. Sorrell. “This is important work and I am honored to serve as Chair of The Dallas Foundation’s Board of Governors as we focus on one of the most pressing issues facing our community today.”

Sorrell is a demonstrated and well-known leader in Dallas and is the longest-serving President in the history of Paul Quinn College. Under his leadership, the institution has became nationally recognized as one of the most innovative colleges in the country and is renowned for its efforts to remake higher education to serve the needs of under-resourced students and communities. Sorrell has received numerous awards for his dedication to education, the City of Dallas, and the legal community. He received his Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania (where his dissertation defense was awarded “with Distinction”), J.D. and M.A. in Public Policy from Duke University, and his B.A. in Government from Oberlin College.

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About The Dallas Foundation
The Dallas Foundation, established as the first community foundation in Texas in 1929, brings together people, ideas, and investments in Greater Dallas so individuals and families can reach their full potential. In 2019, The Dallas Foundation, in partnership with the more than 400 fundholders, invested over $70 million into the community. For more information, visit www.dallasfoundation.org.

BOWIE, MD – Voting rights champion, political leader and bestselling author Stacey Abrams will deliver the commencement address to the Spring 2021 graduating class at Bowie State University during a virtual commencement to be held on May 21, 2021 at 10 a.m. EDT.

Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams is an outspoken advocate in the fight to expand voting access and is the New York Times-bestselling author of “Our Time Is Now” and “Lead from the Outside.” She is widely credited with increasing voter turnout in Georgia in the 2020 presidential election, as well as in the state’s 2020-21 U.S. Senate election and special election. She was nominated for a 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts. She made history in 2019 as the first African-American woman to deliver a response to the State of the Union address.

She was the nation’s first African-American female major-party gubernatorial nominee when she ran as the Democratic candidate in the 2018 Georgia governor’s race, winning more votes, at the time, than any Democrat in state history. Before her gubernatorial run, she served as Democratic Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives for seven years.

Abrams has launched several organizations to address inequities in government. She started Fair Fight Action to ensure every American has a voice in our election system, Fair Count to ensure accuracy in the 2020 census and the Southern Economic Advancement Project, a public policy initiative to broaden economic power and build equity in the South.

Abrams hold a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School, a Master of Public Affairs degree from University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College.

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About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit www.bowiestate.edu.

PINE BLUFF, AR – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) was recently awarded financial support from the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU), to support participation in the largest-ever institutional collaborative effort to collect and share data geared at finding solutions for college access and help generate more graduates from underrepresented minority, low-income, and first generation backgrounds. Dr. Braque Talley, Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management and Student Success at UAPB, has a passion for student success and retention and the grant will support his efforts to improve local and national education opportunities.

Dr. Braque Talley, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Success at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

“Getting students enrolled in college is no longer enough,said Dr. Talley. “We don’t just want students to attend UAPB. We want them to graduate from here as well. The success of our students is a priority for our Chancellor.”

Dr. Talley is using the funds to help review best practices that help with student successes and share the successful initiatives that impact institutional equity. As a participant, Dr. Talley will share his data with other public universities working together to increase college access, eliminate the achievement gap, and award hundreds of thousands more degrees by 2025.

“By collecting, reporting, and analyzing data from students of all backgrounds across the country, it will help to foster more informed decisions about how to improve opportunities and support the current gaps in student success,” said Dr. Talley.

“Dr. Talley’s dedication to student individual success is evident,” said George Cotton, Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement at UAPB. “Since day one, he has been driven to finding solutions to help student succeed, generate retention for the university, and help young people find their place in the world.” Even amid history’s worst pandemic, Dr. Talley was relentless in finding ways to stay engaged with local youth and help students find success. He and his team are credited for helping UAPB reach the largest enrollment increase in nearly a decade and increase the retention rate the one of the highest in the university’s history, according to reports.

“We are proud of our participation in this new initiative focused on data-driven research to determine solutions for student outcomes,” said Dr. Laurence B. Alexander, UAPB Chancellor. “UAPB is committed to being more student-focused and more responsive to change with the goal of increasing student success and the removal of impediments to student retention, progression, and timely graduation.”

Other institutions selected for the nationwide initiative are Clemson University; Illinois State University; Ohio University; Middle Tennessee State University; Montana State University; New Mexico State University; University of New Orleans; New Jersey Institute of Technology; Rutgers University-Newark; University of South Alabama; Texas Tech University; Tuskegee University; Virginia Commonwealth University; Western Michigan University; and University of Wyoming.

Dr. Talley proudly serves on the Board of Directors of the HBCU Campaign Fund.

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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.

The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) recognizes Stress Awareness Month

In 1992, April was established as National Stress Awareness Month to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach how to fight stress, and create methods to overcome stress. Try 5 ways that will help you fight stress courtesy of the Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute.

Understanding Stress and Its Effect

Experiencing stress in and of itself is not harmful, but when stress is prolonged, extreme, or constant, it can lead to health issues, both physical and mental. Stress can raise your blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels, leading to fatigue, digestive health issues, and even poor cardiovascular health. Stress can also be a trigger for unhealthy life choices like drinking, smoking, eating unhealthy foods, and lazing in days away.

How To Fight Stress

Too many of us are missing out on life due to stress, but there are steps you can take to manage stress and its negative effect. You cannot eliminate or change stress, but you can change how you react to it. Some ideas on how to fight stress are to:

  • Stay Positive: Every day, as often as possible, think about and be grateful for all the amazingly wonderful things in your life: a comforting love, a good job, or a great vacation. Practice gratitude for the things you take for granted, like a roof over your head, food in your fridge, or modern medicine. Enjoy small stuff: coffee already made when you get to work; the first robin of spring; a funny cloud that makes you laugh.
  • Meditate: When you are feeling stressed, take time throughout your day to do some deep breathing and relax. Try to clear your mind, rid yourself of all negative thoughts, and breathe in positive energy. Practice mindfulness, being aware of your surroundings, other people, and what you do or say. Try journaling thoughts and events to help you understand their significance, learn from them, and then let them go.
  • Make Healthy Choices: You do not need to join a gym and work out 2 hours a day to stay active. Take a daily walk…or 2…or 3. Adopt a healthy way of eating, avoiding refined sugars and carbs and processed foods. Fight stress by sticking to a diet of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Lastly, give your body the time it needs to recover by getting adequate rest.
  • Try a Social Detox: Unplug from the world. Put down the devices, and better yet, turn them off completely. Try to go as long as possible without looking at social media, texting, tweeting, or using any electric communication or entertainment. Enjoy the beauty of the present.
  • Enjoy Stress Relievers: What do you like to do that will make you relax? Read a book, listen to music, paint, draw, sing, dance. Relax in a warm bath and indulge in some aromatherapy. Increase circulation and reduce stress hormones with some massage therapy. Whatever brings your contentment and peace, include it in each day.

These tips can help you learn how to overcome stress, but the Georgetown Behavioral Health Institute understands that sometimes these things just aren’t enough. Stress often leads to serious problems with both mental and physical health, so there program are designed to address stress and the resulting disorders.

George Ivory, dean of Southwestern Athletic Conference basketball coaches, a SWAC Hall of Famer, and former head men’s basketball coach at Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

PINE BLUFF, AR – George Ivory, the dean of Southwestern Athletic Conference basketball coaches and a SWAC Hall of Famer, has resigned as head men’s basketball coach at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff after 13 season, according to the University.

“It has been an honor and privilege to be the head coach at UAPB and to guide the young men who I was fortunate to coach,” said Ivory. “I will always have fond memories of nearly 20 years in this program, and am grateful for the opportunity to lead this program. I’ve been involved in this wonderful game for more than 30 years, and after a difficult COVID-challenging season, I am tired. It’s best for me to step away now and spend more time with my family.”

As SWAC Tournament Champions in 2010, Ivory led the Golden Lions to the NCAA Tournament and a First Four Win over Winthrop. The Golden Lions nearly returned to the Big Dance in 2018, falling to eventual champion Texas Southern in the SWAC Tournament final.

Ivory’s team posted significant non-conference wins over SMU, Florida International, Houston, and Arkansas State during his tenure. Buoyed by phenomenal home attendance, Ivory led the program to winning records at home 10 times, as the game atmosphere at the H.O. Clemmons Arena was voted the best in the SWAC.

“The name George Ivory is synonymous with Golden Lion men’s basketball,” said Chris Robinson, Interim Athletic Director at UAPB. “From four years as an assistant coach to 13 years as a head coach, his program provided many memorable moments and made the H.O. Clemmons Arena one of the toughest venues for opposing teams in the SWAC. We thank him for his tireless commitment and effort poured into the program, and look forward to his success in future endeavors.”

Ivory attended college at Mississippi Valley State University where he played basketball. He was selected as Freshman of the Year, First Team All-SWAC, SWAC Tournament MVP, and Player of the Year in the conference. Ivory started all four years at Valley, where he still ranked top in scoring, steals, assist, minutes, and games played.

Ivory later worked as a graduate assistant with the Lady Tigers basketball program at Jackson State University for three years before becoming full-time assistant in 1991-1998 under head coach Andrew Pennington. In spring of 2008, he was named the head coach of the Golden Lions at Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

UAPB will conduct a national search for a new head coach.

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.

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PINE BLUFF, AR – The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) Marching Band (M4; Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South), was awarded the $5,000 grand prize for their performance of one of Aretha Franklin’s greatest hits, “Freeway of Love.”

“I consider this award to reflect the hard work of our students and talented staff that have brought this to fruition,” said John Graham, Band Director for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. “We are honored to celebrate the life and legacy of Aretha Franklin. She inspired people to respect and love one another.”

Marking Aretha Franklin’s birthday, National Geographic’s GENIUS: ARETHA and Watch The Bands, an online platform that focuses on preserving and promoting the marching band and dance culture of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) which is owned by Watch The Yard, announced that UAPB’s Marching Band had been named the winner of ‘All Hail The Queen: HBCU Band Tribute.’

The announcement also comes on the heels of all eight episodes GENIUS: ARETHA now being available on Hulu on March 25.

The Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South (M4) is under the direction of Mr. John Graham and Assistant Directors, Mr. Darryl Evans and Mr. Harold Fooster. M4 performs all home football games and travels to almost all games away from campus. The marching band has made appearances at the Gateway Classic, Professional football games, national television, and countless “Battle of the Bands” competition. Each year M4 hosts it “Band Day”, where several high school bands from throughout the country get the opportunity to attend a Golden Lion football game, play as a mass band, and perform their half-time shows for each other. The Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South performed in the 2008 inaugural parade of President Barack Obama.

For more information about how you can be part of UAPB’s M4, click here.

Watch the ‘All Hall the Queen: HBCU Band Tribute’ video below.

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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.

CHICAGO, IL (April 1, 2021) – Shedd Aquarium, a leader in animal care, conservation, education and research, announces the election of six new senior executives to the aquarium’s Board of Trustees which includes Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott, Chicago State University President.

Zaldwaynaka Scott, president of Chicago State University.

“The dynamic group of leaders brings years of economic, cultural, social and community contributions that will bring great value not only to Shedd’s role in the healing and recovery of Chicago but also to informing and strengthening our future ambitions,” said Brain A. Kenney, chairman, president and CEO of GATX Corporation and Shedd Aquarium Board Chairman.

Scott serves as the President of Chicago State University as of 2018 and is considered a thought leader on issues of equity and access in higher education. In her time as President, she has overseen the development and advancement of student success initiatives, developed and implemented a five-year strategic plan and created a statewide, cross-sector Equity Working Group for Black Student Access and Success in Illinois’ Higher Education.

“Shedd Aquarium’s Board of Trustees is generous in so many ways, providing hard work, ideas, resources and connections that translate to meaningful and lasting impacts for Shedd and for Chicago,” said Bridget Coughlin PhD, president and CEO of Shedd Aquarium. “We are thrilled to usher in new insights and contributions from six tremendous leaders, who are also passionate about animals and saving this blue planet.”

Shedd is governed by the Shedd Aquarium Society, composed of volunteer corporate, civic and community leaders that make up the Board of Trustees with the primary responsibility for governance oversight and fiduciary accountability, as outlined in the Society bylaws. The board provides strategic direction for institutional priorities through work in both governance and programmatic committees.

About Shedd Aquarium
The Shedd Aquarium connects nature lovers and animal enthusiast with the aquatic animal world. Beluga encounters, beach clean-ups and 360 virtual dives with Caribbean reef sharks are all tools that deepen connections with wildlife and work toward this vision. For more information, visit www.sheddaquarium.org.

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billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban. Cuban is owner of the Dallas Mavericks.

TALLADEGA, AL – Talladega College students, faculty, and staff participated in a virtual meeting with billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban on March 29, 2021. Mr. Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is a media proprietor and the primary investor on the ABC reality television series Shark Tank.

Mr. Cuban talked about experiences that shaped his life and urged prospective entrepreneurs to select businesses that will “leverage your unique skill sets.” He also stated, “You’ve got to put in the effort. You’ve got to be able to prepare.”

During the presentation, Talladega College senior Kamari McHenry asked questions about Mr. Cuban’s successful business endeavors and the experiences that helped him to excel. After the event, Kamari stated, “I was happy to be a part of the virtual experience today with Mark Cuban. He gave our students and me some wonderful advice. He let me know the sky is the limit. I can do anything with hard work.”

Mass Media Studies Chair Dr. Luis Almeida, who arranged the event, stated, “Having Mark Cuban come into my classroom at Talladega was a wonderful opportunity for students. He helped them to understand the importance of entrepreneurship and realize that, after graduation, they can create their own jobs.”

During the presentation, Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins stated that Mr. Cuban’s “passion, confidence, poise, and drive” are among the keys to his success. Dr. Hawkins also noted that similarities between Mr. Cuban’s story of starting out with little and building a fortune to the experiences he had when he became president of the college in 2008. There were barely over 300 students at the time. With hard work and perseverance, the college doubled enrollment from approximately 300 to 601 students in one semester and a major campus transformation began.

In January 2019, a 45,000-foot-square-of-the-art residence hall opened. In 2020, two additional facilities opened – the Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art, which houses the Amistad Murals, and the Dr. Billy C. Hawkins Student Activity Center. Enrollment recently rose to an all-time high of 1313 students, making the 2020-2021 academic year Talladega’s 3rd consecutive year for record enrollment increases. Talladega College is listed among the Princeton Review’s best colleges in the Southeast and ranked among the U.S. News and World Report’s best National Liberal Arts College, best Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs), and Top Performers on Social Mobility. The College recently launched its first-ever graduate program, an online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems.

About Talladega College
Talladega College, Alabama’s first private historically black college, is consistently, ranked among the best southeastern colleges and top HBCUs in the nation. It was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, Williams Savery and Thomas Tarrant, and is the home of the renowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

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Hampton University, Howard University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State College Will Use Grants to Assist Qualifying Students Studying STEM

NEWARK, N.J. – The PSEG Foundation has announced $1 million in grant funding to three historically black colleges and universities: Hampton University, Howard University and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. This funding will provide qualifying students an opportunity to attend prestigious universities and pursue their studies in STEM education.

Through these grants, the PSEG Foundation hopes to help diversify the STEM workforce by providing underrepresented students access to STEM education and generating a pipeline of competitive and capable talent for the future workforce, as well as the next generation of scientific and policy leaders in environmental science, sustainability and social justice.

“HBCUs have a long history of offering an exceptional educational experience while enriching the lives of Black students and families and providing the resources that empower students to succeed in various STEM careers,” said Calvin Ledford Jr., president of the PSEG Foundation. “At PSEG, we have dozens of employees and their families that have attended HBCUs, including many alumni of Hampton University and Howard University. This support is exemplary of our vision to build equitable and prosperous communities, amplifying the direction we have been heading by providing support to organization including the United Negro College Fund and Thurgood Marshall College Fund, just to name a few.”

Hampton University will use its grant for the PSEG STEM Scholars Program, designed to support promising high school seniors and undergraduate freshmen from underserved and minority populations in New Jersey who are studying STEM fields. Hampton’s comprehensive STEM programs have positioned the university as a leader, with more than 20% of students studying in one of several science programs. Through the PSEG STEM Scholars Program, students are eligible to receive one of five two-year scholarships for New Jerseys students, covering tuition, room and board.

“We are very thankful the the PSEG Foundation has invested in Hampton and this project which will enable the growth and development of new diverse STEM scholars,” said Dr. Williams R. Harvey, president of Hampton University. “We are grateful for PSEG’s consideration of Hampton and its stellar School of Engineering and Technology to launch this program. I look forward to sharing many reports of positive progress as a result of the PSEG Foundation’s gift to us.”

Howard University will use its grant to offer scholarships to undergraduate Environmental Studies majors, specifically those from communities previously underrepresented in environmental science and clean energy research, yet over-represented in areas that battle the highest levels of environmental pollution. The PSEG Scholars Program will provide scholarships for as many as six Howard University undergraduates who demonstrate financial need.

“Support from the PSEG Foundation will transform the lives of select environmental studies students by providing assistance to receive rigorous interdisciplinary training in environmental issues that directly impact their communities” said Rubin Patterson, Ph.D., dean of the Howard University College of Arts and Sciences. “We anticipate recipients of this award becoming leaders in environmental science and justice.”

North Carolina A&T will use its grant for the Powered by PSEG Scholarship Program, which will educate a diverse and competitive talent pool, with high priority given to residents of New Jersey enrolled in the College of Engineering, College of Science and Technology, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences or the Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics.

“As the nation’s premier land grant HBCU, we are proud of and grateful for the partnership and support of the PSEG Foundation,” said Kenneth E. Sigmon, Jr., vice chancellor for University Advancement and president of The Foundation for North Carolina A&T State University Inc. “Finding partners with shared values is a high priority for the university and those we serve. The PSEG Foundation, like North Carolina A&T, is committed to education, serving their communities, diversity and inclusion, and corporate citizenship. With all those things in common, we look forward to the great things that will come from their support and engagement with the university.”

The PSEG Foundation has a longstanding history of support for programs that empower diverse and inclusive communities with a focus on addressing inequities. Further support to underserved and underrepresented communities includes:

  • UNCF: The PSEG Foundation provided the organization with a grant for four-year scholarships for nine students, as well as support for the Emergency Student Aid Program. The foundation has funded the scholarship program for more than 20 years.
  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund: The PSEG Foundation has provided sponsorship support to this organization for more than 20 years.

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About the PSEG Foundation
The PSEG Foundation, 501(c)(3), the philanthropic arm of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG)(NYSE:PEG), prioritizes investments in the environment, safety, STEM education & workforce development, diversity & inclusion, and the communities served by PSEG. Headquartered in Newark, N.J., PSEG is a diversified energy company with approximately 13,000 employees. In 2020, PSEG was named one of Forbes’ Best Employers for Diversity for the third year in a row. In addition, PSEG was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America for the 13th consecutive year in 2020. For more information, visit nj.pseg.com.

BOWIE, MD – A Bowie State University professor and counseling professional was named Counselor Educator of the Year by the Maryland School Counselor Association (MSCA) for her innovation and leadership in the profession. A recent Bowie State graduate was selected Maryland School Counseling Graduate Student of the Year.

Dr. Cynthia Taylor (’89), who teaches in the Department of Counseling, was one of 17 outstanding professional honored at the Maryland School Counselor Association’s first virtual gala on March 19. Having 15 years of experience in the profession, Dr. Taylor leads the school counseling master’s degree program. She won an outstanding service award in 2015.

“It is quite an honor to receive this recognition,” said Dr. Taylor during the virtual gala. “It’s very enlightening to be able to share concepts… that our students will need to be successful… The ultimate joy is when they are gainfully employed as a professional school counselor.”

James Harris (’20), a Charles County elementary school counselor and recent BSU graduate, was recognized as an excellent graduate student for his commitment to academic excellent and professional growth, while serving the academic and social-emotional needs to his students.

“It is an amazing honor to be able to receive this award,” said Harris at the virtual gala. “I want to thank my teachers who continued to push me.”

MSCA President-elect Nikki Ham, who is also Bowie State’s associate director of clinical counseling and field experiences, expressed her excitement that the evaluators representing parents, school administrators, counselors and teachers selected two BUS-affiliated counselors for top honors.

“I was extremely proud, as a graduate and staff members of Bowie State University, when the independent evaluators submitted her names of the honorees for this award,” said Ham.

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About Bowie State University
Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit www.bowiestate.edu.

Five-Year Project Includes Internships, Training and a Traveling Exhibition of Artifacts From the Universities’ Collections

Ayer Hall, which houses the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University. Photo courtesy of the Division of Communications and Marketing at the HBCU Campaign Fund.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) announced a partnership with five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to enhance their ability to care for and share archives that tell the story of African American and their essential role in American culture and history. The consortium includes Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M University, Jackson State University, Texas Southern University and Tuskegee University.

The project, led by NMAACH’s strategic partnerships office, features:

  • Internships, fellowship programs and professional training for underrepresented groups to establish a pipeline of museum and archive specialists in the next generation.
  • Assistance in digitizing HBCU collections and creating a digital archive in an easily accessible format for academic scholars and the general public.
  • Development of a traveling exhibition drawing on the most compelling collections from the partner universities that will begin at NMAAHC and then travel to the consortium members and other venues around the country.
The Oaks, the home of Booker T. Washington, first president of Tuskegee University. The home was completed in 1900. Photo courtesy of the Division of Communications and Marketing at the HBCU Campaign Fund.

A launch meeting of the consortium was held virtually March 23, Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III and NMAAHC Director Kevin Young spoke at the event and were joined by members of the consortium’s advisory committee: National Endowment for the Humanities Acting Chair Adam Wolfson, Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Crosby Kemper III and Johnnetta Cole, former director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. Also in attendance were the presidents of the five universities:

  • George French Jr., president of Clark Atlanta University
  • Larry Robinson, president of Florida A&M University
  • Thomas Hudson, president of Jackson State University
  • Kenneth Huewitt, interim president of Texas Southern University
  • Chalotte Morris, interim president of Tuskegee University

“We are honored to be a part of this HBCU initiative with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and we look forward to all the ways we’ll be able to expand access to the Margaret Walker Center’s collections and ensure their availability for generations to come,” said Dr. Robert Luckett, director of the Margaret Walker Center at Jackson State University, which houses over 40 manuscript collections, more than 2,000 oral histories and other numerous historical assets.

NMAAHC’s strategic partnerships office, established in 2012 (four years before the museum opened), explores issues facing HBCUs and identifies ways to strengthen and sustain their museums, archives and libraries. Outreach programs such as the consortium as part of NMAAHC’s core mission. More information can be found on the office’s website.

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About the NMAAHC
Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed over 7 million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the national’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit nmaahc.si.edu or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.

The day of March 24th was an historic moment in higher education, specifically for our historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). I am very thankful for those who serve as dominant advocates for our HBCUs and of our government officials – federal, state, and local who continuously fight for equity funding and resources for HBCUs. Additionally, I am overly grateful for those who proudly stand on the impact of our HBCUs in the state of Maryland. Maryland is home to four HBCUs that include: Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

After fifteen years of battling for equal rights of better state funding that will bring much-needed support to carry on with a high-quality education at the Maryland’s four HBCUs. The battle is only one step further with $577 million over a decade we will accept; however, it is still not equitably enough. Let’s continue the fight for MORE. We applaud House Speaker Adrienne Jones and Senator Charles Sydnor for their willingness in leading this effort to the resolution of this long-standing lawsuit of what defines brighter days for our institutions. Also, I applaud the Legislative Black Caucus for their efforts in this resolution as well.

On March 24th, Bowie State University welcomed Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, along with Senate President Bill Ferguson and House Speaker Adrienne Jones, for the official signing of the legislation lawsuit. As a result of the $577 HBCU Settlement Bill, Morgan State University will receive $24 million, Bowie State $16.7 million, Coppin State University $9 million, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore $9.7 million in state funds in the fiscal year 2023, and at least $9 million annually thereafter, through the fiscal year 2032. The funds in the settlement are expected to be used for scholarships and financial aid support services, as well as faculty recruitment and development. Also, the funds could be used to expand and improve existing academic programs, including online programs, and the development and implementation of new academic programs.

The ongoing efforts to ‘Campaign For HBCUs’ will carry on to evolve around the educational landscape of our HBCUs. And the fight for equity funding doesn’t just stop here; however, it will keep going for Maryland HBCUs and all other HBCUs that rely on state funding. In the words of President Breaux, HBCUs will continue to be a beacon of hope and promise for those seeking to improve their families and communities through public higher education. And the HBCU Campaign Fund will always advocacy, support and commend the roles of our HBCUs and their vigorous leaders, faculty, and staff.

I am proud to say that truly, We Are HBCUs!

Dr. Kristie L. Kenney, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Talladega College.

TALLADEGA, AL – Dr. Kristie L. Kenney, Talladega College’s vice president for institutional advancement, has been selected to participate in the Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI). A new class of 32 exemplary, senior-level higher education professionals will participate in the 2021 MLI, a premier leadership development program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

“I commend Dr. Kenney for being one of 32 higher education professionals in the nation selected to participate in the 2021 Millennium Leadership Initiative,” said Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, president of Talladega College, who was a member of the 2000 Millennium Leadership Initiative. “Having completed the MLI, I understand and appreciate the value and lasting impact that this program can have on a participant’s life.”

MLI provides individuals traditionally underrepresented in the highest ranks of postsecondary education with the opportunity to develop skills, gain a philosophical overview, and build the network and knowledge needed to advance to the presidency.

Since MLI’s inception 22 years ago, 662 protégés have graduated from the program. One-fifth of MLI graduates have become a president or chancellor, and more than one-third have advanced significantly to other leadership positions within higher education, including at the state level.

In 2020, AASCU restructured MLI in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 institution will also feature virtual programming – four meetings a month from March 17 to May 26. Additionally, it includes a tentative, in-person meeting in the fall. Protégés will also have a yearlong mentorship with an experienced president or chancellor and four months of professional coaching from a retired president or chancellor.

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About Talladega College
Talladega College, Alabama’s first private historically black college, is consistently ranked among the best southeastern colleges and top HBCUs in the nation. It was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, Williams Savery and Thomas Tarrant, and is the home of the renowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

About AASCU
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. Theses are institutions Delivering America’s Promise. For more information, visit www.aascu.org.

WASHINGTON, DC – A new class of 32 exemplary, senior-level higher education professionals will participate in the 2021 Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI), a premier leadership development program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), according to a press released by the association. 4 of the 32 are senior-level higher education professionals are at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).


Gary Brown
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Elizabeth City State University

Clay Gloster
Vice Provost for Graduate Research and Dean of the Graduate College
North Carolina A&T State University

Anthony Graham
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Winston-Salem State University

Kristie Kenney
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Talladega College

MLI provides individuals traditionally underrepresented in the highest ranks of postsecondary education with the opportunity to develop skills, gain a philosophical overview, and build the network and knowledge needed to advance to the presidency.

During the past year, it has become more evident how important diversity, equity, and inclusion are,” said Dr. Mary Evans Sias, director of the program and assistant to AASCU’s president. “With the selection of this class, we are hoping to reflect the diversity of this nation and the institutions that our protégés serve. We are proud to welcome our next class and are grateful to them for joining with us to secure the higher education leadership pipeline.”

Since MLI inception 22 years ago, 662 protégés have graduated from the program. One-fifth of MLI graduates have become a president or chancellor, and more than one-third have advance significantly to other leadership positions within higher education, including at the state level.

“As a protégés of MLI’s inaugural class of 1999, I gained an invaluable network of colleagues and honed leadership skills that I’ve throughout my presidencies,” said AASCU President Dr. Mildred García. “I look forward to meeting with and mentoring members of the 2021 class. These leaders will help higher education continue to advance and overcome unprecedented challenges.”

In 2020, AASCU restructured MLI in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 institute will also feature virtual programming – four meetings a month from March 17 to May 26. Additionally, it includes a tentative, in-person meeting in the fall. Protégés will also have a yearlong mentorship with an experienced president or chancellor and four months of professional coaching from a retired president or chancellor.

View the full list of protégés.

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About AASCU
The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning and teaching centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise. For more information, visit www.aascu.org.

Dr. Alvin Smith

TALLADEGA, AL – Talladega College graduate Dr. Alvin Smith, manager of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL) Planetary Protection Center of Excellence and Backward Planetary Protection Lead for Mars Sample Return, credits Talladega for providing the foundation that helped him excel in science.

“Talladega College really shaped my first understanding of the scientist, individually and collectively, that I wanted to become. The sense of family and community fostered a sense of belonging you rarely find these days, rooted in historical black excellence,” said Dr. Smith. “It was this TC community that made the first investment, through scholarships and didactic scientific education, that truly launched my ambitions to the stars.”

Dr. Smith provides program management and scientific oversight to several research & development projects, training programs, university outreach, and interagency collaborations at NASA JPL at the California Institute of Technology. The JPL Planetary Portection Center of Excellence promotes and sustains the infrastructure of planetary protection at JPL while supporting NASA missions. JPL fosters a culture of intra and inter collaboration to meet evolving mission requirements. The Planetary Protection Center of Excellence ensures that its scientists and engineers are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, remain effectively trained, lead mission-related Research & Technology Development projects, and leverage leading government and industry advancements, so that they can better fulfill multi-mission needs. Dr. Smith joined JPL after spending over 16 years in consulting as a biodefense subject matter expert (SME) and researcher in high containment labs.

These experiences highlight his understanding of what it takes to conduct challenging biological studies, implement and lead successful scientific projects, and build lasting partnerships. His scientific contributions in immunology, infectious diseases, and animal models have aided the federal government in developing medical countermeasures and biodetection capabilities for human smallpox, Ebola, and other potential biological weapons. He is a past recipient of numerous awards and honors, including JPL’s Voyager Award, the Noblis Technology Leadership Award, and the IGCC (Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation) Public Policy and Biological Threats Fellowship Award.

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About Talladega College
Talladega College, Alabama’s first private historically black college, is consistently ranked among the best southeastern colleges and top HBCUs in the nation. It was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, William Savery and Thomas Tarrant, and is home of the renowned Hall Woodruff Amistad Murals. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

The HBCU Campaign Fund would like to extend its warmest congratulations to Dr. Adena Williams Loston on the completion of her 14th year as President of St. Philip’s College located in San Antonio, Texas. She joined the SPC family on March 1, 2007, on the occasion of St. Philip’s 109th anniversary.

Adena Williams Loston, Ph.D., 14th president of St. Philip’s College.

Named as one of The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2021 by the HBCU Campaign Fund, Dr. Loston serves as president of the only college to be federally designated as a Historically Black College (HBC) and a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Prior to joining SPC, she previously served as the Director of Education and Special Assistant for Suborbital and Special Orbital Projects Directorate for the Goddard Space Flight Center, Wallops Flight Facility and Chief Education Officer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration at its Headquarters in Washington, DC. Her initial appointment at NASA was as the Associate Administrator for Education on October 28, 2002, and prior to joining the Agency, she served as the NASA Administrator’s Senior Education Advisor starting in September 2002. As NASA’s senior education official, she was responsible for structuring the Office of Education, providing executive leadership, policy direction, functional management, and guidance in coordinating the Agency’s overall efforts to organize and enhance its education investments and portfolio nationally and internationally for its Headquarter operations, mission directorates and 10 field centers. Dr. Loston was responsible for a $230 million budget (including earmarks) and directed policy for $1.3 billion.

Recently, Dr. Loston was named to two local committees, serving on both The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF) 2021 Executive Committee and Mayor Nirenberg Commission on the Status of Women. She has been a proud member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. for more than forty years. She is also a recipient of many awards, achievements, and recognition.

Dr. Loston is the product of a historically black college, Alcorn State University, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in 1973. She received her Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Bowling Green State University in 1974 and 1979 respectively. She also attended the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University in 1996; the Oxford Roundtable at Oxford University in 2001; and the Wharton School of Business in 2005.

Learn more about Dr. Adena Williams Loston here.

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About St. Philip’s College
St. Philip’s College, founded in 1898, is a comprehensive public community college whose mission is to empower our diverse student population through educational achievement and career readiness. As a Historically Black College and Hispanic Serving Institution, St. Philip’s College is a vital facet of the community, responding to the needs of a population rich in ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity. St. Philip’s College creates an environment fostering excellence in academic and technical achievement while expanding its commitment to opportunity and access. For more information, visit www.alamo.edu/spc/.

CSU Speaks to Grants’ Impact as Congress Consider the Program’s Future

Leslie Roundtree, Ph.D., Interim Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs at Chicago State University.

CHICAGO, IL – Dr. Leslie Roundtree, Interim Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Chicago State University (CSU), testified on the impact of Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) before a Ways and Means Subcommittee of Worker and Family Support. Provost Roundtree was invited by the subcommittee Chairman Congressman Danny Davis as Congressman Davis supports continued investment in the program. The hearing “Health Profession Opportunity Grants; Past Successes and Future Uses,” was on Wednesday, March 10, at 1:00 PM CST.

“The Health Profession Opportunity Grants programs not only give individuals a first-opportunity at securing a post-secondary education, but also a chance to continue up the career ladder,” said Leslie Roundtree, DHS, Interim Provost & Senior Vice President, Chicago State University. “We have seen firsthand that success builds hope. These degrees put the individual participants on a new trajectory and impact families and the communities in which they reside.”

CSU provides one of 32 HPOG programs sponsored through the Administration for Children and Families, which provides much-needed life and job skill services. The grant is a five-year program, which started in 2015. The program assists individuals with low incomes at 200% of poverty and/or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients in securing careers in health sciences through education and financial support. The program, titled STEP UP, targets individuals who may otherwise be unlikely to secure a post-secondary education. The program provides job skill development, career readiness, employment boot camps, and supported employment placement to prepare participants for career and employment success after the program ends.

Provost Roundtree’s testimony is available here

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About Chicago State University
Chicago State University (CSU) is a public, comprehensive university that provides access to higher education for students of diverse backgrounds and educational needs. The university fosters the intellectual development and success of its student population through a rigorous, positive, and transformative educational experience. CSU is committed to teaching, research, service and community development including social justice, leadership and entrepreneurship. For more information, visit www.csu.edu.

Dr. Pamela Brady, Chemistry Department Chair/Assistant Professor at Talladega College.

TALLADEGA, AL – Talladega College Chemistry Department Chair/Assistant Professor Dr. Pamela Brady is listed among the 1,000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America. This prestigious list, which was complied by Cell Mentor, a publication of Cell Press, highlights the important contributions that Black scientists make to the world’s scientific company.

Dr. Brady, a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry/pre-med with minors in both mathematics and Spanish at Winston-Salem State University in 2008. She completed her doctoral degree in analytical chemistry at Louisiana State University in 2015. Her research was focused on development of methods to assign methylated NMR peaks for the determination of the quaternary structure of proteins.

Dr. Brady completed a NH funded IRACDA Postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her work at UAB involved investigating the structure function relationship of coronaviral proteins using multidimensional NMR spectroscopy. During her postdoc, she also gained valuable teaching experience and earned CIRTL certification in teaching and learning, mentorship, and leadership. She joined Talladega in the Fall of 2019. Since that time, she has written a proposal to the state of Alabama for the college to obtain an Industrial Hemp license for the year 2020. Currently, she is working to submit an implementation grant for the establishment of the UTEACH program at Talladega. This program will be the one of the first to be implemented in HBCUs nationwide and the first to be implemented in an HBCU in the state of Alabama.

About Talladega College
Talladega College, Alabama’s private historically black college, is consistently ranked among the best southeastern colleges and top HBCUs in the nation. It was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, William Savery and Thomas Tarrant, and is the home of the renowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

Dr. Cynthia Anthony

On March 10th, Chancellor Jimmy H. Baker announced the appointment of Dr. Cynthia Anthony as President of Lawson State Community College. Anthony has been serving as Interim President at the college since September 2020. She is the 5th president to serve the College and first female appointed to lead the historic institutions.

Dr. Anthony has 30 years of higher education experience, recently serving as Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Success for the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) and Executive Vice President and Dean of Students at Lawson State. Prior to her leadership at Lawson State, Anthony served at Bessemer State Technical College, which merged with Lawson State in 2005. In addition to various other leadership roles within the ACCS, she served as Interim President at three other ACCS institutions: Drake State Community and Technical College, Shelton State Community College, and Enterprise State Community College.

“Dr. Anthony is proven leader who cares deeply about student success and it is truly a privilege to appoint her as President at a college she knows so well,” said Chancellor Baker. “Lawson State students, faculty, and staff will be well-served by Dr. Anthony’s innovative leadership and commitment to improving the lives of others.”

Dr. Anthony earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Talladega College. She received both her Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership and her Master of Education degree in Counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed her Doctorate in Educational Leadership through a joint program at UAB and the University of Alabama. She was awarded UAB’s Department of Education’s Outstanding Alumni Award in 2005.

“It is an honor to continue my service to the Birmingham and Bessemer communities in the role of President at Lawson State and I look forward to working alongside other community leaders to forge a better future for our region,” said Dr. Anthony. “I care deeply about the Lawson State community and I’m eager to continue our successful efforts to prepare students for their best possible future. Go Cougars!”

Dr. Anthony’s tenure as President at Lawson State Community College will begin on April 1, 2021.

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About Lawson State Community College
Lawson State Community College provides affordable and accessible quality educational opportunities, promotes economic growth, and enhances the quality of life for the diverse communities it serves. Through varied instructional modes and lifelong learning opportunities, the College prepares students for gainful employment, career advancement, college transfer, and workforce development.

By Prioritizing Higher Education, the Proposed Budget Will Fuel Robust Recovery from the Pandemic. It supports college affordability and focuses on closing equity gaps in Illinois education.

CHICAGO, IL – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) applauds Illinois’ Governor J.B. Pritzker for proposing a fiscal 2022 budget that would support and advance Illinois higher education institutions that includes the only four-year, Department of Education designated Predominately Black Institution (PBI), Chicago State University.

“This budget also preserves my increased investments in education, which is foundational a strong economy and a vibrant future… Our colleges and universities are facing so many other challenges that we should not ask them to take on more,” said Governor Prizker.

The budget proposal also provides for a needed increase of $28 million for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) that provides grants for low-income students.

“Governor Pritzker’s budget charts a path for recovery from the global pandemic that recognizes that robust economic growth requires strong public universities,” said Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University. “Our inaugural Economic Impact Study concluded that CSU generates $1.6 billion in income to Illinois’ economy annually. The higher education funding proposed by Governor Pritzker level will allow CSU to continue to drive equity in education and economic growth in Chicago and statewide.”

Earlier this month, CSU released its inaugural Economic Impact Study, conducted by economists, that demonstrates the institution is a driving force in the Illinois economy by adding $1.6 billion in income to the Illinois economy, supporting 17,525 jobs, and providing a strong return on investment for students and Illinois taxpayers.

“HCF applauds Illinois’ Governor Pritzker for his continuous attentiveness and dedication for higher education institutions statewide, which includes the only four-year PBI Chicago State University. HCF is a strong advocate and supporter of CSU,” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., Founder, President and CEO at HBCU Campaign Fund. “We highly salute President Zaldwaynaka Scott’s outstanding leadership. For years, CSU has strongly devoted and invested in the population of African Americans throughout the Chicagoland and U.S. We are so thankful for its mission of educating first-generation and low-income students who can not obtain a high-quality education elsewhere. Higher education institutions like CSU provide educational access and we thank the Governor for his continued investment in a brighter future for the students.”

Click here to view Governor Pritzker’s 2021 budget proposal.

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FAYETTEVILLE, NC (Feb. 18, 2021) – Darrell Allison, a longtime education advocate and champion of North Carolina’s historically minority-serving institutions, was named the 12th chancellor of Fayetteville State University.

He was elected by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, following his nomination by University of North Carolina System President Peter Hans.

Allison will assume his role on March 15. He will success Interim Chancellor Peggy Valentine, who was appointed in July 2019 and previously served as dean of the School of Health Sciences at Winston-Salem State University.

“We are thrilled and excited to welcome Mr. Allison to FSU,” said Stuart Augustine, chairman of the FSU Board of Trustees. “We are anticipating great things for our university and Bronco community based on everything we know about Mr. Allison and the tools and resources he brings with him.

Fayetteville State University Chancellor-Elect Darrell Allison

A former member of the Board of Governors and former trustee at North Carolina Central University, Allison’s career and public service have been focused on education.

He is currently vice president of governmental affairs and state teams at the American Federation for Children. In this capacity, he has developed successful partnerships, led advocacy programs and generated philanthropic support for the organization.

“Darrell Allison is a creative leader who understands the value of Fayetteville State University to the community, the region, and the state,” said Hans.

Board of Governor Chair Randy Ramsey shared his enthusiasm for Allison’s new role.

“I have worked alongside Darrell for many years now and he is not only a person of great ability but one of true character,” said Ramsey. “He is deeply committed to higher education and to the citizens of North Carolina. He brings to this position a broad understanding of Fayetteville State University’s strategic role and impact in the region.”

Allison’s career in education spans decades of service advocating on behalf of students and expanding educational opportunities for underserved families in North Carolina and across the nation.

Serving on the Board of Governors from 2017 to late 2020, he was a vocal supporter of the system’s historically minority-serving institutions. As the inaugural chair of the Historically Minority-Serving Institutions (HMSI) Committee, Allison helped lead efforts resulting in all 17 campuses gaining at least $2 million for repairs and renovations – an investment that especially supported the system’s smaller universities. Allison advocated for a multi-million dollar update for fundraising software and data management for the universities, which ushered in cost saving and strengthened fundraising programs.

Allison also initiated and finalized a partnership with UNC-Chapel Hill’s NC Policy Collaboratory, which awarded $6 million for COVID-19 programming and research at historically minority-serving institutions.

While on the UNC Board of Governors, Allison served on several committees, including: Budget and Finance; Historically Minority-Serving Institutions (chair); UNC System Racial Equity Task Force (chair); Educational Policies and Programs (secretary); Strategic Initiatives Committee; and UNC K-12 Laboratory Schools.

Prior to that, Allison served on the NCCU Board of Trustees, where he played a key role on the Advancement, Athletics and External Affairs, Academic and Student Affairs committees, and as a member of the NCCU Chancellor Search Committee. In 2017, Allison endowed a scholarship fund at NCCU, his alma mater, in memory of father, Thomas Allison.

Allison holds a Juris Doctor degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree from NCCU.

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About Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville State University (FSU) is a public comprehensive regional university that promotes the educational, social, cultural, and economic transformation of southeastern North Carolina and beyond. The primary mission of FSU is to provide students with the highest quality learning experiences that will produce global citizens and leaders as change agents for shaping the future of State. Awarding degrees at the baccalaureate and master’s levels, and the doctorate in educational leadership, FSU offers programs in teacher education, the arts and sciences, health professions, business and economics, and unique and emerging fields. For more information, visit www.uncfsu.edu.

This photo shows law school students at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Intel has announced a donation of $5 million over the next five years to the historically black university. NCCU’s School of Law will use the donation to create a new tech law and policy center.

As part of Intel’s commitment to build a more equitable world, it will donate $5 million over the next five years to North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a historically black college and university (HBCU), to create a new tech law and policy center. Intel’s executive vice president and general counsel, Steven R. Rodgers, will join the law school’s board of visitors to help direct additional resources and support for the law school. Additionally, Allon Stabinsky, Intel’s senior vice president and chief deputy general counsel, and Rhonda Foxx, Intel’s leader of social equity policies and engagements, will join the center’s advisory board to help shape its certificate program, curriculum development and drive further Intel engagements.

“As a company and industry, we need to do better to ensure legal and policy jobs are available to all communities because talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. At the beginning of this year, we began to hold our legal counsel accountable for the Intel Rule, which states we will not retain or use outside law firms in the U.S. that are average or below average on diversity,” said Steven R. Rodgers, Intel general counsel. “And now, through this partnership we will hold ourselves accountable for extending the talent pipeline. Our investment in NCCU is only the beginning, and we will continue our efforts to provide more equitable access to tech, legal and policy careers.”

“North Carolina Central University’s School of Law has been a leader i equity and diversity within the legal educational community for several decades. Today, we extend our sincere thanks to Intel Corporation for establishing a novel partnership with the university through the creation of NCCU Tech Law and Policy Center. This partnership makes NCCU the only HBCU and only law school in the country with a Tech Law Center that focuses on technology disparities and social justice,” said Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., chancellor of North Carolina Central University. “Over the next five years, Intel Corporation’s gift of $5 million will provide students, as well as faculty and staff in the School of Law with innovative opportunities in the classroom and direct connections with executives at the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturer. Most importantly, this collaboration will assist in solving issues of access and producing diverse legal professionals who are equipped to succeed locally, as well as globally.”

Atty. Browne C. Lewis, dean of the NCCU School of Law, state: “A key component of NCCU School of Law’s mission is to educate students who are committed to social justice and racial equity. The pandemic has shown us that there are disparities that adversely impact low-income persons and people of color when it comes to the availability of technology. Intel Corporation’s generous gift and company’s willingness to partner with one of the six HBCU law schools in the country gives me great hope that we can help close the digital divide.”

How It Helps: Intel will provide legal and strategic expertise, faculty training, summer internships and Intel mentors to both students and faculty members. Students will engage directly with Intel executives who will serve as guest lecturers and provide practical legal experiences, networking and mentorship. Intel’s goal is to prepare the next generation of corporate attorneys by giving them exposure to corporate law on day one of their law school journey. Two first-year law students from NCCU will also participate in a summer associate program with Intel.

Why It’s Important: The new center will give more access to diverse professionals in legal and policy fields. It will address discriminatory laws and public policies that create structural and systemic inequities. According to the American Bar Association, about 5% of lawyers in the U.S. are Black. Additionally, 80% of Black judges and 50% of Black lawyers come from HBCUs, making these schools critical to diversifying legal and policy professions and ensuring greater opportunity to underrepresented demographics.

Historically, HBCUs have trailed other institutions in federal funding and corporate engagement. There are over 100 HBCUs across the nation, and NCCU is one of only six with a law school. Extending tech opportunities to HBCU law schools on the East Coast and in southern states is key to enhancing educational and economic equity. North Carolina is home to most HBCUs, and NCCU, based in Durham, N.C., is close to the Research Triangle Park, making it a prime university for this engagement.

About the Policy and Law Center: Intel will contribute $1 million annually for five years. The first year’s allocation is geared toward helping build a strong foundation for the center. Approximately $400,000 will support the recruitment and hiring of an executive director and key staff, as well as other startup costs for the center. An additional $500,000 will go to support an endowed professorship. Also, Intel will contribute $100,000 toward need-based scholarships to help students experiencing financial hardship.

More Context: Intel made a commitment to not stand on the sidelines in the fight against inequality. The company pledged $1 million to address social justice and racism. To further this commitment, it has created global social equity principles and established the law and policy center as part of its economic equity goals. Intel’s actions also build on the company’s recently announced 2030 goals and Global Impact Challenges that reinforce its commitment to making technology fully inclusive and expand digital readiness. Intel is committed to enabling technology and people to build a more responsible, inclusive and sustainable world. Social equity is core to this work. These values are an essential part of the company’s corporate mission to create world-changing technologies that enrich the lives of every person on Earth. Social equity efforts such as this will help embed these values into critical public policies that will accelerate diversity and inclusion in the industry.

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About Intel
Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) is an industry leader, creating world-changing technology that enables global progress and enriches lives. Inspired by Moore’s Law, we continously work to advance the design and manufacturing of semiconductors to help address our customer’s greatest challenges. By embedding intelligence in the cloud, network, edge and every kind of computing device, we unleash the potential of data to transform business and society for the better. To learn more about Intel’s innovations, go to newsroom.intel.com and www.intel.com.

About NCCU
North Carolina Central University, with a strong tradition of teaching, research, and service, prepares students to become global leaders and practitioners who transform communities. Through a nationally recognized law school, highly acclaimed and innovative programs in visual and performing arts, sciences, business, humanities, and education programs, NCCU students are engaged problem solvers. Located in the Research Triangle, the University advances research in the biotechnological, biomedical, informational, computational, behavioral, social, and health sciences. NCCU students enhance the quality of life of citizens and the economic development of North Carolina, the nation, and the world. For more information, visit www.nccu.edu.


NASHVILLE, TN (Feb. 15, 2021) – The Board of Trustees of Fisk University have named Dr. Vann Newkirk Sr. as the 17th President of Fisk University effective immediately. “We have had the pleasure of observing Dr. Newkirk’s outstanding work both as Provost and as interim president, and this was a unanimous decision by the Board,” said Chair Frank L. Sims. Dr. Newkirk has been an essential part of the amazing momentum that Fisk has built over the past five years. The University is poised for an exceptional future and Dr. Newkirk’s experience and insight around new programming and sponsored research will be instrumental as Fisk continues to cement itself as a top 10 HBCU and pursue its goal of becoming a top 50 liberal arts university.

During these challenging time for higher education, Dr. Newkirk has proven a track record of innovation, according to a press release by the University. Dr. Newkirk has launched several highly successful new programs at Fisk including bioinformatics, data science and social justice. These programs have not only contributed to the tremendous growth in enrollment but also the increased academic caliber of Fisk’s incoming student body. In the last two years, Fisk has had three Rhodes Scholar finalists and set numerous records for student outcomes.

Dr. Newkirk’s vision includes increasing enrollment, developing elite programs, expanding corporate partnerships, improving student outcomes, and building national awareness around Fisk’s outstanding results.

“I am deeply honored to serve as President of Fisk University and I am confident the best times are still to come for this remarkable institution,” said Dr. Newkirk.

Coupled with his vision, Dr. Newkirk brings a deep appreciation for the importance of financial stability and maintaining a sustainable enterprise.

“Fisk has finished consecutive years with an operational surplus and is really bucking the trend on a host of fronts in large part due to the leadership of Dr. Newkirk,” said Frank L. Sims.

Dr. Newkirk received his doctorate in history from Howard University and has been a proven leader in higher education for more than 20 years. Dr. Newkirk served as Provost for three years at Elizabeth City State University before joining the Fisk team as Provost in 2018 and serving as Interim President for the past 6 months. Dr. Newkirk has held numerous senior administrative and academic positions throughout his outstanding career. In addition to his administrative accomplishments, Dr. Newkirk is also a published scholar.

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New Study Outlines the University’s Pivotal Role in Creating a Strong Diverse Economy & Providing a Robust Return on Investment for Students and Taxpayers

CHICAGO, IL (Feb. 12, 2021) – As Illinois’ only four-year Predominately Black Institution, Chicago State University (CSU) has a proven track record in supporting diverse students’ access and success in securing a college degree. On Thursday, CSU releases its inaugural Economic Impact Study, conducted by economists, that demonstrates the institution is a driving force in the Illinois economy by adding $1.6 billion in income to the Illinois economy, supporting 17,525 jobs, and providing a strong return on investment for students and Illinois taxpayers.

“For everyone dollar invested in Chicago State University, Illinois residents see a $7 return on investment; a clear signal of the depth of our contribution to the city and state,” said Zaldwaynaka Scott, Esq., President of Chicago State University. “Through academic research, community initiatives, and education, the institution is a driving force for not only educating diverse students, but also inclusive economic growth.”

Study Findings

The study found that CSU has a significant positive impact on the business community and generates a return on investment to its major stakeholders groups – students, taxpayers, and society. Using a two-pronged approach that involves an economic impact analysis and an investment analysis, the study calculates the benefits received by each of these groups.

Results of the analysis reflect fiscal year (FY) 2018-19. Through CSU’s operations research, student activities, and alumni employment and leadership, CSU generated more tax revenue than it received. Taxpayer’s average annual rate of return is 11.9%.

“The economic impact report makes clear what we have have long known: Chicago State University is critical to building a strong state economy,” said Governor Pritzker. “That’s why my administration was proud to support CSU with bold investments through the state’s Rebuild Illinois capital plan, which has provided nearly $30 million for campus infrastructure improvements and a state-of-the-art health sciences simulation facility. I applaud CSU leadership for their work to provide a quality education to its student and I look forward to our continued partnership to educate our next generation of leaders and innovators.”

“CSU’s inaugural economic impact study illustrates the full extent this incredible institution plays in our region’s economy,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “Chicago benefits tremendously from the CSU alum who are leading in their professions, and I share President Scott and the University’s passionate commitment to research and engagement that results in equitable development and improved social determinants which strengthen our city and entire region.”

The study also found that an education at CSU is a smart investment for students. Our bachelor degree graduate each earn additional $843,000 over the course of their professional careers. This means a return of $5.00 in increased future earnings for every $1 a student invests in their education at CSU.

“The Economic Impact Statement released by Chicago State University tell us what we already know – the university is an essential part of the economic fabric of the surrounding community, the City of Chicago and the state of Illinois,” said James Derwinski, CEO/Executive Director of Metra. “Among the many ways in the university spurs economic growth is through the focus on equity in public transit, a focus we share. We are honored to be its partner as we look to bring economic transformation to our neighborhoods and communities.”

“Chicago State University is the unacknowledged treasure among the Illinois institutions of higher education,” said Avis LaVelle, Executive Director of Business Leadership Council. “It is time for all to recognize what a jewel CSU is and the extent to which it has contributed to the educational success of so many.”

Study Background

Data and assumptions used in the study are based on several sources, including Fiscal Year 2018-19 academic and financial reports from CSU, industry and employment date from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, outputs of Emsi’s Muti-Regional Social Accounting Matrix model, and studies and surveys relating education to social behavior. The study applies a conservative methodology and follows standard practice using only the most recognized indicators of economic impact and investment effectiveness. Additional information on the study is available here.

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About Chicago State University
Chicago State University (CSU) is a public, comprehensive university that provides access to higher education for students to diverse backgrounds and educational needs. The university fosters the intellectual development and success of its student population through a rigorous, positive, and transformative educational experience. CSU is committed to teaching, research, service and community development including social justice, leadership and entrepreneurship. For more information, visit www.csu.edu.

Colby College has announced the election of three new members to its Board of Trustees. These individuals will bring to the board their unique expertise and perspectives in education, management, and national affairs, bolstering the College’s commitment to deliver a world-class education to an ever-more diverse student body and equip graduates with the deep skills necessary to have a profound impact on the world.

Joining the board as corporate trustees are Brenda Allen, president of Lincoln University; Eric DeCosta ’93, executive vice president and general manager of the Baltimore Ravens; and Amy Walters ’91, Litt.D. ’17 national editor of The Cook Political Report. They will each serve a four-year term.

Brenda A. Allen, Ph.D., 14th President of Lincoln University.

Brenda A. Allen is the 14th president of Lincoln University in Pennslyvania, the country’s first-degree granting historically black college and university (HBCU) institution. A respected leader, effective administrator, and successful fundraiser, Allen is implementing a strategic plan at Lincoln to cement the university’s place among outstanding liberal arts institutions. Her priorities include enhancing academic quality and improving operational effectiveness. Prior to joining Lincoln in 2017, she served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Winston-Salem State University. Previously, she was associate provost and director of institutional diversity at Brown University, raising nearly $15 million to support diversity goals and leading efforts that culminated in 36-percent and 45-percent increases in the number of women and minority faculty members, respectively. Earlier, at Smith College, she held administrative positions, rose through the ranks to full professor, and chaired the African American Studies Program.

Allen has been named one of Philadelphia’s most influential African American leaders by the Philadelphia Tribune, and just last month, one of the ten most dominant HBCU leaders of 2021 by the HBCU Campaign Fund. She earned a B.A. in psychology from Lincoln University and an M.S. in experimental psychology and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Howard University.

Click here to read more about the elected members.

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About Colby College
Chartered in 1813, when Maine was still part of Massachusetts, Colby is the 12th oldest independent liberal arts college in the nation. Since its founding the College has pioneered several important initiatives in higher education. For more information, visit www.colby.edu.

About Lincoln University
Lincoln University, the nation’s first degree-granting Historically Black College and University (HBCU), educates and empowers students to lead their communities and change the world. For more information, visit www.lincoln.edu.

Mass Media Studies Department Chair Dr. Luis Almeida (right) with student.

TALLADEGA, AL – Talladega College has been named to the PR News 2021 Education A-List Top 35 institutions for advancing careers in public relations and communication.

Mass Media Studies Department Chair Dr. Luis Almeida believes Talladega teaching methods, in which students learn by engaging in real-world projects, helped land the college on the prestigious list. Other HBCUs listed among the top 35 also include Virginia State University.

“Talladega College students work beside professionals and produce high-quality products for companies in our regions and for departments on campus. Our students are engaged in applied media and learning the exact skills that are needed in the marketplace,” said Dr. Almeida, who is an award-winning photographer.

Upcoming fall classes at Talladega College include Innovation and Social Media, Multimedia Storytelling, and Digital Photography. For more information about admission to Talladega College, you may email admissions@talladega.edu or call 256-761-6235.

In addition to being list among the top institutions for public relations and communication, Talladega is listed among the Princeton Review’s “Best Southwestern Colleges.” In its “2021 Best Colleges: Region by Region” section, the Princeton Review notes that many students are drawn to Talladega because of its “amazing scholarships” and “family-like atmosphere” as well as the fantastic academic programs and “outstanding” and “supportive” professors. Talladega College also earned rankings in three categories of the 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best College Guide – National Liberal Arts College, Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs) and Top Performers on Social Mobility.

Click here to see PR News 2021 Education A-List.

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About Talladega College
Talladega College, Alabama’s first private historically black college, is consistently ranked among the best southeastern colleges and top HBCUs in the nation. It was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, Williams Savery and Thomas Tarrant, and is the home of the renowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

The COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force will provide recommendations for addressing health inequities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and for preventing such inequities in the future

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 10, 2021) – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague the country, it has had a disproportionate impact on some of our most vulnerable communities. Shortly after COVID-19 was first identified in the United States, disparities in inequities were quickly evident by race, ethnicity, geography, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other factors.

President Biden and Vice President Harris have released a National Strategy to combat the pandemic that has equity at its core. To help ensure an equitable response to the pandemic, the President signed an executive order on January 21 creating a task force to address COVID-19 related health and social inequities. This Task Force is chaired by Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.

Today, President Biden and Vice President Harris announced the a twelve of individuals to serve as non-federal members of the Biden-Harris COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. Among selected is Meharry Medical College President & CEO, James Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D.

James Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D

James Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D., is the president and CEO of Meharry Medical College, the nation’s largest private, independent historically black academic health sciences center. Dr. Hildreth served previously as dean of the College of Biological Sciences at University of California, Davis and as a professor and associate dean at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Hildreth is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and an internationally acclaimed immunologist whose work has focused on several human viruses including HIV. He currently serves on he advisory council for the NIH director and as a member of the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. Dr. Hildreth had led Meharry’s efforts to ensure that disadvantaged communities have access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines. He graduated from Harvard University as a Rhodes Scholar, from Oxford University with a Ph.D. in immunology, and obtained an M.D. from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

These individuals represent a diversity of backgrounds and expertise, a range of racial and ethnic groups, and a number of important populations, including: children and youth; educators and students; health care providers, immigrants; individuals with disabilities; LGBTQ+ individuals; public health experts; rural communities; state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments; and unions.

As Chair, Dr. Nunez-Smith will also ask six additional Federal agencies to be represented on the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force as federal members. This includes the United States Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, and Department of Labor.

The Task Force is charged with issuing a range of recommendations to help inform the COVID-19 response and recovery. This includes recommendations on equitable allocation of COVID-19 resources and relief funds, effective outreach and communication to underserved and minority populations, and improving cultural proficiency within the Federal Government. Additional recommendations include efforts to improve data collection and use, as well as a long-term plan to address data shortfall regarding communities of color and other underserved populations. The Task Force’s work will conclude after issuing a final report to the COVID-19 Response Coordinator describing the drivers of observed COVID-19 inequities, the potential for ongoing disparities faced by COVID-19 survivors, and actions to ensure that future pandemic responses do not ignore or exacerbate health inequities.

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MEMPHIS, TN (Feb. 10, 2021) – FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) announced today a pledge to commit $5 million to four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Mississippi and Tennessee. The initiative will create valuable education and job readiness for students at Tennessee State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi Valley State University, and LeMoyne-Owen College.

The initiative is a collaborative effort among FedEx and each school designed to help prepare students for the workforce beyond formal education. A portion of the multi-year commitment will be used to offer relief support to help students, faculty, and staff at each school who have suffered adverse economic impact due to COVID-19.

“With many students and families struggling right now as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our hope is that this timely investment will help keep more students in school and provide future access to leadership, educational and employment opportunities,said Judy Edge, corporate vice president of Human Resources at FedEx. “This contribution further deepens our commitment to creating more equitable communities by breaking down barriers to work and making a sustainable, long-term impact on underrepresented groups.”

This new initiative builds on the longstanding relationship between these HBCUs and FedEx, which includes endowed scholarships at Jackson State University, Tennessee State University and LeMoyne-Owen College; a customized career readiness program established at Mississippi Valley State University; and leadership summits in support of the Southern Heritage Classic for students at both Tennessee State University and Jackson State University.

Today’s announcement reinforces the company’s longstanding commitment to advancing inclusion and empowering economic opportunity in the Black community. Through skills training programs, mentoring, and collaboration with leading national and local organizations, FedEx is focused on making the communities it serves more equitable, helping empower diverse voices, and providing access to leadership, educational and employment opportunities.

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About FedEx Corp
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenue of $75 billion, the company offers integrated business solutions through operating companies competing collectively, operating collaboratively and innovating digitally under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its nearly 600,000 team members to remain focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit about.fedex.com.

Hope Enterprise Corporation, Goldman Sachs, Southern HBCUs and Cities launch the Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative to dismantle economic inequality

JACKSON, MS – Hope Enterprise Corporation has announced a $130 million commitment from Goldman Sachs, has partnered with seven cities, and nine historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to launch the Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative (DSEMC). Formed to stabilize and strengthen businesses and communities devastated by the economic crisis, DSEMC is an innovative collaborative that invests in the power of small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Deep South, particularly those from underserved and under-resourced communities.

DSEMC taps the expertise and capabilities of Hope Enterprise Corporation, Goldman Sachs, institutions of higher learning and cities in a unique way to provide access to financing, business education classes, and business support services, leveraging support from the private, public and nonprofit sectors. This comprehensive support focuses on stabilizing and strengthening small businesses, and bolstering employment in a region characterized by deep, entrenched poverty and racial disparities.

“For centuries, racism and economic inequality has thwarted human and economic potential in the Deep South, but our story doesn’t end there,” said Bill Bynum, HOPE CEO. “Equipped with opportunity and the right tools, people of this region can accomplish anything. Fueled by their resilience, and harnessing the collective resources of DSEMC, together we will knock down the barriers facing underserved businesses and communities in a way that has never been done before. The collaborative will help build a more inclusive economy that will yield benefits now and for future generations.”

“Black businesses ownership is a proven way to advance economic mobility,” said Margaret Anadu, Goldman Sachs Partner and Head of the Urban Investment Group. “Goldman Sachs has a long history of building up Black and women-owned businesses through 10,000 Small Business and by investing in Community Development Financial Institutions like HOPE. The Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative reflects our ongoing commitment to invest deeply in strategies to close the racial wealth gap.”

While the DSEMC is open to all small businesses, the impact of the pandemic and economic crisis has disproportionately harmed communities of color. Recent research shows that between February and mid-April of 2020, 41% of Black businesses had permanently closed, compared to 17% of white-owned businesses. Furthermore, the value of Black businesses in the Deep South is lower than in any other part of the country, underscoring the urgent need for solutions in a region with the highest percentage of Black residents.

“Partnering with the world’s preeminent investment bank will anchor Miles College as the incubator for Black owned businesses and entrepreneurs in our region,” said Bobbie Knight, Miles College President. “This alliance with Goldman Sachs and Hope Credit Union will create a groundbreaking impact and support the next generation for entrepreneurs.”

Through the collaborative, each partner brings unique capabilities and years of experience, and all are passionate about promoting economic opportunity in their communities. Participating municipalities are Birmingham and Montgomery in Alabama; Little Rock, Arkansas, Baton Rouge and New Orleans in Louisiana; Jackson, Mississippi; Memphis, Tennessee. Participating HBCUs are Alabama State University, Miles College, Philander Smith College, Dillard University, Southern University and A&M College, Xavier University of Louisiana, Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, and LeMoyne-Owen College.

Projections call for the DSEMC to serve 4-5,000 businesses and support 30,000 employees and their family members while improving conditions in Deep South communities to further Black economic mobility.

To learn more about the Deep South Economic Mobility Collaborative, visit www.hopecu.org/mobility.

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About HOPE
HOPE(Hope Enterprise Corporation, Hope Credit Union and Hope Policy Institute) provides financial services; aggregates resources; and engages in advocacy to mitigate the extent to which factors such as race, gender, birthplace and wealth limit one’s ability to prosper. Since 1994, HOPE has generated more than $2.9 billion in financing that has benefitted more than 1.7 million people in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. For more information, visit www.hopecu.org.

About Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is an investment to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity to providing greater access to education, capital and business support services. To date, more than 9,100 business owners have graduated from the program across all 50 states in the US, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

TALLADEGA, AL – Talladega College has named Dr. Kristie L. Kenney as its vice president for institutional advancement. Her tenure at the College begins March 8, 2021, according to a press release by the College.

Dr. Kristie L. Kenny

Dr. Kenney will provide leadership and direction through the planning, organization, coordination, and implementation of the College’s development programs. Her responsibilities will include leading the advancement team in carrying out the institution’s goals and funding priorities as determined by the College’s mission and vision. She will report to the president.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Kenney to our senior leadership team,” said Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, president of Talladega College. “She brings a wealth of experience in fundraising, development, and alumni relations, and has the vision and expertise to elevate our advancement efforts.”

Dr. Kenney previously served as director of alumni giving for Christian City, Inc., in Union City, Georgia, where she increased annual giving, donors retention, and employee giving. Prior to joining Christian City, she served as executive director of JSU (Jackson State University) Development Foundation, Inc., where she managed its $52 million assets operation, $3.5 million annual contributions, $17 million endowment, and $1.2 million operational budget.

Dr. Kenney holds a Ph.D. in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University, a master of science in Higher Education – College Administration and Leadership from Purdue University Global, and a bachelor of science in Agricultural Business from Tennessee State University. She also earned a certificate in fundraising management from the Center for Philanthropy at Indianan University.

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About Talladega College
Talladega College, Alabama’s first private historically black college, is consistently ranked among the best southeastern colleges and top HBCU in the nation. It was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, Williams Savery and Thomas Tarrant, and is the home of the renowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) tirelessly advocates for the future of students, HBCUs, and MSIs as we continue to strengthen our role as leading advocates in the space of higher education. However, to continue the necessary work, we urge for your continued support and generosity to reach our demanding goals.

I know you care deeply about the #HBCUNation and the continued fight to Campaign for HBCUs. So, put your compassion into action by supporting the HBCU Campaign Fund now.

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Initiative to include the creation of Innovation Hubs at select HBCUs and internship platform to help drive diversity within the industry.

The North American business of Diageo, a global beverage leader, is committing $10 million to support 25 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and creating permanent endowed funds to provide financial aid grants anticipated to benefit thousands of talented students in need over the years. Funds will be available for HBCU students across different disciplines and majors, and distributed according to each institution’s financial aid process.

“We are proud to partner with these esteemed institutions and to do our part to help shape a more equitable society by providing opportunities for future leaders,” said Debra Crew, President, Diageo North America. “This initiative further deepens Diageo’s commitment to making a long term and sustainable impact on underrepresented communities.”

The program will provide funds to support students at the following institutions: Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Bowie State University, Clark Atlanta University, Delaware State University, Dillard University, Fisk University, Fort Valley State University, Florida A&M University, Grambling State University, Hampton University, Harris-Stowe State University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Kentucky State University, Morehouse College, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, University of Virgin Island, Winston-Salem State University and Xavier University.

Higher education leaders representing Winston-Salem State University, Morehouse College and the University of the Virgin Islands recognize the positive impact the endowments will have on the HBCU community and its students, across the country.

“Many of our students come from under-resourced communities and the pandemic aggravates the financial hardship to complete their education or could potentially accumulate a great deal of debt when they graduate,” said Elwood L. Robinson, Chancellor of Winston-Salem State University. “This endowment will help us provide first class education and a life changing opportunity to our students.”

“Morehouse College develops men who are academically excellent and committed to leadership and service. This gift from Diageo will help more deserving students not only be able to graduate with a Morehouse degree, but also be equipped to lead and effect change in the national fight against systemic racism,” said David Thomas, President of Morehouse College. “We appreciate this generous donation from Diageo and the opportunities that it will create for our faculty and classes to collaborate with the beverage leader.”

This partnership is a message that the private sector, as the public sector, must come together to ensure that HBCUs are supported at the appropriate level so we can fulfill our special and unique mission to society,” said David Hall, President of University of the Virgin Islands. “This endowment shows how Diageo is embracing a vision of student support and institutional transformation.”

With a goal of helping to change the complexion of the beverage alcohol industry, Diageo North America has also committed to taking a step to build a pipeline of talented leaders through an internship platform over the coming years. The company will provide opportunities for HBCU student to gain valuable work experience at a fast pace that could help them with their future career aspirations or jump-start their career in the consumer goods industry.

As part of this commitment, Diageo North America is also exploring the creation of Innovation Hubs at select institutions to provide students and faculty with an experiential approach and resources that complement traditional learning. The program will include Diageo providing mentorship, lecturers for faculty and students and curriculum development assistance.

Diageo has a long-standing partnerships with the National Urban League, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and 100 Black Men of America. In addition, Diageo and its brands, have a track record of supporting equal representation, social justice and economic advancement initiatives in the Black community.

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About Diageo North America
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s Whiskies, Smirnoff, Ciroc and Ketal One vodkas, Casamigos and Don Julio tequilas, Captain Morgam, Baileys, Tanqueray and Guinness. For more information, visit www.diageo.com.

FAIRFIELD, AL – Miles College enters the first of its kind partnership with #NOWINCLUDED, powered by Acclinate, for equity in COVID-19 vaccinations and clinical research trails. Acclinate is a trusted healthcare solutions provider integrating culture and technology to educate and engage diverse individuals to make informed decisions about genomic research and clinical trail participation.

“Essential to this partnership is the stark realization that the African American community has been historically omitted from significant consideration for clinical trails and research for cures to the most critical public health threats,” said Bobbie Knight, President of Miles College. “Partnerships like Acclinate are vital to our institution, and we look forward to educating our students on the role they can play to mitigate the gulf between research and cure within the African American community.”

The purpose of the partnership is for students and faculty to make informed decisions around their health and act as ambassadors to their communities and families.

“Our partnership with Miles is right on target for what we’d like to see happening with minority students throughout the nation,” explains Tiffany Whitlow, Acclinate co-founder.”The sooner we can help them prioritize their health, the better their lives will be beyond college and well into adulthood. This will not only help them but also their future families.”

Acclinate co-founder and former HBCU business dean, Del Smith, says that “I know firsthand how interconnected issues of education and health are. President Knight is to be commended for her innovative thinking and associated action when it comes to bettering not only the education, but the health of her student population.”

#NOWINCLUDED will conduct bi-weekly virtual workshops and offer topics such as residential learning in living during COVID-19, building on-line learning communities, and maintaining academic and emotional health during COVID-19. Students, faculty, and staff will participate in a pre and post-survey to better understand their COVID-19 knowledge and current mental health.

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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 the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). For more information, visit www.miles.edu.

About #NOWINCLUDED
Acclinate is a trusted healthcare solutions provider integrating culture and technology to educate and engaging diverse individuals so they can make informed decisions about genomic research and clinical trail participation. We believe that diversifying genomic research and clinical trials to include more representation and diversity increases knowledge about health issues and make a difference in personalized healthcare for all. For more information, visit www.nowincluded.com.

(RICHMOND, VA) – The historically black Virginia Union University (VUU) has announced the launch of the Center for the Study of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), making it the only research of its kind in the country dedicated to focusing on HBCUs. VUU President & CEO Dr. Hakim J. Lucas serves as the Center’s Executive Director and VUU Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, seves as its Diretor.

The Center for the Study of HBCUs is a national research center, whose vision is to become the country’s preeminent institute for advancement of relevant scholars and scholarship. The Center has a discovery agenda that ranges from foundational inquiry to tranlational science and disruptive, transformational innovation that ensure the sustainability of Black colleges. Center staff and affiliates conduct rigorous, evidence-based research that aims to advance the research agenda, expand institutional capacities, transform institutions, eradicate institutional inequities, and ensure the future of HBCUs in the nation and beyond.

The Center achieves its mission through four (4) primary objectives:

  • CONDUCT research and scholarship;
  • CONVENE the HBCU scholarly community and constituents;
  • MOBILIZE resources in support of advancing HBCU research;
  • DISSEMINATE research and scholarship broadly.

Learn more about the Center for the Study of HBCUs by clicking here.

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About Virginia Union University
Virginia Union University was founded in 1865 to give newly emancipated slaves an opportunity for education and advancement. The University is the result of the merger of four institutions: Richmond Theological Seminary, Wayland Seminary, Hartshorn Memorial, and Storer College. For more information, visit www.vuu.edu.

(Jacksonville, FL) – Edward Waters College (EWC) is taking significant steps to enhance its living and learning environment for students that reside on its campus. In a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, January 29, the College unveiled and dedicated the new Bishop Adam J. and Connie S. Richardson Hall located at 1780 Pearce Street.

View of the newly redesigned courtyard.

“We look forward to welcoming our students to this state-of-the-art residential facility,” said Dr. A. Zachary Faison, Jr., president and CEO of Edward Waters College. “It is a special day for us all to recognize Bishop Richardson, chairman of the board of trustees of Edward Waters College, and, his wife, Supervisor Connie Richardson, for all that they do for the College, the 11th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and Jacksonville. None of this would have been possible without the unwavering support from the City of Jacksonville and our outstanding relationship with Mayor Lenny Curry.”

In late 2019, the College broke ground on a comprehensive $4.4 million renovation of its largest student residence facility due to a special partnership with the City of Jacksonville. The newly renovated Bishop Adam J. and Connie S. Richardson Hall has 176 beds and includes new furnishings throughout the entire facility including a computer lab, lounge and study areas and high-speed internet. The apartment-style units are outfitted with a furnished common area, bathroom furnishing and kichenette. A courtyard has been created with greenery and other features for students to enjoy.

“Edward Waters College is a vital part of Jacksonville and a key part of who we are as a community,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “The stronger this college is, the stronger our city is. I am proud my administration’s smart investment in EWC and Richardson hall to strengthen this historic institution, surrounding neighborhood and our community as a whole.”

Bishop Adam J. Richardson, Jr. addresses the audience during the unveiling of Richardson hall.

“My wife and I are extremely grateful to the board of trustees for this extraordinary honor,” said Bishop Adam J. Richardson. He thanked Mayor Curry and stated, “This investment will have a lasting impact not only for EWC but also for the curb appear in New Town.” The Bishop recognized Dr Faison and said, “Your leadership has been phenomenal. We are seeing the evidence of your ambitious agenda and we are the beneficiaries of your energy, of your intellect and organizational acumen.”

“Having the opportunity to live on-campus provides critical thinking, cultural competency, conflict resolution, leadership and a sense of community which are all critical components of interpersonal development for our students,” said Dr. Faison. “The Bishop Adam J. and Connie S. Richardson Hall will provide an opportunity for our students to experience high-quality, apartment-style living, as well as assist us in our recruitment and retention efforts of new and returning Tigers while continuously enhancing our local community.”

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About Edward Waters College
Edward Waters College (EWC), accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), is a private, historically black, urban college which offers a liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on the Christian principles of high moral and spiritual values. EWC was established in 1866 and is an African Methodist Episcopal Church-related institution of learning. It is the first private institution of higher education for the State of Florida. For more information, visit www.ewc.edu.

(CHICAGO, IL) – The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) has announced its inaugural Emerging Higher Ed Professionals Award recognition that identifies a generation of higher education professionals who demonstrate leadership and a drive to grow professionally. The individuals must serve a historically black college and university (HBCU) or Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI).

The recognition honors professionals who are inspiring others by demonstrating a commitment to the value, mission, and vision of the student affairs space, prioritizing a steadfast commitment to student success through their work, and positively impacting, engaging, and supporting their division and the campus community.

“Each of the recipients has had an impressive career and a wealth of experience as a higher education professional. They also continue to make an impact on the important mission and have met the characteristics of what defines an emerging professional,” said Demetrius Johnson Jr., president and CEO, Founder at HBCU Campaign Fund. “I am extremely proud of their continued work and commitment of support for students on a daily basis, to the higher education space, and in the HBCU community. It is an honor to recognize their work and observe their progressive growth throughout their careers.”

Recipients will be granted the opportunity to participate in year-long professional development activities, including mentoring, continuing education opportunities, leadership skills, development, and networking with other senior leaders. Senior leaders will be identified from honorees who are president and chancellor recipients of the Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders Award by HCF.

Support is appreciated to assist with professional development activities for the recipients; click here to make a financial gift to the organization.

Click here to view the inaugural recipients of the 2021 Emerging Higher Ed Professional Award.

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About the HBCU Campaign Fund
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded in 2012 and is a non-profit educational organization that remains a strong advocate for students and higher education. The mission of HCF is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, programs, and private and public HBCUs and MSIs. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

(LITTLE ROCK, AR) – Philander Smith College, a private historically black liberal arts college located in Little Rock, Arkansas, was recently named a recipient of a $300,000 award from Microsoft to participate in the company’s community skills grant program. The grant will provide unrestricted funds over the next three years to support the institution’s WISE P3 workforce development initiative.

“This recognition by Microsoft amplifies our vision to enhance employability skills as part of our commitment to workforce development in Arkansas. We are so pleased that Philander Smith College has been cited for the demonstrated focus we are placing on information technology, which is such an important aspect of job skills training,” said Roderick L. Smothers Sr., Philander Smith College’s President.

Microsoft’s community skills program is a part of its broader commitment to skills for employability and promoting racial equity in the United States. It is a $15 million investment over three years to accelerate the work of Black- and African American- led nonprofits that provide digital skills and workforce development to Black and African American communities.

The Center for Workforce Innovation and Strategic Economic Public-Private Partnerships (WISE P3) at Philander Smith College has been operational for five years and is spearheaded by Executive Director Glenn Sergeant.

Acknowledging the technology company’s investment, Sergeant said, “With this grant award to WISE P3, Microsoft has taken a giant step towards its recent commitment to put its data, technology, and partnerships to work to help improve the lives of African Americans across the country.” He continued, “Further, it will be instrumental in helping Philander Smith College reach its goal in reducing barriers that have largely kept Black Arkansas from accessing the millions of jobs created in the tech sector in the last decade alone.”

One of the 50 community-based nonprofits to participate in its community skills grant program nationwide, Philander Smith College was the only institution of higher learning to receive an award. In addition to financial support, the College will also receive concierge service from Microsoft’s Tech for Social Impact (TSI) team that will include on-demand technical support along with Microsoft software and services.

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About the Microsoft Community Skills Program: Microsoft is a technoloy company whose mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Microsoft strives to create local opportunities, growth, and impact in every country around the world. Microsoft’s grant strategy aligns with a broader community skills program that is grounded in the idea that everyone should have access to digital skills, and community racial justice work that harnesses technology to rebalance the odds for Black Americans, especially where work is concerned. More information about the Microsoft Community Skills Program can be found at https://news.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2020/09/02/digital-skills-grants-icstars-tech-diversity/.

About Philander Smith College
Philander Smith College, founded in 1877, is one of the oldest private, historically black institutions of higher learning in Arkansas. A four-year liberal arts college, the institution is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and is the only United Negro College Fund member school in the state. The College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of NCA. For more information, visit www.philander.edu.

Pictured: left to right in this 2013 are former Talladega College Board of Trustees Chairman Dr. Harry Coaxum, Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, Billye Aaron and Henry “Hank” Aaron. The Aarons, who established a $500,000 endowed scholarship at Talladega College, were conferred with honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees.

(TALLADEGA, AL) – While Henry “Hank” Aaron will be remembered for his extraordinary baseball skills, Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins noted that Aaron’s contributions to higher education were equally legendary.

“Hank Aaron was not only a sports legend, but a devoted philanthropist and an advocate for higher education. His generosity made it possible for thousands of students to enroll in college and graduate. Here at Talladega College, he and his wife, Billye, established a $500,000 endowed scholarship that has had a tremendous impact,” said Dr. Hawkins.

“Hank was a personal friend of mine and he was very receptive when I approached him about helping Talladega College students. I am so grateful for the support that he and Mrs. Aaron have provided our students and for students throughout the nation,” he continued.

Hank and Billye Aaron were both conferred with honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees from Talladega College in 2013, when they presented the college with a $104,000 check.

“I first met Hank when I served as president at Texas College, his wife’s alma mater. I was immediately inspired by their profound generosity and their impact on the lives of students. While the world will definitely remember him for his amazing athletic skills, thousands of college students will remember Hank Aaron for his remarkable generosity.”

“On behalf of the Talladega College family, I extend my sincere condolences to Mrs. Aaron and the entire Aaron family.”

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About Talladega College
Talladega College, Alabama’s first private historically black college, is consistently ranked among the best southeastern colleges and top HBCUs in the nation. It was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, Williams Savery and Thomas Tarrant, and is the home of the renowned Hale Woodruff Amisted Murals. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

Five historically black college and university (HBCU) presidents were selected as recipients of the AAC&U-Cengage Inclusion Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to currently serving campus presidents in recognition of their outstanding leadership to advance liberal education.

In acknowledgement of AAC&U and Cengage’s shared commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, the Inclusion Scholarship recognizes presidential leaders from under-represented groups whose efforts have reduced equity gaps, improved inclusion and belonging for minoritized students, and/or promoted diversity in hiring practices.

In recognition of their accomplishments as inclusive leaders in higher education, recipients will receive a one-year, complimentary AAC&U campus membership and a one-year complimentary membership to AAC&U’s Presidents’ Trust.

2021 HBCU Scholarship Recipients:

Roslyn Clark Artis, president of Benedict College
Karrie G. Dixon, Chancellor of Elizabeth City State University
Walter M. Kimbrough, president of Dillard University
Ivy R. Taylor, president of Rust College
Dwaun J. Warmack, president of Claflin University

See the full list of scholarship recipients here.

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About AAC&U
ACC&U is the leading national association dedicated to advancing the vitality and public standing of liberal education by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education in service to democracy. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises over 1,200 member institutions-including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size. For more information, visit www.aacu.org.

Mississippi Valley State University President Dr. Jerryl Briggs, Sr. will participate in the Educate Me Foundation’s HBCU Teachers Fair as a panelist on the HBCUs Matter discussion. This event will begin 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. (EST) on January 27.

Briggs will join the panel alongside with Dr. Javaune Adams-Gaston, president of Norfolk State University; Dr. Jacqueline Gibson-Preastly, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Success at Southern University, Baton Rouge; Dr. Jame’l Hodges, Vice President for Student Success and Engagement at Edward Waters College; Dr. Susan Powell, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Jackson State University; and Dr. Parris Carter, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs.

The HBCU Teachers Fair is designed to create an opportunity for current HBCU students majoring in education and HBCU alums to secure employment opportunities, network with other attendees, meet with schools, and learn from the guest speakers’ panelists to grow their teacher skill sets.

“I am honored to be a panelist for the outstanding event. Indeed, HBCUs matter now, before, and for our future,” said Briggs.

There will be over 500 educators and 70 different school systems from across the United States joining the Educate Me Foundation for the HBCU Teachers Fair.

Click here to register

Educate ME Foundation inspires interest and exposure to pursuing a career in education through engagement in high school. Through mentorship, the foundation develops and assists a cohort of students in college.

Earlier this month, President Briggs was named one of The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2021 by the HBCU Campaign Fund. Briggs was selected for his prominent and influential role in leadership and effectiveness in moving an institution forward.

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About the Educate ME Foundation, Inc.
Educate ME Foundation, Inc. is a social enterprise determined to increase the number of men and women of color in the field of education. The organizaion seek to change the education system by creating a continuum for men and women of color to grow, achieve, and succeed from high school to career. For more information, visit www.edcomhq.com.

Dr. Brenda A. Allen, president of Lincoln University

(WEST CHESTER, PA) – Lincoln University President Brenda A. Allen will address the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Roundtable on January 26 at 6 p.m.

President Allen will share how she leads through a crisis and the ability to persist. Attendees will have time to engage with each other in several breakout sessions.

As Lincoln University’s 14th president, Allen has been aggressively implementing a strategic plan designed to ensure Lincoln’s place among great liberal arts institutions. The plan builds upon the university’s strong legacy of using the liberal arts as the vehicle for producing world leaders who are globally engaged and committed to social justice.

The GWCC Women’s Roundtable Series, sponsored by Miles Financial Management, Inc., connects attendees with extraordinary female speakers from the Greater West Chester regions and presents unique networking for professional women.

“Dr. Allen is an inspiring woman that has faced man challenges in her life head-on, and I, as well as many other, am eager to learn from her experiences,” said Melissa Hawes, Founder of Miles Financial Management, Inc. “We are happy to sponsor such a great and well-rounded series as the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Roundtable.”

The Women’s Roundtable event is open to members and non-members; registration is required. Registration is $10 for Greater West Chester Chamber of Commence members and $20 for non-member. Those who want to attend but can’t afford to may select the complimentary ticket option.

Click here to register

“The chamber is proud to feature Dr. Allen as this month’s Women’s Roundtable speaker,” said Dave Fairman, interim President of GWCC. “Her inspirational story will certainly resonate with our guest.”

Earlier this month, President Allen was named one of The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders of 2021 by the HBCU Campaign Fund. Allen was selected for her prominent and influential role in leadership and effectiveness in moving an institution forward.

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About Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce
The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commence (GWCC) is a membership-based not-for-profit business organization, centrally located in the heart of Chester County, PA. GWCC is devoted to serving businesses, entrepreneurs, and consumers in the greater West Chester region by providing advocacy, resources, and opportunities to its member and the community. For more information, visit https://greaterwestchester.com.

Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, President of Benedict College

COLUMBIA, SC – Congressman James E. Clyburn has announced that Benedict College President Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis has been appointed to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI). The NACIQI advises the Secretary of Education on the establishment and enforcement of the standards of academic accreditation and on the eligibility and certification process for institutions of higher educations.

Congressman Clyburn nominated Dr. Artis for the appointment, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi advanced her nomination to fill one of the six seats on the NACIQI.

“I am thrilled to announce that Dr. Artis will join the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity. Dr. Artis is a fierce advocate for educational access, and I am confident in her ability to advocate for positive and strategic transformation. She is a trailblazer, shattering the glass ceiling twice as the first female President of two collegiate institutions in the United States. I am pleased she will have the opportunity to use her experiences to continue advocating for colleges and universities that serve underrepresented men and women of color,” said Congressman Clyburn.


“It is my great honor to serve as a committee member for NACIQI,” said Dr. Artis. “I am deeply grateful to House Majority Whip, Congressman Clyburn and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for my nomination and appointment to this role. Higher education institutions are vitally important to the fabric of America as they provide the skilled workforce that drives our nation’s economy and stimulate the development of new knowledge to fuel innovation. It is critically important for these institutions to operate with the highest standards of quality and integrity. I am pleased to serve alongside my fellow NACIQI committee members to ensure that these measures of excellence are met throughout the higher education community.”

Dr. Artis’ four year appointment will commence immediately.

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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Several organizations from across the country are set to participate in the President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris events to celebrate their inauguration.

On January 19th, The Presidential Inaugural Committee will host an evening celebration to honor all within the Black Community and African Diaspora, featuring powerful speakers, inspiring stories, and entertaining performances, including historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) marching bands. This event is called We Are One and will be a virtual event; will include our recently named Most Dominant HBCU Leader of 2021 Tennessee State University President and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. International President and CEO Dr. Glenda Glover and Vice President-Elect Harris is also slated to speak.

The PIC is led by Delaware State University President Dr. Allen, who has known the President-Elect and his family for 25 years – four years of which he served as a special assistant and speechwriter for the then-U.S. Senator Biden in the late 1990s.

The event will be hosted by Terrance J and feature appearances by Leslie Jones, Frankie Beverly, Stacey Abrams, Whip Jim Clyburn, Rep. Cedric Richmond, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Joyce Beatty, Senator Cory Booker, Senator-Elect Rev. Raphael Warnock, Kim Fields, Erika Alexander and Jason George. It will also feature a special performance by Tobe Nwigwe, in addition to performances by DJ D-Nice, The O’Jays, Rapsody, Step Afrika, the String Queens, the Texas Southern University Debate Team, and more.

This event will also include a Battle of the HBCU Bands, featuring Florida A&M University Marching 100, Grambling State University World Famed Marching Band, Jackson State University Sonic Boom of the South, Louisiana Leadership Institute All-Star Marching Band, South Carolina State University Marching 101, Southern University Human Jukebox, and the Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands.

“We are incredibly honored that the Sonic Boom was asked to join in such a historic occasion. This is a significant opportunity and unforgettable moment for our students in the band program,” said Thomas K. Hudson, Jackson State University President in a statement. “We are truly proud of the work they do on and off the field, and this special performance is a reflection of their commitment to their craft.”

“Even in a pandemic, the World Famed will showcase its talent on a platform that will be seen across the globe,” said Rick Gallot Jr., Grambling State University President in a statement. “We are proud that they will be representing the institution for the inauguration of the first HBCU graduate to serve as Vice President of the United States of America.”

We Are One will steam live on Tuesday, January 19th at 8:00 p.m. at bideninaugural.org and Urban One, HBCU Grad, NowThis, Revolt TV, The Source, The Shade Room, BET, The Grio TV, Daily Kos, Watch The Yard, Blavity, and on NBC Peacock TV – on The Choice, which is Peacock’s free, exclusive news channel. You can also visit bideninaugural.org for a full schedule of other events surrounding the inauguration of the 46th President and 48th Vice President of the United States.

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Dr. George T. French Jr., Ph.D., 5th President of Clark Atlanta University.

(ATLANTA, GA) – George T. French Jr., Ph.D., the 5th President of Clark Atlanta University (CAU), is recognized as one of Atlanta’s 500 most powerful and influential leaders by Atlanta Magazine.

French was named President of CAU, the largest United Negro College Fund Institution, in 2019. Since taking the helm, he has continued his extraordinary work as a leader and influencer in higher education and policy. Under French’s leadership, Clark Atlanta University received the largest unrestricted donation in the university’s history from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, totaling $15 million and has received $6.6 million in financial support from the CARES Act. In 2020, French was named one of The Ten Most Dominant HBCU Leaders recipients by the HBCU Campaign Fund.

“I am honored to be recognized by Atlanta Magazine along with so many outstanding and accomplished colleagues in the higher education category,” said President French. “The development of our youth, particularly students in the African-American community, has always been my passion. it is my calling to nurture, grow, develop and create game-changing opportunities for students who attend Clark Atlanta University and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the nation. To be recognized for doing something that has a positive impact for the greater good of our society and communities is truly heartwarming.”

According to a press release by the University, French led and continues to lead the institution in the COVID-19 pandemic which required CAU faculty to quickly and successfully transition from on-ground learning to remote learning in the early stages of the global health crisis. His passion for students and their success led to the university purchasing 4,000 laptops from Dell Computers for every financially enrolled CAU undergraduate and graduate student to ensure they were equipped with the resources needed to make the transition to on-line learning during the pandemic.

French also serves as a Chair of the Atlanta University Council of Presidents and chairs the Council of Presidents of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. He is the secretary of member presidents and chair of accreditation for UNCF and vice-chair of the board of directors for the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education. French is the co-found of the Higher Education Leader Foundation, and he serves on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) Board of Trustees and the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity.

Atlanta Magazine distributes an annual list of 500 distinguished leaders from nomination it receives from the public, through social media to identify people who are unsung visionaries. The magazine’s extensive selection process involves consulting experts across different sectors as well.

View the full list of Atlanta’s 500 Most Powerful Leaders here.

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About Clark Atlanta University
Clark Atlanta University was formed with the consolidation of Atlanta University and Clark College, both of which hold unique places in the annals of African-American history. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African-Americans. Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African-American student population. Today, with nearly 4,000 students, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Morehouse School of Medicine) that comprise the Atlanta University Center Consortium. it is also the largest of the 37-member UNCF institutions. For more information, visit www.cau.edu.

Denmark Technical College Administration Building on campus. Photo Creds: Division of Communications & Marketing/HBCU Campaign Fund.

(DENMARK, SC) – Denmark Technical College was recently selected by Ellucian as one of 25 Title IV-eligible two-year public community and technical colleges across the United States to receive 2020 PATH Scholarship from more than 160 community college applicants.

PATH, which stands for Progress, Accomplishment, Thriving and Hope, donates scholarship funds to colleges who then award financial support to students experiencing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 is hitting community colleges particularly hard, which led Ellucian to develop the PATH Campaign and Scholarship Fund in June.

“The pandemic is putting intense economic pressure on some of the most vulnerable student populations. We want to ensure that no student has to put their education on hold as they confront today’s challenges,” said Laura Ispen, Ellucian President and CEO.

Denmark Technical College receive $20,000, which will be distributed among 26 students, with awards ranging from $500 to $2,000. The scholarships will help with tuition, room and board, books, transportation and other costs associated with higher education.

“We are just so thankful to Elluican for their generosity during this difficult time. Thanks to these funds, we have been able to help dozens of students who may not have otherwise been able to pursue their educational goals this coming semester. Ellucian is a valued educational partner and we feel blessed to have their support,” said Dr. Willie L. Todd Jr., President and CEO at Denmark Technical College.

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About Denmark Technical College
Denmark Technical College is a public, comprehensive, Historically Black, two-year technical college located in rural Bamberg County in South Carolina. The College annually serves approximately 2,000 credit and continuing education students, a mix of traditional, nontraditional, full-time and part-time. As an open-door institution, the College provides affordable, post-secondary education culminating in associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates, to citizens from diverse educational and socioeconomic backgrounds and reaches out to its service area high schools with opportunities for the students. For more information, visit www.denmarktech.edu.


Source:
https://thetandd.com/news/local/denmark-tech-awards-20k-in-scholarships-from-ellucian/article_bbc84d09-982e-59b6-bee1-ce0b0c5b7068.html

(ALBANY, GA) – Albany State University President Marion Ross Fedrick announced the launch of the Albany State University Centers for Diversity, Inclusion and Social Equity (DISE).

“In summer 2020, the University formed a partnership with Fort Valley State University and Savannah State University to “Stand United” against racism, and the social and economic injustices that continue to plague our country. Our institutions have a historic legacy to developing strong leaders who fight at the forefront for equality in education, social justice, and who died for civil rights. DISE is ASU’s opportunity to remain at the forefront of these issues and to affect change,” said President Fedrick.

The tri-part center will educate ASU students and stakeholders about the attributes, behaviors and actions that support people of various races, genders, abilities, ages, sexual orientations, and socio-economic and national backgrounds. In addition, the centers will teach practices that creat and maintain equitable support, engagement and treatment, and full participation for all.

“The aim of the Centers is two-fold; to teach the necessary actions that lead to the normalizing for diversity and inclusion, and to outline the behaviors, constructs and systems that guide and influence equity throughout local and global communities,” said Dr. Wendy Wilson, Vice President for University Relations.

Each of the three centers will have a unique function.

The Center for Diversity will focus on the attributes that make people unique, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, age, socio-economic class, abilities, educational background, religion, national origin, and political beliefs.

The Center of Inclusion will support all groups of people within a society, recognizing their value and importance.

The Center of Social Equity will promote fairness, access, livelihood, education, and full participation in the political and cultural life of the community. The Center of Social Equity focuses on the institutionalized practices and barriers that thwart and hinder equity.

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About Albany State University
Albany State University (ASU) is one of Georgia’s diverse, educational gems. Committed to excellence in teaching and learning, the University prepares students to be effective contributors to a globally diverse society. ASU offers 13 post secondary certificate programs and 55 associate, bachelor’s and master’s and specialist degree programs, many of which are offered fully online. For more information, visit www.asurams.edu.

Source:
http://albanyceo.com/news/2021/01/albany-state-university-launches-centers-diversity-inclusion-and-social-equity/

With a heavy heart, I am saddened to share the news of the passing of Mississippi Civil Rights icon Meredith C. Anding, Jr., who died Friday at the age of 79. He was an active member of the NAACP, where he worked closely with Medgar Evers.

In 1961, Anding was one of the nine students, who were undergraduates at Tougaloo College, and staged sit-ins at the all-white Jackson Main Library in Jackson, Mississippi. Prior to the sit-ins, African Americans were prohibited from using the city’s main library. The nine students were members of the Jackson Youth Council of the NAACP. Medgar Evers, who was then president of the Jackson branch of the NAACP, trained them for the sit-in protest.

The group was later known as the Tougaloo Nine. We indeed are indebted to Mr. Meredith Anding Jr., James S. Bradford, Alfred L. Cook, Geraldine Edwards, Janice Jackson, Joseph Jackson Jr., Albert E. Lassiter, Evelyn Pierce, and Ethel Sawyer for the bravery sacrifices that they have made towards injustice in this country, and the continued equality for African Americans today.

Please join me in offering sincere condolences to his family and the Touglooo College community during this sorrowful time.

Dr. James Frank

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – In October of 2020, the NCAA donated $10,000 to establish a scholarship in the name of a devoted alumnus and longtime supporter of collegiate athletics. Dr. James Frank Endowed Scholarship Fund honors the only Lincoln University (MO) alumnus to serve as President of Lincoln University. The scholarship will assist full-time undergraduate students with a 2.5 GPA or higher.

Dr. James Frank graduated from Lincoln University in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science in Education. An athlete and athletics fan at heart, Frank, a Pennsylvania native, came to Lincoln on a basketball scholarship. After spending time in military service and completing his graduate degree, Frank returned to Lincoln University in 1956 as an assistant professor and assistant basketball coach. He was named Head Basketball Coach in 1959. His academic and career aspirations led him to Springfield College, Hunter College and Medgar Evers College before his return once again to his alma mater as the 14th President of Lincoln University in 1973.

During his Presidency, Frank was active in the NCAA as a committee member, secretary-treasurer and president, marking his place in history as the first African American and first college president to hold those positions. After then years as President of Lincoln University, he became Commissioner of the Southwestern Athletics Conference (SWAC) serving from 1983 until 1998 and again as Interim Commissioner from 2001 to 2002. Frank passed away in January 2019.

“Dr. James Frank was a friend to many, but to Lincoln University, he was family,” said Jerald Jones Woolfolk, President of Lincoln University. “We thank the NCAA for their recognition of Dr. James Frank for his commitment to collegiate athletics and his devotion to Lincoln University.”

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About Lincoln University of Missouri
Lincoln University of Missouri is a historically black, 1890 land-grant, public, comprehensive institution that provides excellent educational opportunities including theoretical and applied learning experiences to a diverse population within a nurturing, student-centered environment. For more information, visit www.lincolnu.edu.

Dear HCF supporter,

2020 has been one of the most challenging years in HBCU Campaign Fund’s (HCF) history for advocating for students and HBCUs. Yet, because of your support, we were still able to institute and campaign for HBCUs.

You have helped make all the difference. Without your generosity, none of this is possible.

Please celebrate with us – enjoy this look at our brief Year in Review showing the impact and difference you help make possible.

And when you take a look, know that your gift today will accomplish so much more good in 2021, because there’s still so much to do to help students and advocate for HBCUs and MSIs.

When you help today, your donation will work twice as hard to help to continue the work that we do at HCF – consider donating before December 31st. Thank you for your continued support and generosity!

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There is still time to make a difference. We hope you enjoy our Year in Review moments, it was you who helped make everything possible.

With gratitude,

Demetrius Johnson Jr.
President and CEO, Founder

What is missing from the piece of a long record of historically black college and university (HBCU) credentials is the hidden history of Saints Industrial and Literary School. The campus remains still stands present in Lexington, Mississippi. It all started when the founder and first president, Dr. Arenia Cornelia Mallory, was invited by Charles Harrison Mason to serve as a music teacher at a local religious school for black students in Lexington, Mississippi.

Pictured above is Dr. Mallory’s “Jubilee Harmonizers”. She is seen in the center of the photo; eventually male voices were added to the group.

Later, she organized five singers and toured them to raise money for the school. She then developed a larger school chorus, named the Jubilee Harmonizers, who traveled and became nationally famous. They eventually performed at the White House for President Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt. Their touring helped to raise funding for what become known as the Saints Industrial and Literary School. The institution was a secondary private school for students in grades 1-12. It was later renamed and called Saints Academy. She educated an estimated of 20,000 students through Saints.

The affiliation of the school is with the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ (COGIC); Mallory served as its president from 1926 until 1977. In 1975, she was recognized as the only black college woman president. The campus was developed to have classrooms and dormitories, and a junior college department was produced before 1963. Mallory’s intention was to established high standards for Christian behavior and education. Through the decades, she led the students by integrating public schools and the broadening role for blacks after the passage of civil rights legislation. Mallory helped developed many African-American leaders through her mission.

Historic marker placed outside the campus of the historic Saints Industrial and Literary School in Lexington, Mississippi. Photo courtesy of the Communications and Marketing team at the HBCU Campaign Fund.

The institution was once notable for its inclusion in a landmark federal case, Coffey v. State Educational Finance Commission (1969) that challenged the state of Mississippi’s tuition grant program for segregated schools. Saint was the only private school to receive state aid for black children. Grants covered 80% of Saint’s tuition cost in the 1967-1968 school year.

Mallory was a charter member of the NCNW, which national leader and school president Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune founded. Because of their relationship, Mallory had open access to the White House. She extended the opportunity to present her work with Saints Industrial School to President Eleanor Roosevelt and the first lady, singing for them. In 1963, she was appointed to serve in President John F. Kennedy’s administration.

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and Dr. Arenia C. Mallory.

Through her status with Saints Industrial and with her civic activities, Mallory promoted her advocacy for the Black and poor sharecroppers in Mississippi and for the Civil Rights Movement. In 1968, she was the first woman and person of color to be elected to the Holmes County Board of Education. In 1974, she was elected to a second term.

Mallory was an active member of the Church of God in Christ Women’s Department, where she was a church leader. She cemented her significance to the Women’s Department and made the outreaches that were crucial for the next generations. Mallory’s friendship with Mary Bethune brought in new ideas to the Women’s Department. She served from 1952-1955 on the board of directors of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership, a pro-self help civil rights organization led by T. R. M. Howard from Mound Bayou, Mississippi.

Mallory’s leadership and work were featured in the May 1963 issue of The Crisis Magazine with the front page article written about her entitled “Mississippi Mud”. The Crisis article lauded her citing “Florida has its Mary McLeod Bethune, North Carolina has its Charlotte Hawkins Brown, and Mississippi has its Arenia Corenia Mallory, who, out of Mississippi mud has made it possible for children born, or yet unborn, to have a better heritage then chopping cotton.”

Anne Bailey Hall, Saints Industrial and Literary School – College Women’s Dormitory.

After Mallory’s retirement and death, followers tried to keep the school going, but the Delta’s population had declined as many families moved north or to larger cities. They were unable to succeed, and the school closed in 2006. In 2018, the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) invested in reopening the Saints campus. The campus was reopened, and its mission to train saints who will impact the world. Over $500,000 in renovations have been completed on the campus, and it is now a state-of-the-art facility where saints of all ages are welcome.

Saints’ history falls back as late as 1926 and typically qualifies for the designation of HBCU status. However, the institution’s accreditation is questionable as to why it may be jeopardized from receiving such status. HBCUs were established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary of Education to be reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation.


Source:

http://emanuelministries.org/dr-a-mallory.html

Another Crown for Miss Talladega College, Miss NBCA Hall of Fame 2020-2021.

Patria Gatson, Miss Talladega College and Miss National College Alumni Hall of Fame 2020-2021.

(TALLADEGA, AL) – Miss Talladega College 2020-2021 Patria Gatson recently won the title Miss National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame 2020-2021. Although her royal duties have doubled now that she has two crowns, Patria juggles her responsibilities with grace and ease.

The dynamic biology pre-med major, who is a member of Talladega College’s prestigious Presidential Honor Society and numerous campus clubs, has held a plethora of leadership positions on and off campus. Miss Junior and Miss Presidential Honor Society are but two of the titles she has previously held. Patria was also a member of the team that won first place in the Alabama Business Pitch Competition hosted by the Alabama Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs.

Although Patria began honing her leadership skills prior to college, and was even named prom queen in high school, she credits Talladega College for helping her understand exactly how much she is capable of achieving.

“Talladega College gave me the reassurance that I am capable of accomplishing whatever I want to accomplish. I feel that I can reach my goals and fulfill my dreams because my HBCU told me that I can,” said Patria. “I always take a heavy course load, and I understand the importance of balancing my studies, homework, and meetings. I take at least 18 credit every semester and I am involved in many clubs and organizations.”

Prior to becoming Miss Talladega College, Patria was not very social media savvy. Winning her crown in the midst of a deadly pandemic forced her to quickly learn how to communicate with, inspire and uplift Talladega’s student body via social media and virtual events.

“Through my platform, Aspire to Inspire, I’ve tried to inspire and encourage people to be hopeful and aim high despite the current situation. Inspiration is important because before you can do something, you have to believe you can do it,” said Patria. “I’ve had to work hard to reach people on social media, but the effort is paying off. Sometimes people I don’t even know thank me for inspiring them. It’s very fulfilling to know that I’m making a difference.”

The skills Patria learned as Miss Talladega College have helped prepare her for her role as Miss National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame. Since gaining the national title, she has been featured on television and radio and sought after for interviews. She talks passionately about mental health, creativity, and success.

Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins stated, “Patria has always shown outstanding leadership skills on and off campus. I am impressed by her ability to inspire students at Talladega and throughout the national during this unprecedented season. She and her advisor, Mr. Anthony Jones, have managed to produce virtual versions of practically every Miss Talladega activity that couldn’t be held in-person due to the pandemic. Through social media, radio and TV, Patria continues to demonstrate excellence and creativity in everything she does.”

“COVID-19 forced colleges to find creative ways to maintain their cherished traditions. Our Miss Talladega College 2020-2021 Coronation was held outdoors, and Patria arrived in a horse-drawn carriage wearing a face shield,” he added. “Many people through 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 coronation ceremonies outside. In the midst of the pandemic, measures initially taken as health and safety precautions may actually inspire many colleges to form new traditions.”

Patria feels that being an HBCU queen during the pandemic has forced her to think outside the box. Instead of using the pandemic as an excuse to do less, she has opted to make the most of her reign by instilling hope in students and anyone else who hears her uplifting messages. Standing on the shoulders of the many trailblazing queens who came before her, she is motivating thousands to reach their full potential.

Mr. Jones, who has served as the Miss Talladega College advisor for over 20 years, said, “Patria is a sheer inspiration to work with. She rises to every occasion and never ceases to shine. As a queen, she is always ready to represent and she represents so well.”

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About Talladega College
Talladega College, Alabama’s first private historically black college, is consistently ranked among the best southeastern colleges and top HBCUs in the nation. It was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, William Savery and Thomas Tarrant, and is the home of the renowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

Dear HCF supporter,

Thank you for all you’ve done to support higher education with us throughout 2020. It has been a challenging year, but because of your support, HCF has never stopped advocating for students, HBCUs, and MSIs during these unprecedented times. So many of them have milestones to celebrate this holiday season, thanks to you.

With your help, our advocacy will go a lot further in 2021 when assisting students and supporting higher education. Doing what we do requires a great deal of generosity and dedication with a hand from passionate supporters like you. Without you, setting forth dreams cannot be made possible. When you give to HCF, your generosity works twice as hard and will significantly impact the work that we do.

Make a year-end gift today

As an HBCU Campaigner, you help change the lives of brilliant young people who are shaped into scholars determined to stay in college and succeed to become achievers. You help HBCU and Minority-Serving Institutions to stay open and continue providing a high-quality education to their specific populations. Please consider making a year-end contribution to allow HCF to push even further and help more students, HBCUs, and MSIs who need us most.

Thank you for joining the continued fight to Campaign for HBCUs!

With appreciation,

Demetrius Johnson Jr.
President and CEO, Founder
HBCU Campaign Fund

Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins (left) is presented a plaque in recognition of being named No. 1 among the 10 Most Dominant HBCU Leaders for 2020 by the HBCU Campaign Fund. Demetrius Johnson Jr., Fund president and CEO, made the presentation.

(TALLADEGA, AL) – When the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) named Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins No. 1 among the 10 Most Dominant HBCU Leaders for 2020, the Fund’s president and CEO, Demetrius Johnson Jr., planned to hand deliver a commemorative plaque to the honoree.

Due to the pandemic, Johnson postponed his trip to Talladega College for nearly 10 months.

Fortunately, he was recently able to present the prestigious award to Hawkins and tour the college campus. Johnson said the positive changes on campus were among the reasons Hawkins was named the No. 1 Most Dominant HBCU Leader for 2020.

“The top 10 leaders were chosen for their influence and their continuous progress moving their institutions forward,” said Johnson. “Dr. Hawkins was named first on our list become of the way in which he has transformed Talladega College.

“Under his leadership, the college has achieved record-high enrollment for three consecutive years, constructed three new buildings and launched its first-ever graduate program — a Master of Science in computer information systems,” Johnson continued.

Johnson also praised Hawkins for his leadership he has provided for other HBCUs.

Hawkins serves as chair of the 37 presidents of member institutions for the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) board of directors and also serves as UNCF chair of the executive committee of member institutions, vice chair of the corporate board and vice chair of the corporate board executive committee.

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About Talladega College
Talladega College, Alwww.hbcucampaignfund.orgabama’s first private historically black college, is consistently ranked among the best southeastern colleges and top HBCUs in the nation. It was founded in 1867 by two former slaves, Williams Savery and Thomas Tarrent, and is the home of the renowned Hall Woodruff Amistad Murals. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

About HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF)
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded in 2012 and is a nonprofit educational organization that remain as a strong advocate for students and higher education. HCF mission is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, programs, and private and public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

The campus of Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas. Photo credits: Division of Communications and Marketing/HBCU Campaign Fund.

(LITTLE ROCK, AR) – Philander Smith College is the recipient of funds totaling $1,049,130 to help establish the Strengthening Ministries in Black and Small Churches in Central Arkansas program. It is part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Thriving in Ministry, an initiative that supports a variety of religious organizations across the nation as they create or strengthen programs that help pastors build relationships with experienced clergy who can serve as mentors and guide them through key leadership challenges in congregational ministry.

Earlier in the year the College received a $50,000 award from Lilly Endowment to support the development of the Thriving in Ministry grant submission. That planning grant, combined with the full award of $999,130, represents a total of $1,049,130 investment to strengthen the pastors serving small churches in Arkansas and nearby states.

Thriving in Ministry seeks to help pastors develop meaningful relationships with wise colleagues who can help guide them through key leadership challenges, especially during transitions in their ministerial careers. The initiative builds upon recent studies that have examined the importance of colleagues and mentors who help pastors face and overcome common professional challenges. These studies include research from the Endowment-funded Flourishing in Ministry project.

“Philander Smith College has a legacy of developing clergy who have become leaders and mentors to generations of ministers and pastors,” said Dr. Roderick L. Smothers, President of Philander Smith College. “Our alumni have broken barriers, published extensively in the field of religious studies, and blazed spiritual trails for a new cohort of preachers and scholars. Funding from Lilly Endowment will help us to continue to build upon this sacred foundation.”

“Leading a congregation today is multi-faceted and exceptionally demanding,” said Christopher Cobe, Lilly Endowment’s Vice President for Religion. “When pastors have opportunities to build meaningful relationships with experienced colleagues, they are able to negotiate the challenges of ministry and their leadership thrives. Promising efforts in this initiative including the Philander Smith College program, will help pastors develop these kinds of relationships, especially when they are in the midst of significant professional transitions.”

The grant period at Philander Smith College will run from December 2020 through December 2025.

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About Philander Smith College
Founded in 1877, Philander Smith College is a small, privately supported, historically Black, four-year liberal arts institution related to the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. The College’s mission is to graduate academically accomplished students, grounded as advocates for social justice, determined to change the world for the better. For more information, visit www.philander.edu.

Bluefield Regional Medical Center.

(BLUEFIELD, Va.) – The Board of Directors of Princeton Community Hospital and the Board of Governors of Bluefield State College have agreed that Bluefield State will acquire ownership of the Bluefield Medical Center to expand its Health Science programs, while Princeton Community Hospital maintains its Emergency Division and related medical services at the facility.

“This is a new day for the people of Bluefield as well as the college,” said Rev. Garry Moore, Bluefield State College Board of Governors Chairman. “This underscores our commitment to the educational and economic well-being of Bluefield, Mercer County and the Two Virginians region.”

This agreement follows from a Memorandum of Understanding announced by the college and the hospital on September 1, 2020.

Princeton Community Hospital Board of Directors President James “Rusty” Sarver said, “The decision by both board represents a timely convergence of interests and needs. We are delighted that Bluefield State College appreciates the campus for the asset it is.”

Bluefield State President Robin Capehart said, “Acquiring this facility permits Bluefield State to expand its campus, course offerings and student housing.” The new campus is located just one mile from BCS’s main campus.

Capehart added that the college would begin its due diligence immediately with the intention of closing on the purchase as soon as possible.

PCH Interim CEO Frank Sinicrope said, “The national shortage of nurses is acutely felt locally. BSC’s acquisition of the former BRMC will enable them to train many more students to help fill the demand for highly skilled, well-paid health care professionals at Princeton Community Hospital. We are excited by the educational and economic benefits this partnership will bring to our area.”

The college intends to lease back portions of the building for Princeton Community Hospital to maintain its Emergency Department and related services.

The sale includes nearly 68 acres and all the existing buildings.

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About Bluefield State College
Bluefield State College mission is to provide students an affordable, accessible opportunity for public higher education. An historically black institution, Bluefield State College prepares students for diverse professions, graduate study, informed citizenship, community involvement, and public service in an ever-changing global society. The College demonstrates its commitment to the student’s intellectual, personal, ethical, and cultural development by providing a dedicated faculty and staff, quality educational programs, and strong student support services in a nurturing environment. For more information, visit www.bluefieldstate.edu.

Because of your continuous generous support of the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF), you have given us so many reasons to say “Thank You“.

Without your – encouragement, volunteering, hospitality during campus visits, picture moments, read or share our content, donations, in-kind support, etc., HCF could not continue to advocate for students and higher education. You are indeed a special person to all of us at HCF, including our constituents – we are grateful that we can always count on your support.

When you support HCF, you make many success stories possible. We cannot stress enough how we cannot do the work that we do without you, and we are so very grateful for your support.

From all of us at the HBCU Campaign Fund, and all of the students, HBCUs, and MSIs who benefit from the advocacy, thanks to YOU, happy holidays!

With appreciation,

Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
President and CEO, Founder

(CHICAGO, IL – 12/18/20) – The President and CEO, Founder of the HBCU Campaign Fund, Demetrius Johnson Jr., released the following statement on the generous philanthropy of MacKenzie Scott and TikTok for recent gifts that were given to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) expresses its gratitude and profoundly praises the philanthropic efforts of MacKenzie Scott and TikTok for their recent gifts to our nation HBCUs. For many years HBCUs have been underrepresented, under-resourced, and underfunded and have fought for equity within the higher education space for decades. With such positive impacts as MacKenzie Scott and TikTok have made, this puts a brighter future on HBCUs. Their gifts will tremendously benefit the ongoing mission to strengthen HBCUs, which continues to transform the lives of an African American and diverse population that HBCUs have served for more than 140 years in history. These transformational gifts will allow HBCUs to further their academic excellence and deepen their investment in students and higher education. We are so proud of the progress that our institutional leaders and the impact of their continued guidance that make HBCUs so prominent academically.”

On Wednesday, American author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced nearly $4.2 billion in gifts to 384 organization, including seventeen HBCUs. Social Media platform TikTok followed Scott’s gift with a $10 million donation of $1 million each to eight HBCUs as part of their ongoing commitment to healthcare workers and academic institutions that serve underrepresented student with programs focused on public health professions in the medical and healthcare fields.

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About the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF)
The HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) was founded in 2012 and is a nonprofit educational organization that remain a strong advocate for students and higher education. HCF mission is to support the significance and raise funds for scholarships, programs, and for private and public HBCUs and MSIs. For more information, visit www.hbcucampaignfund.org.

(MEMPHIS, TN – 12/17/20) – LeMoyne-Owen College has announced Thursday that the Board of Trustees has selected Vernell A. Bennett-Fairs, Ed.D. as the 13th President of the College.

Dr. Bennett-Fairs has over 25 years of experience in higher education, most recently serving as vice-president of Student Affairs at Delta State University in Mississippi. She also served in a similar role at HBCU, Kentucky State University. Dr. Bennett-Fairs brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in higher education settings and the Board of Trustees feels confident that she will continue that transformation already underway at LeMoyne-Owen College.

“I am excited and honored to be a part of the LeMoyne-Owen College family and history. I look forward to working with you in support of your education and professional goals, as well as advancing the the institution,” said Dr. Bennett-Fairs. “I enjoy having an open door policy so I want you to stop by when you return to campus because I’m interest in learning what you love most about the institution, as well as what you would like to see. Have a safe winter break and get ready to get locked in. Happy holidays.”

Dr. Bennett-Fairs will succeed Dr. Carol Johnson Dean effective January 5, 2021. Dr. Johnson Dean served as interim president for 18 months, as the Board thank her for her leadership and looks forward to the upward trajectory of the College under the guidance of Dr. Bennett-Fairs.

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About LeMoyne-Owen College
LeMoyne-Owen College delivers a transformative experience, educating students for a lifetime of scholarship, leadership, and service through liberal arts, career and professional studies. For more information, visit www.loc.edu.

(BLUEFIELD, WV) – On Sunday, August 16 Bluefield State College announced the addition of 12 new sports, in a matter of four months the Interim Director of Athletics, Derrick Price, and his administrative team have managed to hire five out of the seven new head coaches.

To achieve this task in a short period of time, the athletics department enlisted assistance from the campus community. Each hiring committee formulated its process to identify the unique characteristics of the coach that was needed for each individual sport.

To Kick off the new hires, Bluefield State was excited to announce Tony Coaxum as the Head Football Coach. Coaxum comes to BSC from the University of Northern Colorado where he was the special team’s coordinator and defense backs coach. Coaxum also coached for the Denver Broncos from 2015-2017 as an assistant special team’s coordinator, during which the Broncos won the 2016 Super Bowl.

Following Coaxum, Daulton Cooper was brought on as the Head Women’s Bowling Coach. Hailing from Dayton, Ohio where he studied education at Urbana University. During his time at Urbana, he finished in the top ten in the country every year including a runner-up finish in 2013-2014. He was also an Academic All-American 2013-2015.

Our next hire was the Head Wrestling Coach, Blaze Smith. Coming from the University of North Carolina Pembroke, Shade coached six Division II All-Americans, 1 Division II National Finalist, 18 Division 11 national qualifiers, 16 NWCA All-Americans, two Conference Championship Teams, and one Super Region II Championship team. Blaze’s wrestling career accomplishments consist of being a four-time Division II national qualifier, a three-time Division II All-American, and a two-time Division II National Finalist. He was also a two-time First Team All-Conference in the East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) and the ECAC Wrestler of the Year in 2015-2016.

Tumbling in from King University is the Head Acrobatics and Tumbling Coach, Olivia Kincaid. She was awarded National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) All-Conference in the Conference Carolinas and nationally ranked All-Academic Team in 2020. Kincaid is excited to lead the only Historically Black College Acro and Tumbling team in the nation.

Wrapping up the first wave of new head coaches is the Head Women’s Soccer, Scott Forster. Coach Forster will be joining BSC from Montana State University Billings. During his time as the Assistant Coach at MSUB the program become an academic powerhouse ranking 6th in the NCAA Division II for academic success placing 15 players as Academic All-Conference. Prior to MSUB, Forster guided the San Jose State Men’s club soccer team to the most successful season in their history with the capture of the West Coast Soccer Associations Open Cup. Academically Forster has completed his Ph.D. and Honors degree in Biological Sciences form the University of Exeter, UK.

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About Bluefield State College
Bluefield State College is to provide students an affordable, accessible opportunity for public higher education. An historically black institution, Bluefield State College prepare students for diverse professions, graduate study, informed citizenship, community involvement, and public service in an ever-changing global society. The College demonstrates its commitment to the student’s intellectual, personal, ethical, and cultural development by providing a dedicated faculty and staff, quality educational programs, and strong student support services in a nurturing environment. For more information, visit www.bluefieldstate.edu.

(12/16/20) – TikTok announced $1 million in funding to eight HBCUs as a part of their ongoing commitment to healthcare workers and academic institutions that serve underrepresented students with programs focused on public health professions in the medical and healthcare fields. The social media platform donated a total of $10 million to 10 academic institutions, including 8 HBCUs that serve minority students. Each school will receive $1 million in funding to support undergraduate and graduate scholarships for students pursuing medical careers or other health related fields, helping to ensure the success of future Black, Latinx, and Indigenous health heroes.

The gifts benefits Xavier University of Louisiana, Tougaloo College, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina A&T State University, South Carolina State University, Laredo College, University of South Dakota, Florida A&M University, Delaware State University, and Virginia Union University.

“Healthcare workers are the heroes of the global pandemic, and deserving heroes within the TikTok community,” said Belinda Frazier, Head of Culture and Diversity, TikTok North America. “The TikTok Health Heroes Relief Fund was created to support their efforts and we are honored to be able to continue our commitment to the healthcare community. We believe the next generation of health heroes should be reflective of the world around us and we are proud of support medical and health education programs that serve Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students.”

2020 has been a difficult year for many, but through it all there’s been an unwavering symbol of hope and humanity shining through: healthcare workers. From epidemiologists to doctors to surge staff, front line healthcare workers are deserving heroes across the country – and theses health heroes are equally lauded figures within the TikTok community, which is part of why TikTok donated $150 million earlier this year through the Health Heroes Relief Fund.

“Many Xavierites have excelled to become the health heroes that are in high demand during the global pandemic,” said Reynold Verret, President of Xavier University of Louisiana. “This gift from TikTok allows talented young women and men with dreams to sharpen their gifts and succeed at becoming change agents in our community and across the nation through education.”


“We are grateful to TikTok for recognizing the power of everyday health heroes like the one we are developing on our campus in combattling the COVID0-19 pandemic. The University’s Public and Allied Health Department, chaired by Dr. Robert C. Mason, and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michelle Fisher RN managed a small army of employee and student volunteer who came out every test day – rain or shine – to administer the 35,000 tests necessary to keep us all safe. There were dozens of them on duty every day, and these are our heroes.”

– Dr. Tony Allen, President of Delaware State University

According to a 2018 article in Harvard Business Review, Black people make up 13 percent of the US population; but only four percent of US doctors and less than seven percent of US medical students self-identify as Black. In a qualitative study of Black students’ perspectives on careers in medicine in the Journal of the National Medical Association, students reported financial constraints as one of the major barrier in pursuing a career in medicine. We believe investing in the next generation of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous doctors, nurses, pediatricians, surgeons, and other essential health care workers is one of the best ways to invest in the future of America.

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About TikTok
TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. TikTok’s mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. For more information, visit www.tiktok.com.

-Joint partnership with Alcorn State University aims to address economic development in the Mississippi Delta region-

(TOUGALOO, MS) – The Reuben V. Anderson Institute for Social Justice at Tougaloo College, in partnership with the Alcorn State University Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Center, has announced the launched of a comprehensive grassroots leadership development initiative aimed to address economic development in the Mississippi Delta.

The Bennie G. Thompson Delta Leadership Initiative is designed to accelerate the development of socially disadvantaged black and indigenous grassroots community leaders living in Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District. Named for Congressman and Tougaloo College alumnus Bennie G. Thompson, the initiative will focus on identifying and developing early-stage grassroots and community-led work with innovative and promising sustainable solutions in areas, including sustainable food systems training, social enterprise development models, and workforce transportation.

“While serving Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District, I have witnessed the incalculable damage done to black and brown communities due to a lack of leadership and sustainable, deliberate community and economic development,” said Bennie G. Thompson, congressman of Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District. “With this new initiative, we will continue to empower community leaders to engage in practices guided by courage and common sense; specifically, to increase the net worth of the Mississippi Delta.”

Julian D. Miller, Esq., director of the Reuben V. Anderson Institute for Social Justice and assistant professor of political science at Tougaloo College adds that “we must make bold, innovative investments if we are to deliver viable, systemic solutions for social problems affecting future generations in the Mississippi Delta.” This initiative it the first of its kind for Alcorn State University. “This program allows us the opportunity to assess the needs of socially disadvantaged people in rural America in a much different way,” said Eloris Speight, director of the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center at Alcorn State University. “It gives us insight on potential policy recommendations that could provide long-lasting, positive impacts on those we serve.”

Though the partnership with industry leaders, the Bennie G. Thompson Delta Leadership Initiative is providing critical mentorship, advising, and networking resources to give direct support to selected participants. In addition, up to $15,000 in equity-free grants will be disbursed to give selected cohorts.

The Bennie G. Thompson Delta Leadership Initiative highlights the diversity and strengths of Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District through a series of five seminars over the course of seven months. Three seminars are held throughout the state, focusing on the various agricultural commodities of the regions. One seminar will take place in Washington, D.C.

“Now more than ever, institutions like Tougaloo College play a critical role in helping solve some of our city’s toughest problems. In keeping with Tougaloo’s mission of being socially responsible, the Bennie G. Thompson Delta Leadership Initiative will produce a cadre of impactful leaders committed to transforming the economic, social, political, and cultural landscape of communities in the Mississippi Delta, one of the most impoverished regions in the state,” said Carmen J. Walters, president of Tougaloo College. “Through the program, current and aspiring leaders will be engaged, empowered, and equipped with critical skills to develop innovative solutions to meet sustainable development challenges in communities where they live and serve. We are proud to be a part of the solution affecting positive community change and grateful for Congressman Bennie G. Thompson’s continued commitment to improving Mississippi.”

Applications for the Bennie G. Thompson Delta Leadership Initiative are now available. Community leaders and entrepreneurs with real solutions that can help create a more just and equitable rural economy in the Mississippi Delta encouraged to apply. The applications are open year-round; however, cohort selections will begin December 20, 2020. Selected participants will be announced January 2021.

For more information about the Bennie G. Thompson Delta Leadership Development Initiative or the Reuben V. Anderson Institute for Social Justice, please contact Mr. Julian D. Miller, Esq. at jdmiller@tougaloo.edu or Ms. Silbrina Wright, program specialist at swright2@tougaloo.edu.

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About Tougaloo College
Tougaloo College prepares its students to be lifelong learners who are committed to leadership and service in a global society through its diverse undergraduate and graduate programs. The College is accessible to all persons while making students aware of its rich legacy as an independent, historically black liberal arts institution, affiliated with the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). For more information, www.tougaloo.edu.

MacKenzie Scott.

American author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced Tuesday her second significant charitable contribution of the year, giving nearly $4.2 billion to 384 organizations as part of a plan to donate a majority of her fortune.

The announcement came just four months after Scott donated $1.7 billion to 116 organizations, including four historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), in July. The latest round of philanthropic gifts totals more than $4.16 billion donated to organizations nationwide in the past four months.

“The pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling. Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires,” Scott wrote in a Medium post.

She continued to say, “It would be easy for all the people who drew the long demographic straws in this crisis to hole up at home feeling a mix of gratitude and guilt, and wait for it to be over – but that’s not what’s happening. The proliferation of community fridges, COVID relief funds, impromptu person-to-person, Venmo gift, viral debt relief campaigns, and mutual aid initiatives has been swift and uplifting.”

Scott’s medium post also included a list of hundreds of organizations that received funds, including seventeen HBCUs, financial service providers for under-resourced communities, civil rights advocacy groups, and legal defense funds.

Scott donated $40 million to Morgan State University, an HBCU in Baltimore. The gift is the largest single private donation in the university’s history, and roughly doubles the school’s endowment.

Also, Scott gave $50 million to Prairie View A&M University, an HBCU in Texas – the school’s largest donation ever, and nearly doubling its endowment, according to the university.

Other HBCUs includes:

  • Alcorn State University
  • Bowie State University
  • Clalflin University
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Delaware State University
  • Dillard University
  • Elizabeth City State University
  • Lincoln University (PA)
  • Norfolk State University
  • North Carolina A&T State University
  • Tougaloo College
  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • Virginia State University
  • Voorhees College
  • Winston-Salem State University

Scott is the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and Blue Origin, from 1993 to 2019. Also, she served as the executive director of Bystander Revolution, an anti-bullying organization she founded, since 2014. Scott is included in Time Magazine‘s 100 Most Influential People of 2020. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, she is the world’s 18th-richest person with a net worth of $60.7 billion. 

Scott stated, “We do this research and deeper diligence no only to identify organizations with high potential for impact, but also to pave the way for unsolicited and unexpected gifts given with full trust and no strong attached.”


Source:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/15/business/mackenzie-scott-charity-donations-trnd/index.html

https://mackenzie-scott.medium.com/

Alabama Power’s Eastern Division Vice President, Mr. Terry Smiley, met with Talladega College President Dr. Billy C. Hawkins to announce a $150,000 grant from Alabama Power and its parent, Southern Company, to support technology and infrastructure needs at Talladega College.

(TALLADEGA, AL) – Talladega College is receiving a $150,000 grant from Alabama Power and its parent, Southern Company, to support technology and infrastructure needs. The gift is part of Southern Company and its subsidiaries’ $50 million HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Initiative, a multiyear funding strategy announced in January 2020 that provides HBCU students with scholarships, internships, leadership development and access to technology and innovation to support career readiness.

The funds awarded to Talladega College will be used to improve technology bandwidth throughout campus, provide technology resources for faculty and staff, and build capacity to support infrastructure expansion.

“We are so grateful to receive this generous grant from Alabama Power and Southern Company,” said Dr. Billy C. Hawkins, Talladega College President. “With record-breaking enrollment increases and three new building on campus, our technology needs have increased significantly. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic has altered the way we serve our students and created new challenges. This grant will help us continue to provide an outstanding academic experience for students by expanding our technology capabilities.”

Alabama Power and Southern Company are honored to be a part of a growing group of corporate and philanthropic partners that have increased support for HBCUs in the wake of COVID-19 and mounting calls for racial justice. Both businesses believe deeply in the importance of HBCUs in higher education and in their impact on economic development, innovation and American Life.

“Our hope is that this funding will draw further recognition to schools like Talladega College and deepen partnerships between business and civic leaders and these vital institutions,” said Terry Smiley, Alabama Power’s Eastern Division Vice President. “HBCUs are at the forefront of innovation and academic excellence in Alabama, and across the country, and we hope that our company’s investment will only accelerate this important work.”

Alabama Power and Southern Company are committed to the success of HBCUs and fostering greater diversity and inclusion cross the communities they serve.

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About Talladega College
Talladega College, Alabama’s first private historically black college, is consistently ranked among the best southeastern colleges and top HBCUs in the nation. It is founded in 1867 by two former slaves, Williams Savery and Thomas Tarrant, and is the home of the renowned Hale Woodruff Amistad Murals. For more information, visit www.talladega.edu.

Edward Waters College recently chartered a new chapter of Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society and nine students were inducted as charter members in a virtual ceremony Tuesday.

Alpha Kappa Mu (AKM) is a general collegiate national honor society that was founded at Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial College (now Tennessee State University) in 1937 by Dr. George W. Gore, Jr., dean of the institution at the time. The society is open to college juniors and seniors who have achieved a level of distinction in their studies including a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher.

“The road to success is never easy but the hard work put forth will be worth it,” said Annik Segree, a senior majoring in biology. “I am grateful to become a member of Alpha Kappa Mu as it will provide great opportunities to connect with other scholars at different collegiate levels.”

“We are so pleased to launch our first chapter of Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society at EWC. This honor society will provide one vehicle for our outstanding students to be recognized on a national level for their exceptional scholarship. The chartering of this national honor society will also achieve the strategic vision of President and CEO A. Zachary Faison, Jr. by creating community, emphasizing critical and creative thinking across disciplines and fostering top-quality undergraduate research and creativity among our high achieving students,” said Dr. Donna H. Oliver, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. “This honor society and these students are an example of the premiere academic excellence and eminence emerging at Edward Waters College.”

“The chartering of Alpha Kappa Mu at Edward Waters College is evidence of our demonstrable progression towards placing a heightened emphasis upon extraordinary scholarship and high student achievement amongst our Tiger students. I am proud of you for all of your hard work and dedication. Remember this forever and wear your letter with pride,” said President Faison while sharing a picture of his 2001 induction into the Alpha Kappa Mu chapter at Albany State University. “I am part of you and you are part of me,” he stated to the new inductees in his closing remarks.

Currently, the society has approximately 92,000 members and 67 chapters. Alpha Kappa Mu is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies, which is the Nation’s only certifying agent for college and university honor societies.

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About Edward Waters College
Edward Waters College (EWC), accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission (SACSCOC) and member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), is a private, historically black, urban college which offers a liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on the Christian principles of high moral and spiritual values. EWC was established in 1886 and is an African Methodist Episcopal Church-related institution of learning. It is the first private institution of higher education in the State of Florida. For more information, visit www.ewc.edu.

ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, has announced a three-year sponsorship agreement with Cricket Wireless, who will be the new title sponsor for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Celebration Bowl. Both events, which are staged in Atlanta, celebrate the tradition, legacy and value of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

“We are delighted to have Cricket Wireless as the title sponsor of both our football kickoff and bowl games,” said John Grant, executive director for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Celebration Bowl. “These events provide valuable diversity to the sports offering in the city of Atlanta. This relationship reflects our mutul passion for and appreciation of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the vaulable contributions they make to our nation. We look forward to working together and building world-class events in a world-class city.”

ESPN Events’ relationship with Cricket began with the sponsorship of the 2018 Celebration Bowl. Cricket’s support of HBCUs began with an agreement with Southern University, which eventually expanded to include sponsorship of the Magic City Classic and Bayou Classic. In October 2020, Cricket and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) announced a sponsorship agreement extension through 2023.

“At Cricket, we’re all about creating a meaningful connection with our customers and within the communities where we operate,” said Tiffany Baehman, vice president and chief marketing officer, Cricket Wireless. “Our extended relationship with ESPN allows us to continue to introduce our brand to HBCU students, alumni and fans. It also means that we can help amplify the rich culture and legacy of HBCUs, and the positive impact they have on the Black community.

The Cricket Wireless MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff – an early-season matchup of HBCU football teams from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) – is played at the Georgia State’s Center Parc Credit Union Stadium. The Cricket Celebration Bowl is played each year, with the game typically opening the college bowl season, from Mercedes Benz Stadium.

Due to the current health pandemic, both events were cancelled for the 2020 season, but excepted to return in 2021. Fans can re-live and enjoy last year’s Celebration Bowl between Alcorn State and North Carolina A&T on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. Those interesed in joining a virtual watch party can sign up here.

Information regarding the Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Cricket Celebration Bowl can be found at www.meacswacchallenge.com and www.TheCelebrationBowl.com.

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About Cricket Wireless
Cricket is focused on inspiring smiles, one meaningful connection at a time. Cricket offer an easy and high-quality wireless experience on their reliable nationwide network. Their affordable, straightforward service plans include monthly taxes, and don’t require an annual contract. Their customers also enjoy basic to top-brand phones at affordable prices.

Visit www.cricketwireless.com to learn more or find a store near you. Stay up-to-date with the Cricket Newsroom and connect with Cricket on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Smile. You’re on Cricket.

About ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes four early-season college football games, 17 college bowl game, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite office in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conference, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

Miles College campus, Brown Hall. (Photo credit: HCF Communications & Marketing)

(FAIRFIELD, Ala.) – In celebration of Computer Science Education Week, Miles College announced it will become a community center for Coding and Creativity as part of Apple’s Community Education Initiative and Tennessee State University’s HBCU C2 initiative designed to bring coding and creativity experiences to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and their communities.

“We truly appreciate Apple’s leadership in recognizing the pivotal role Miles College and HBCU students will play in the future of global technological advancement and innovation, particularly through supporting and fostering this first-of-its-kind coding partnership,” said Bobbie Knight, Miles College President. “Being aligned in a strategic partnership with the largest technology company in the world will undoubtedly prove an invaluable asset to our graduates as they go on to compete in the global competitive technology marketplace.”

Faculty leaders from Miles College will participate in Apple’s ongoing Community Education Initiative Learning Series to learn about coding and app development. As part of that ongoing professional development, educators will explore innovative ways to engage with learners using Apple’s comprehensive curriculum, which utilizes its easy-to-learn Swift programming language.

As part of its Community Education Initiative, Apple is supporting Miles College with equipment and professional development to help the college become the pre-eminent HBCU C2 community center to bring coding and creativity to Fairfield, Alabama.

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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.

Dr. Mordecai Ian Brownlee, Vice President for Student Success at St. Philip’s College.

(SAN ANTONIO, TX) – St. Philip’s College (SPC) Vice President for Student Success, Dr. Mordecai Ian Brownlee, was selected by a panel of national community college leaders to participate in the Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) sponsored by the League for Innovation in the Community College. ELI provides an opportunity for prospective community college presidents, or those in transition, to analyze their abilities, reflect on their interests, refine their skills, and engage in leadership discussions with an unparalleled faculty of community college leaders from across North America.

“I am immensely grateful to (SPC) President Dr. Adena Williams Loston for this amazing growth opportunity,” said Dr. Brownlee. “Through Dr. Loston’s leadership and mentorship, I have learned first-hand how to advance the institutional mission and the significance of creating academic pathways that empower the lives of the students we serve.”

As the vice president for student success, Dr. Brownlee is primarily responsible for all student on-boarding, matriculation services, support systems and completion agendas. Since joining the St. Philip’s College executive team four years ago, St. Philip’s has experienced its highest enrollment, student success metric performance and program completion in its 122-year history.

“Dr. Brownlee is a highly motivated individual and inspires his team to pursue performance excellence in all initiatives,” said Dr. Loston. “Mordecai serves as a champion for this institution and collaborates effectively with his fellow vice presidents to ensure that our students completion agenda is achieved.”

The Institute, which is being offered virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, will take place December 13-17, 2020, and January 26-28, 2021. This is ELI’s 32nd year preparing senior-level community college administrators to successfully fill presidential roles.

To learn more about the League for Innovation in the Community College, click here.

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About St. Philip’s College
St. Philip’s College, founded in 1898, is a comprehensive public community college whose mission is to empower their diverse student population through educational achievement and career readiness. As a Historically Black College and Hispanic Serving Institution, St. Philip’s College is a vital facet of the community, responding to the needs of a population rich to ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity. St. Philip’s College creates an environment fostering excellence in academic and technical achievement while expanding its commitment to opportunity and success. For more information, visit www.alamo.edu/spc/.

(FRANKFORT, KY) – Kentucky State University’s fourteenth and first female president, Dr. Mary L. Smith, 84, passed away on November 28, surrounded by her loved ones at home.

A trailblazer and a longtime advocate for access to education, Dr. Smith was not only Kentucky State’s first female president but also the first African-American female college president in Kentucky. Dr. Smith served as president from 1991 to 1998. Before becoming president, she was special assistant to the president and professor at Kentucky State.

Smith also previously served as interim president and vice president for academic affairs. Dr. Smith became an assistant professor of education at Kentucky in 1974, then associate professor of education and acting chairperson of the Division of Education, Human Resources and Technology in 1981. In 1883, Dr. Smith became dean of the College of Applied Sciences and professor of education.

Dr. Smith graduated from Jackson State University in 1957 and earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Kentucky.

Dr. Smith will lie in state at Kentucky State University on Thursday, December 4, 2020, in the Carl H. Smith Auditorium in David H. Bradford Hall from noon until 5 p.m.

Attendees will have the opportunity to pay their respects and sign the University’s guest book. Security will be present and COVID-19 regulations will be highly enforced with only 25 guest permitted in Carl H. Smith Auditorium at a time.

A private service will be held Friday in the David H. Bradford Hall Little Theater. The service will be broadcast via Zoom:

Time: Dec 4, 2020 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: https://kysu.zoom.us/j/96422591180

Meeting ID: 964 2259 1180

Tributes may be made to the Dr. Mary Levi Smith Endowed Scholarship at www.kysu.edu/give.

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Miles College students.

(FAIRFIELD, AL) – Miles College is receiving a grant from Alabama Power and its parent, Southern Company, to support the Miles College Empowerment Center for Digital Excellence in Careers and Education (M-Power Center). The gift is part of Southern Company and its subsidiaries’ $50 million HBCU initiative, a multiyear funding strategy announced in January 2020 that provides HBCU students with scholarships, internships, leaderships development and access to technology and innovation to support center readiness.

The M-Power center will allow students and faculty to learn, train, and regularly engage with the newest cutting-edge technology. The center will focus on STEM education, capacity building, and training components. In addition, the function of this center will support instructional delivery and promote student enrollment and retention.

“We are very pleased to receive this generous grant from Alabama Power and Southern Company,” said Bobbie Knight, President of Miles College. “During these challenging times, especially with the coronavirus pandemic having changed the way we serve our students, this grant will help us improve our technology capabilities and continue to innovate to meet our students’ needs.”

Alabama Power and Southern Company are honored to be part of a growing group of corporate and philanthropic partners that have increased support for HBCUs in the wake of COVID-19 and mounting calls for racial justice. Both businesses believe deeply in the importance of HBCUs in higher education and in their impact on economic development, innovation and American life.

“Our ope is that this funding will draw further recognition to schools like Miles College and deepen partnerships between business and civic leaders and these vital institutions,” said Myla Calhoun, Vice President of Birmingham Division of Alabama Power. “HBCUs are the forefront of innovation and academic excellence in Alabama, and across the country, and we hope that our company’s investment will only accelerate this important work.”

Alabama Power and Southern Company are committed to the success of HBCUs and fostering greater diversity and inclusion across the communities they serve. For more information about Miles College, visit www.miles.edu.

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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 of 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).

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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Dear HCF family,

All of us at the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) wish you and your families all the best this holiday season. On this Thanksgiving Day, we thank you for supporting the higher education community in making such a remarkable difference to ensure students accomplish their educational goals.

Every day, we are profoundly grateful for the grace of God, for his presence with us, and the many ways he is at work among us. We give thanks for the ways he has led us, sustained us, preserved us, and ignited us with his everlasting love.

I am thankful for the vision and advocacy that he has given in the light of making HCF an impact on higher education and others who we can encourage to fulfill their dreams. Nonetheless, I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of such a prominent organization.

During this holiday season, let us take time out from our daily tasks and duties to say thanks and reflect on the moments that we are thankful for. I want to take the opportunity to express my appreciation to our supporters and those who have invested in HCF’s mission. Your involvement is the richness to our community and strengthens our role as leading advocates in the space.

As you spend Thanksgiving Day traditionally with your families, please raise your glass for all of the accomplishments we have achieved together campaigning for HBCUs this year. Even so, know that you have been a part of making a real difference in the lives of HBCU students, HBCUs, MSIs, and the HBCU Campaign Fund, as well as those that need us most.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with joy and peace. Season’s greetings to everyone!

Kind wishes,

Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
President and CEO, Founder
HBCU Campaign Fund

(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.

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.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in single garment of destiny. Whenever affects on directly, affects all indirectly.”

Issues on racism have pursued for way too long, and it is at its point of needing to be permanently resolved. The recent racial slurs and killings exemplifies the ceaseless unsolved result of broken systemic racism in America. We immensely are demanding peace and justice over our people, especially of the black and brown people and their communities. And we will not back down from the continued fight for social change and injustice.

As I have stated once before, and I will repeat it, our country must unite to dismantle racism and bigotry in all forms and denounce race-related violence and police brutality. In the words of Jessie Jackson, we must use our economic leverage and our political power to respond to this ongoing miscarriage of justice.

On October 20, 2020, Marcellis Stinnette, a 19-year-old black man, was fatally shot by a Hispanic police officer in Illinois shortly before midnight during a traffic stop. It is told that the teen did not receive medical assistance and bled out on the ground for eight minutes. On October 20, 2020, Quawan “Bobby” Charles, a 15-year-old black teen, vanished from his home. Days later, the family said his body was found in a sugarcane field about 20 miles away, in Iberia Parish. The teen was beaten and tortured, and being compared to the murder of Emmett Till. However, local officials are not providing transparent details regarding the death of Charles. The ACLU is demanding a full, independent investigation.

Over the weekend of November 7-8, Simmons College of Kentucky, a historically black college, located in Louisville, Kentucky received a voicemail from a man that was rooted in racism. The voice related the following message, “Boy ya know, a few, me and a few of my upstanding white friends from the community would sure wish you would shut that n***** college down, ya know please tired of all you n**** starting problems with all the white folk around.”

The time is already overdue for us as Americans to stop accepting nonsense as such and come together to do all that we can as a society to challenge and change systems of inequity that perpetuate racism and bias that continues to happen in this country. Enough is enough. We must not stop speaking up about JUSTICE, PEACE, and RESPECT among humanity. While I do not encourage violence because it is neither the answer nor our agenda, we must not be silent.

Dr. King reminded us all that, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Respectfully,

Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
President and CEO, Founder

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.

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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.

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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.

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– Updated November 9, 2020

Dr. Adena Williams Loston

The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF) announced its 2021 Executive Committee, a group of executive leaders that represent the diverse industries and demographics that make up the San Antonio regional business community.

The SAEDF governing body, made up of majority private sector community leaders, directly influences the region’s economic and workforce development strategy. Led by Craig Boyan, H-E-B President and SAEDF Chair, the Executive Committee has prioritized participation to best represent the diverse and inclusive San Antonio region.

“SAEDF is propelling San Antonio forward, working to make sure our region grows strongly and grows the right way, and that every person has a chance to prosper,” said Boyan. “I’m honored to serve alongside this group of corporate leaders dedicated to driving equitable growth strategies that will strengthen San Antonio for decades.”

Dr. Adena Williams Loston joins the 2021 committee alongside three new leaders including Brandon Gayla, VP of Revenue, Brand & Communications with Spurs Sports & Entertainment; Robert Melvin, CEO & Founder of Limitless Creations and Chair of San Antonio for Growth on the East Side (SAGE); and Rosa Santana, CEO & Founder of Santana Group.

SAEDF is committed to engaging an Executive Committee that represent the diverse and inclusive community it serves. The 2021 slate represents increased participation from 2020 of Females (26% to 33%), as well as increased Black participation (9% to 21%), and Hispanic participation (35% to 37%).

To learn more about the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, click here.

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About St. Philip’s College
St. Philip’s College (SPC), founded in 1898, is a comprehensive public community college whose mission is to empower a diverse student population through educational advancement and career readiness. As a Historically Black College (HBCU) and Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), SPC is a vital facet of the community, responding to the needs of a population rich in ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic diversity. SPC creates an environment fostering excellence in academic and technical achievement while expanding its commitment to opportunity and access. For more information, visit www.alamo.edu/spc.

Hello Supporter,

I wanted to inform you about the advocacy our organization does in support of students, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) 365 days of the year. Everyday, HCF tirelessly advocate for the better future of students, HBCUs, and MSIs as we continue to strengthen our role as leading advocates in the space of higher education.

We’d love to hear why you choose to support HCF. You can share your reason on social media using the hashtag #HCFILoveMyHBCU. We will share some of the heartwarming #HCFILoveMyHBCU stories on our social media pages throughout the month.

We thank you so much for your support. Your support and contributions only helps to strengthen our mission further each and every day, and continues the long-lasting fight to Campaign For HBCUs. Whether you serve on staff, volunteered, donated, or read or shared our content, it’s much appreciated. Because We Are HBCUs!

Warms Regards,
Demetrius Johnson, Jr.
President and CEO, Founder

President Brenda A. Allen

(LINCOLN UNIVERSITY, PA) – Lincoln University President Brenda A. Allen has been chosen as one of Philadelphia’s most influential African American leaders.

Annually the Philadelphia Tribune acknowledges African American Leaders in the region for outstanding commitment in the community.

The honor comes just as Allen completed her first three years as Lincoln University’s 14th president, where she has been aggressively implementing a strategic plan designed to ensure Lincoln’s place among great liberal arts institutions, according to the University.

The Philadelphia Tribune will host the virtual awards celebration at noon on November 10. The event is free and open to the public. Guest must register by November 10 at p2p.events/tribunemostinfluential.

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(JACKSON, MS) – Jackson State University (JSU) has announced the promotion of Jerome Tinker to the position of executive director for the JSU Development Foundation. In 2018, Tinker joined the JSUDF where he fulfilled the duties of executive assistant, account payable, donor relations, board administrator, and most recently, director.

“My diligent work ethic was not overlooked by Universiter administrators and the JSUDF Board of Directors, and for that, I am immensely grateful. I absolutely love what I do, and each day, I am motivated to go above and beyond my call of duty to ensure the BOD have what they need to exercise proper and effective governance,” said Tinker.

As Executive Director, he plans to collaborative with the executive officers of JSUDF to create an all-inclusive strategic proposal which will assist with strengthening the Board of Directors. This initiative will focus on the following sectors:

  • Diversity
  • Engagement
  • Communication
  • Policy and procedures
  • Day-to-Day operations

Tinker also wants to ensure all JSUDF University staff members receive adequate professional development to assist with enhancing internal operations.

“We have limited amount of team members who all have to perform variety of duties. I believe by empowering my staff and ensuring they have all the necessary resources to be successful, they will in turn, produce an astounding work product for the JSUDF.”

Tinker is a native of Sawyerville, Alabama. He is a cum laude graduate of Stillman College where he received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus in Operations Management. He also has a Master of Community Development in Housing with a certification in Community Planning from Prairie View A&M University.

He is a student member of the Mississippi Economic Development Council, the American Planning Association (MS Chapter), the Council of Advancement and Support of Education, wand was recently appointed as chairman of the Scholarship and Student Engagement Committee for the PVAMU Atlanta Metro Alumni Chapter.

Tinker is a proud member of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grant Lodge of Alabama and is a 2006 initiate of the Gamma Phi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.

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About the JSU Development Foundation
The Jackson State University Foundation was established as a private, nonprofit organization in 1977 specifically to increase private gift support for Jackson State University. Since its inception, the JSUDF has been committed to establishing the best possible relationship with its benefactors based on trust by operating with the highest ethical standards and providing excellent performance. For more information, visit www.jsums.edu/jsudf.

(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.”