Proposed facility would replace King, Williams dorms on Stillman Campus

Stillman College President Dr. Cynthia Warrick (right) and Elisha Rhodes, interim CEO and COO of YWCA USA, sign a MOU to collaborate on a health and wellness recreation center project on Stillman’s campus.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Stillman College and YWCA USA have partnered to pursue development of a facility to provide childcare, health, and recreational services to one of Tuscaloosa’s critically underserved areas.

Representatives from both Stillman and the YWCA signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday on Stillman’s campus and will soon begin raising funds and support for the center, which will serve Stillman students and employees, as well as residents in Tuscaloosa’s West End.

Stillman College President Dr. Cynthia Warrick said there is a scarcity of accessible parks and activities for both children and seniors in the West End. The planned facility will provide education, fitness and health activities to a multi-generational West End populations.

Stillman College and the YWCA USA signed a partnership agreement Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, that will lead to the construction of a YMCA facility on campus. The new facility will be named in honor of Vivian Malone Jones, the first Black person to graduate the University of Alabama. William Hall, right, and King Hall, former residence halls contaminated with asbestos and lead paint, are the two buildings that will be torn down and replaced by the new facility. [ Yahoo News Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

“We need this space for both the campus and our community,” said Dr. Cynthia Warrick, president of Stillman College. “And the YWCA, which provides housing education and childcare services, is a perfect partner.”

The plan is for the center to replace both King Hall and Williams Hall, a part of dormitories no longer in use and are planned for asbestos abatement and later demolition. The Stillman Foundation recently received a Brownfields Assessment Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a cleanup plan for the structures. The Stillman Foundation will soon pursue an additional grant to perform the cleanup itself.

“The YWCA is excited to partner with Stillman College as it works to create innovative approaches that forge new ways to bring about equity and access to resources in underserved communities across the country,” said Elisha Rhodes, interim CEO and COO of YWCA USA.

“YWCA works to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, and enable greater access to education and health care to make the communities we serve more equitable,” Rhodes said. “This partnership with Stillman College is essential to that work and will help us continues to deliver programming, services, and other resources that support our mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.”

Official plan to name the facility the “Vivian Malone Jones YWCA at Stillman College.” While Malone Jones is the first African-American to graduate the University of Alabama, her husband, Dr. Mack Arthur Jones, was a Stillman student who served as her personal driver during her time at UA. Malone Jones’ family credits the support from Stillman and Tuscaloosa’s West End for helping her graduate from UA, Warrick said.

The development of the Vivian Malone Jones YWCA at Stillman College will also enhance community-based programs that currently operate on Stillman’s campus, including Arts & Austism, which holds classes and activities at Stillman; and the Girls Scouts, which is headquartered at the Hay Center. Additionally, The House Tuscaloosa, a literacy initiative for children on the West End, is located in the historic president’s house on Stillman’s campus.

Warrick said Stillman students will benefit greatly from the numerous layers of engagement, which will provide opportunities to manage recreational programs, tutor and engage in STEM education activities, and connect with seniors, which ties into Stillman’s Quality Enhancement Plan to prepare students for a multi-generational workforce.

“Stillman is so central to this community – an anchor for over 100 years,” Warrick said. “We should be able to draw and enhance the services for our students, youth and seniors. We’re excited to begin this mission.”

About Stillman College
Stillman College is a liberal arts institution with a historical and formal affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It is committed to fostering academic excellence, to providing opportunities for diverse populations, and to maintaining a strong tradition of preparing students for leadership and service by fostering experiential learning and community engagement designed to equip and empower Stillman’s students and its constituents. For more information, visit www.stillman.edu.


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The NBA is continuing its ongoing commitment to HBCUs through three new key efforts.

NEW YORK – The NBA has announced an extension of its ongoing commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with new programs designed to create greater opportunity for students and alumni, encourage economic advancement and further celebrate their rich traditions. As part of this partnership, the NBA will develop new programs and events focused on the HBCU community – specifically around professional development, career advancement and increased support and awareness for HBCU athletics and institutions.

The NBA is committed to supporting the growth of the next generation of leaders from the Black community. HBCUs – which produce 20 percent of the country’s Black college graduates but only account for three percent of all colleges in the United States – have historically been under-resourced, averaging one-eighth the size of endowments of historically white colleges and universities. The NBA’s programming will advance educational, career and economic opportunities in collaboration with HBCU networks, and will focus on three areas:

New Fellowship Program for Career Development

  • Launching in 2022, the NBA and its teams will offer a new paid fellowship program for undergraduate and graduate students. The program, which will be led by the NBA Foundation, will offer HBCU students the opportunity to gain real-life insights and professional experience around the business and operations of basketball. The students will work in positions at the league office and NBA and WNBA teams, and be matched with a league or team employee mentor as part of their experience. Applications for the program will open on Careers.NBA.com in the coming months.

NBA HBCU Classic

  • Building off the success of NBA All-Star 2021, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) will once again highlight the HBCU community during NBA All-Star 2022 in Cleveland
  • The celebrations will be highlighted by a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) matchup between Howard University and Morgan State University men’s basketball teams. The game will be played at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland on February 19, 2022 and will be broadcast live.
  • During NBA All-Star, more than $1 million will be contributed in support to the HBCU community through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), UNCF (United Negro College Fund) and academic institutions. Additionally, HBCUs will be showcased through unique content, storytelling and special performances.

Additional Programming:

  • The NBA, G League and Basketball Africa League will leverage their pre-Draft combines and showcase events for HBCU players, coaches and athletic trainers. These engagements will increase exposure and opportunities to pursue professional basketball careers.
  • The league will expand the NBA’s targeted referee development strategy to leverage existing programs and focus on identification, training and educational opportunities for HBCU students and alumni in the officiating pipeline.
  • The NBA 2K League will host events with HBCU networks to introduce students to careers in gaming and esports, creating pathways for students to pursue careers in the growing industry.
  • HBCU alumni and Black entrepreneurs will partner with the league as part of the NBA’s commitment to onboarding more minority-owned businesses as league licensees.
  • The NBA will air special alternate game telecasts this season featuring interactive enhancements on League Pass and will work with HBCU schools to provide special experience around those select games.
  • These new efforts will bolster the league’s support of HBCUs and their students through additional scholarship programs, business case competitions, mentorship, networking and internship opportunities with partners, teams, the NBA Foundation and other members of the NBA family. Former NBA Commissioner David Stern served as a founding member of the TMCF Board of Directors for more than 30 years.

To read more, click here.

NASHVILLE, TN – Last month officials from Fisk University signed a historic agreement with Austin Peay State University. The partnership aims to undertake cooperation in the area of admissions and enrollment of Fisk University students into the Austin Peay State University School of Nurising.

In accord with the guides of this agreement, Austin Peay State University will prioritize and reserve spots for qualified Fisk University students to transfer into Austin Peay State University’s School of Nursing Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program who meet published admissions criteria. Fisk University students satisfying all APSU requirements for graduation will be awarded Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and can participate in Austin Peay State University graduation ceremony.

According to Fisk University Provost, “this agreement allows Fisk University students to study and become nurses at one of the strongest nursing programs in the state of Tennessee and the nation. It also allows Fisk University to play an important role in bridging the nation health care gaps by playing a role in creating more minority health care professionals.”

Austin Peay State University School of Nursing is committed to empowering students to become critical thinkers, healthcare leaders, excellent communicators, and life long learners. The school serves traditional and non-traditional students, including the military community. Fisk University was founded in 1866 and its 40-acre campus is a historic district listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1930, Fisk was the first African American institution to gain accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

For more information about the Fisk University/Austin Peay State University Nursing Partnership, contact Dr. Phyllis Freeman, Associate Professor of Biology, at pfreeeman@fisk.edu or 615-329-8767.

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