The importance of HBCU alumni giving BLACK!

It’s no secret that when it comes to funding, HBCUs are given the short end of the stick. From federal policies and campaign promises that hardly ever come through, to stark differences in state funding between HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and PWIs (Predominately White Institutions), our schools are struggling in the area of finances, which impacts our students and quality of education. While systemic inequality plays a significant role in the state of Black universities, it is important to recognize that donations from alumni are the lifeline of any college or university, and that the absence of giving from Black alumni can be felt across many HBCU campuses. According to Forbes, the average rate of alumni donations at HBCUs is nearly 10% and the rate has remained constant over the last few decades. This is nowhere near the hundreds of thousands spent during the homecoming season. Only four HBCUs have an alumni giving rate exceeding 30%: Claflin University (47%), Spelman College, Bennett College, and Lane College (all exceeding 35%). Two HBCUs had the lowest giving rate of 2%. So why aren’t our alumni giving back? It’s not that we don’t value and appreciate the education and life lessons gained from our coveted HBCUs. One known reason is the wealth disparity between Black professionals and families and our white counterparts. Giving back can be difficult, especially for young Black professionals working to solidify their careers and financial stability. The wealth disparity is also caused by the dramatic differences in student loan debt between Black students and their white counterparts. According to Education Data Initiative, the average Black student owes around $25,000 more than white students. Forty-eight percent of Black students owe 12.5% more than they borrowed, and Black student borrowers are most likely to struggle financially due to student loan debt, with 29% paying $350 or more in monthly payments. Other reasons include small fundraising infrastructures, miseducation about state funding for HBCUs, and many HBCU graduates saying they simply haven’t been asked to donate. Why is it important to donate to HBCUs? There’s a common issue amongst HBCUs all […]

The importance of HBCU alumni giving BLACK! Read More »

Zillow, United Negro College Fund, Black Tech Ventures to host HBCU Housing Hackathon

SEATTLE — Registration is now open for Zillow’s first hackathon for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) around the country. Beginning September 23, the seven-day virtual competition challenges students to develop and pitch creative and impactful tech solutions that align with Zillow’s goal to help consumers overcome obstacles on their journey to find a home. Nearly $90,000 in cash and prizes is up for grabs as students gain real-world experience in the technology industry. Zillow, in collaboration with United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Black Tech Ventures (BTV), will host the HBCU Housing Hackathon to help HBCU students further develop their skills through workshops, hands-on enrichment, mentorship and teamwork. To engage HBCU students who have various technical skill levels, Zillow’s HBCU hackathon is open to both students with advanced computer coding experience as well as those with little or no coding experience. Students will work closely with Zillow and BTV mentors. Teams can have as many as four members, and although registration is open to HBCU students in any degree program, each team must have at least one member enrolled in a computer science, computer engineering or related program. At the end of the weeklong event, team finalists will pitch their solutions to a panel of judges. The first-place team will receive a $20,000 cash award, split among its members, and Zillow will donate $25,000 to its school’s computer science program. Second- and third-place teams will receive $12,000 and $6,000 cash awards, respectively. Students from the top three teams also will receive new laptops, textbook gift cards and AfroTech World 2021 conference tickets. All eligible hackathon participants interested in a role at Zillow will have an opportunity to interview for an internship. “Zillow is proud to sponsor this hackathon because we best serve our customers when we can recruit and retain some of the best talent in the world — the kind of thinkers and doers incubated on the campuses of the country’s historically Black colleges and universities,” says Zillow Chief Technology Officer David Beitel. “Our goal is to strengthen our recruiting pipeline through engagement with HBCUs and encourage students to consider careers in the tech

Zillow, United Negro College Fund, Black Tech Ventures to host HBCU Housing Hackathon Read More »

Dr. Tony Allen Appointed as Chair of President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs

President Joe Biden announced his intent to appoint Dr. Tony Allen as the Chair of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Board will advance the goal of the HBCU Initiative, established by the Carter Administration, to increase the capacity of HBCUs to provide the highest-quality education to its students and continue serving as engines of opportunity. The Biden-Harris Administration said it remains committed to supporting the vital mission of HBCUs. Through the American Rescue Plan and by forgiving capital improvement debt of many these institutions, the Biden-Harris Administration has already committed more than $4 billion in support. Reestablishing the White House HBCU Initiative – and placing strong leadership at the head of the Board – will allow the administration to build on that financial commitment with continued institutional support, administration officials said. Dr. Allen became President of Delaware State University in January 2020, after serving as Provost and Executive Vice President since July 2017. Prior to joining the university, he brought a diverse background in the private and nonprofit sectors. He served as Managing Director of Corporate Reputation at Bank of America; co-founded the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League and Public Allies Delaware; and led Delaware’s K12 public education reform effort from 2014 – 2019. Dr. Allen’s tenure has largely been through the pandemic, but he and his team have built a strong portfolio of accomplishments focused on student success. The university has seen its elevation to the No. 3 public HBCU in America (US News), an R2 “high research activity” designation, and the historic acquisition of nearby Wesley College. The university’s “Together” COVID-19 plan has been touted as a national example of campus safety strategy, and a year into the pandemic enrollment has shattered all previous records. Dr. Allen has drawn national attention to Delaware State University through successful fundraising ($40 million in 2020) and national appearances on major media platforms including ABC World News Tonight, CNN, the Black News Channel, and many others. He also served as the chief executive officer of the 59th Presidential Inaugural Ceremonies. Dr. Allen is Chairman Emeritus

Dr. Tony Allen Appointed as Chair of President’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs Read More »

Enrollment Increases for HBCUs

By: Stacy M. Brown The increase in enrollment at Howard and Bowie State reflects what’s happening at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) around the country. Howard University enjoyed a more than 15 percent enrollment increase during the pandemic, and officials at the historically Black college expect those numbers to increase this fall. “This has the potential to be our largest freshman class ever,” Anthony Wutoh, Howard’s Provost and chief academic officer, told reporters. Up north from D.C., Bowie State reportedly expects an 8 percent increase in overall enrollment this fall. The increase in enrollment at Howard and Bowie State reflects what’s happening at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) around the country. Some observers believe the calls for racial justice after the murder of George Floyd and the global awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement have contributed mightily to the rise in enrollment at HBCUs. “We are attracting students who have a significant interest in social justice and an interest in addressing what they see as the ills of society,” Wutoh told NBC News. At Morgan State University in Baltimore, two gifts from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Calvin and Tina Tyler totaling $60 million have assisted. The Biden-Harris administration eliminated millions of dollars in debt through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. In May, university officials noted they had received 14,600 undergraduate applications for 2021-22, shattering 2019 totals by more than 58 percent, reported universitybusiness.com. Morgan State also pulled in 1,200 housing applications, up more than 50 percent from 2019. “We have faced challenges during the pandemic and have seen some of our natural growth stifled as a result. However, what these record numbers of applications are revealing is that educational attainment is still very important to a great number of people and that there is a tremendous appetite to receive that education at Morgan,” university President David Wilson told universitybusiness.com. “What we’ve put in place here at the university, in terms of programs and opportunities, is unique and attractive to both traditional and nontraditional students. We look forward to capitalizing on this monumental interest and building for

Enrollment Increases for HBCUs Read More »

NBA champion J.R. Smith is headed back to school; Enrolling at North Carolina A&T, He may play on HBCU’s golf team

By: Stacy M. Brown When the NBA came courting J.R. Smith during his senior season at St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, New Jersey, the scouts kept telling him one thing. “They always told me I could go back (to school) whenever,” said Smith, who had committed to the University of North Carolina. So, after finishing as the co-MVP at the McDonald’s All-American Game in 2004, Smith opted to head directly to the NBA. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard played professionally for 16 seasons and won NBA titles with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016 and Los Angeles Lakers in 2020. The 35-year-old is retired now and about to embark on a new adventure, enrolling at North Carolina A&T State University, one of the nation’s top HBCUs, to pursue a degree in liberal studies. Maybe those NBA scouts were right after all. “So, this is whenever,” said Smith, shortly before he split the fairway with his opening drive during the pro-am at the Wyndham Championship. The 6-foot-6, 200-pounder starts classes on Aug. 18. He is also waiting on the NCAA and to sort out his eligibility, and when it does, Smith, who plays to a 5 handicap, is looking to join the Aggies’ golf team. “It’s a big deal for A&T. It’s a big deal for him,” said Richard Watkins, who coaches both the men’s and women’s teams and was in Smith’s gallery on Wednesday. “It’s not very often that somebody in his position really has an opportunity to have a thought, a dream, an idea, and to be able to go ahead and move in that direction. “He’s a former professional athlete, but (it’s) a unique set of circumstances. He didn’t go to college, never matriculated, the clock never started.” Smith, who wore an A&T shirt as he played in the pro-am, said he started thinking about going to college during a trip to the Dominican Republic with Ray Allen, an 18-year NBA vet who is in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. “He was talking about some of the things he was doing by going back to school, challenging

NBA champion J.R. Smith is headed back to school; Enrolling at North Carolina A&T, He may play on HBCU’s golf team Read More »

Why aren’t more Black students attending HBCUs?

 This past year put Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) on the map. The election of Howard University graduate Kamala Harris for the second highest position in the nation – Vice President — along with the historic accomplishments of esteemed political leader and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams from Spelman College, put an end to the myth that claims HBCUs don’t prepare you for the real world once and for all.

Why aren’t more Black students attending HBCUs? Read More »

Was cutting Howard University’s Classics Department the right decision?

By: Neveah Richardson  There are probably over a thousand reasons I chose to attend Howard University. Between the legendary alumni and prestigious name, my decision wasn’t very hard, and finding out that Howard University was the only historically Black university to offer a Classics program was the icing on the cake. So you can imagine my disappointment when Howard University’s board of trustees announced their decision to cut the classics department this fall. The classics department was established in 1867, the same year the prestigious HBCU was founded. The department quickly became a mecca for learning about Black people and their contributions to antiquity, but over the last decade, the program has been dissolving. Howard University stopped offering a classics major in 2009 after a commission to review the university’s degree programs recommended the removal of the classics major. While the department itself will be closed come fall 2021, students will still be able to minor in classics, and the antiquity courses formerly held in the classics department will be available in other departments. “We obviously believe that the content that we offer in classics is important, but we also must contemporize that teaching with practical application,” Dr. Wutoh, provost and chief academic officer at Howard University, told the New York Times. In 2017, another review of Howard University’s academic programs based on enrollment and matriculation suggested that the university dissolve the classics department because it does not provide major courses and general courses can be taken through other departments. According to Dr. Wutoh, limited funding, low enrollment, and low student interest were reasons for the closing of the historic department. The board of trustees of the university have approved of the department’s four tenured faculty members to remain within the College of Arts and Sciences, while the contracts of four non-tenured faculty members will not be renewed. Dr. Prather, one of the non-tenured faculty members of the classics department, said in an interview that seeing the department dissolved was disheartening at a university where the study of antiquity is told from a Black perspective. Dr. Prather says she focuses

Was cutting Howard University’s Classics Department the right decision? Read More »

Is the NFL purposely overlooking HBCU athletes?

By: Nevaeh Richardson After last year’s draft having only one athlete from a Historically Black College and University selected, this year’s draft brings an even more shocking disappointment; not a single player from an HBCU was selected for this year’s draft. Pro Football Hall of Famer and head coach of the Jackson State football team, Deion Sanders, expressed his disappointment with this year’s draft in an Instagram post: “We have the Audacity to Hate on one another while our kids are being NEGLECTED & REJECTED. I witnessed a multitude of kids that we played against that were more qualified than the drafted. My prayers are that This won’t EVER happen again. Get yo knife out my back and fight with me not against me!” Normally a dozen to two dozen players from small schools are selected in the NFL draft with an adequate number of HBCUs represented. As many Black colleges and universities shut down their football seasons due to Covid-19, many HBCU hopefuls were rendered invisible. The MEAC, CIAA, SIAC, and the debut of an NFL-organized combine for HBCUs were all canceled because of the pandemic. Milwaukee industrialist Ulice Payne Jr. and Bethune Cookman assistant coach Charles Jones arranged their own HBCU combine for April in Birmingham, Alabama. For many players, this combine served as the only way for prospects to demonstrate their skills to scouts. It seems that the combine benefited at least two participants including North Carolina A&T defensive back Mac McCain and Fayetteville State tackle Kion Smith. Both players signed as undrafted free agents with McCain signing with the Denver Broncos and Smith signing with the Atlanta Falcons. “For a lot of these guys, the only look they got was the HBCU combine,” said Payne. “Our goal was to give them either a first look or a second look. So, we’re grateful for the chance to give them that look.” Seeing numerous players, including Smith and McCain, get signed after the draft assured the HBCU combine organizers that they were making the right decisions regarding who they were inviting. Payne and his partners are continuing the

Is the NFL purposely overlooking HBCU athletes? Read More »

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

Scroll to Top