Losing its accreditation and federal funding in 2002 and suffering from mismanagement of the school’s finances, Morris Brown College (Georgia) is at the place where the road stops—a domino effect that has the well-known institution on the brink of foreclosure.
Founded by the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1881, the private, Liberal Arts College is more than $30 million in debt. Reporting, The Huffington Post told how supporters and alumni of the school joined together on campus for a prayer vigil, hoping to see the day when the highly acclaimed college strengthens and is revitalized.
Yet Morris Brown, an institution who has historically served underserved persons, is not alone in the battle of mismanagement and allegations.
Wilberforce University (Ohio), Fisk University (Tennessee), Knoxville College (Tennessee), and several other historically black colleges and universities similarly face years of financial trouble, large debt problems, allegations woes and ailments, and declining enrollment. Giving such information and realities, blemishes and faults of HBCUs today demonstrate how these institutions are in dire need of transformation.
Considering truths, students, alumni, supporters and alike alarmed about the matter quickly request, “What can be done to fix the problem?” Frankly, the way out is cleverly hidden within ourselves.
Many individuals are doing little to prevent road blocks abrupt as Morris Brown’s from arising at their HBCU. What is more, if the institution’s troubles have the pleasure of not being visible, persons are doing less to help serve and aid their HBCU.
I recall, standing in line at Taco Bell days ago, students complaining about Central State University, comparing it to Wright State University, a much larger school about fifth teen minutes away. One student advocated how Wright State is better than his own university, further proving the belief on the yard that Central State is mediocre, for Wright State has a better food market (among other praises by the student).
Though the student’s testimonial perhaps is right—Wright State’s food market is overwhelming when compared to ours—his proposition does nothing but hinder the opportunities that tolerantly rest beneath his very grounds.
Seeing the situation of Morris Brown and other famed Black colleges, I note that HBCUs are not only in dire need of renovation, they are equally in desperate need of leaders, young men and women who would look adversity in the eye knowing that prosperity and riches lie ahead.
Lost in thought on how to fix our HBCUs’ problems, we should remember to look no farther than our own backyard in place of answers, for the simple reason that change begin with us.