Bethune-Cookman University students and alumni launched a petition to rally support for their efforts to block Betsy DeVos from speaking at their commencement. The petition, “Stop Betsy DeVos from delivering the commencement address at Bethune-Cookman University,” seeks to stop DeVos from having “a seat at our table.”
Specifically, the effort refers to DeVos and her role of keynote speaker for B-CU spring 2017 commencement ceremony on May 10 at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach.
Readers interested in signing the online petition or viewing the effort can do so HERE.
The petition posted to chang.org, says, “We know the name. We know the face. We know the legacy. The time is now for us to protect a woman who had a dream, five little girls, and $1.50.”
“Through several sources, we confirmed that the United States Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has been scheduled to be the commencement speaker at the 2017 graduation ceremony for Bethune-Cookman University (BCU) in Daytona Beach, Florida, on May 10, 2017,” the petition reads, saying Devos “doesn’t understand” why HBCUs were founded.
As of Tuesday morning, the petition has reached more than 4,000 signatures.
“Having DeVos speak at the commencement ceremony is an insult to the BCU graduating class, students, alumni, family, friends, and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’s legacy,” the petition reads. “We, the proud alumni of Bethune-Cookman University, do not want Betsy DeVos to have a seat at our table. Please rescind her invitation to speak at the graduation ceremony.”
“We, the proud alumni of Bethune-Cookman University, understand the importance of engagement and open communication HBCUs must have with all levels of government; therefore instead of inviting Secretary DeVos to graduation, let’s welcome her to the table and have meaningful dialogue about stronger policies, the White House HBCU Initiative, and the importance and contributions of HBCUs.”
“Bethune-Cookman University doesn’t need a photo op from the Trump Administration, we need action done by this administration for all HBCUs,” the petition reads.