It’s no surprise that President of The United States has his gun always loaded towards his next target. And last week was no exception, now aiming guns towards HBCU Funding.
After 25-years of the Government funding a federal program geared towards constructions project for HBCU campuses, Trump believes that it is time to cut off the program deeming this program “unconstitutional.” He believes the money is allocated on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender.
While many HBCU students, alum, parents, and supporters believe this to be a false statement with no substance, there are many individuals who aren’t aware of issues we as HBCUs face and how many of them could be resolved with the program as such to fund us.
While Trump has realized the error in his comments and has corrected himself. This moment in time can serve as a learning lesson to expound on an issue to be discussed again in the near future.
Here are 10 reasons why HBCU funding is necessary in order to keep the heart of HBCUs, the rich history of it alive and thriving:
The Ball Is In The Government’s Court
Researchers in the early 2000s, including James T. Minor, criticized the Government for the lack of federal funding of HBCUs, noting that the HBCU initiative conducted by the White House has not produced “noticeable results.”
This history of low funding for HBCUs has been an issue but not one created by HBCUs. In 1965 the Higher Education Act, Title III B originated allocating federal funds to HBCUs. Through this act, HBCUs are able to support financial management, building improvements, and academic resources. The grant issued roughly $2 million per institution. An amount that couldn’t put a dent in the gap between the funding for HBCUs and PWI Institutions.
Aside from poor results in funding, in 2015 a report released by Association of Public Land Grant Universities, 10 states withheld nearly $57 million that was allocated towards funding the HBCUs in those various states. Including Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Virginia, these are few among more who were all listed as states that did not properly allocate funds to minority serving institutions.
How can HBCUs be the problem if we were never the source of the issue?
HBCUs Provide Opportunities For Low-Income Students
As President of the U.S., Trump must realize that HBCUs have a higher enrollment rate for low-income and financially unprepared students who majority are the first generation in their family to attend college. The student poses a greater chance of not graduating due to the lack of funds provided by federal funding; more resources are needed to succeed. The overall success of the university should reflect the individual characteristics of students that attend that school. A study entitled ” A Look at Black Student Success,” believes there is a significant graduation gap between black students and white students. Based on a six-year graduation plan, the rate of black students graduating would be far less that of white students.
If Trump’s ideal plan for minorities is providing more job opportunities, wouldn’t funding institution geared towards their success be beneficial for your plan?
HBCUs Create Global Leaders
In a study conducted by Gallup-USA Funds Minority College Graduates Report, HBCU graduates are more likely to prosper after graduation than students who graduated from a non-HBCU. For years, HBCUs have provided students with training outside of the classroom that has benefited their work ethic in their various works; but more importantly teaching students on how to conduct themselves in the workforce.
Outside of the classroom, students are provided opportunities on campus to join organizations and become leaders. Often times, these opportunities can serve as a life lesson on how to work with people with a different approach or idea and how effectively disseminate conflict when it arises. That is a huge factor to attribute to the success of HBCU students; they are willing, humble, and ready workers.
According to The Network Journal, HBCUs are responsible for 22 percent of current bachelor’s degrees granted to blacks. HBCUs make up 40 percent of all congressmen, 12.5 percent of CEOs, 40 percent of engineers, 50 percent of professors at non-HBCUs, 50 percent of lawyers and 80 percent of judges.
HBCUs possess a power and ability that brings out the gifts and abilities of all students and allows them to flourish in their field. How can we continue to see this progress without the financial support needed?
The Battle of HBCU Infrastructure
10 years from now, will the current infrastructure of majority HBCUs be enough to effectively carry out the mission of the Institution?
Trump intends to dish out 3 trillion dollars geared towards infrastructure in urban homes and rural areas, never realizing these areas make up many HBCU students.
In the 21st century, HBCUs are faced with the issue of “Keeping up with the Jones” as it relates to staying up-to-date with modern technology and facilities on campus that are gear toward an increase in student success and completion. PWIs are funded a higher amount and then are able to provide these accommodations for their students which in turn increase enrollment, campus attractiveness, and once again the overall student success.
When asked what are the key issues needed to be fixed on campus; all HBCU Presidents could agree their biggest adversary is maintaining update to date infrastructure including building maintenance, technology, and construction of new buildings. A proper infrastructure that is geared towards students success, in turn, improves the quality of education on campus and encourages students to excel. In order to see this change Presidents are placed in the position to always seek to stay competitive through infrastructure, they need “bigger and better,” to attract students to the university.
HBCUs Athletic Prowess
In more recent times, HBCUs have no shown a dominant presence in any Major League, NBA, or NFL mainly because of the lacking on infrastructure and facilities providing to athletes. However, many HBCU athletes in recent have faced this hard conditions to train under and have become successful in their own right.
In the 2017 NFL Draft, HBCU athletes put on a show signing 4 athletes and 12 being invited to Rookie Training camps. Athletes have the tiring duty of maintaining good grades in schools and training; Funding HBCUs would provide student-athletes the opportunity to excel further in their sport because they have the necessary tools being provided to aid in that process. With up-to-date facilities and proper funding the numbers of athletes progress from one stage to the next will be able to more consistent, smooth, efficient, and they will have more confidence in their gifts and abilities.
Birth By Hate
HBCUs creation was not the figment of someone’s imagination, it was a reaction to the hate being spewed by America at the time. African-Americans were not allowed the opportunity to receive an education from the same institution as white students. In response to that HBCUs were formed with the intention of providing a safe haven for students of minority for receiving a proper education. From creating a learning opportunity for former slaves to become soon to be “black middle class”, HBCUs then moved to the evolution stage by attempting to make HBCU presence know through the country.
The powerful alumni base of HBCUs has also served as a key factor in the ongoing success of many HBCUs. The success rate of students after graduation has almost double throughout years, many alumni go on to become well-established leaders within their career field. Birthed by Hate and growing on love, that is what embodies an HBCU education.
Realization Of Worth
HBCUs have this special power about every institution that interestingly enough can only be felt not explained. Being surround by great leader and educators of the same ethnicity allows you let down your shield of judgment and insecurities; you are able to flourish because you’re more comfortable. HBCUs bring out the untapped source of power and knowledge that flows throughout many of us; you’re forced outside of your comfort in order to be successful. Being around individuals with the same mindset as you, same goals if not bigger goals ignite a fire within you.
Powerful Alumni Base
Another factor in HBCU success is what graduates are doing after graduation and also contributing back to the school. Many well-known celebrities, scientists, public figures, and educator all have HBCU roots. They are able to provide scholarship opportunities, grant, and job placement out of college for students if needed. When an alumni base is weak, the very foundation the school stands on is weak itself. Although money is being allocated by these HBCU alums, we cannot become complacent and dependent on them; we need to be able to work and agree on this federal funding issue.
Many Alumni Association create chapters in surrounding states and cities as an opportunity for future students of HBCUs who live in that area to visit the school and gain knowledge.
The Ongoing Fight For Equality
Despite the constant fight against discrimination in America, we still have to remain mindful of why our institution was created and with what goal in mind; that is to fight for civil rights and equality. Issues as such are a reminder of where we have come from but a glimpse of how far we need to go. People that have come before us took major strides in order to establish HBCUs for us to able to obtain an education compete in the real word. Although, race is still prevalent and definitely an issue. HBCUs have to manage to use African-American to its advantage and that is to provide to others that which was taken from us at the birth of our race, diversity, and equality.
What happens at Bethune-Cookman University’s Commencement was the fight our ancestor gave brought to life. The spirit of our forefathers who formed these HBCUs refusing to let this generation sit down on disrespect. We stand and we turn our backs on it. That is what an HBCU teaches you. In the face of adversity, we rise.
Diversity At its Finest – You Take From One You Take From All
The idea that HBCUs are made up of nothing but African-Americans would be a false statement in conversation today, considering that a West Virginia HBCU is made up of 85 percent Caucasian. According to a report by the Center of Minority Serving Institution at the University of Pennsylvania, the enrollment at HBCUs is further divided into 13 percent white students, 5 percent an unknown race, 3 percent Latino and Latina students, 1 percent Asian-American students.
HBCUs are now made up of races from every region, providing the same opportunities given to black students to these students as well. HBCUs don’t just affect African-Americans, the power of HBCUs doesn’t pick a skin tone, all it requires is that you be willing to pursue your dream in the face adversity. It’s almost certain that Trump was targeting the African-Americans that make up HBCUs, however, to take from one means you are taking from another. To stop funding HBCUs would take opportunities away from more than just African-Americans.
HBCUs have been testing throughout the year and have passed with flying colors every time. Our institutions are in dire need of proper implementation of money; 10 years from now the current infrastructure be enough to improve the image and push the mission of the organization forward. If you had to think about your answer, we have major work to do.