HBCUs Should Encourage Student Activists, NCCU Nurses Respond to Coronavirus, and Landmark COVID-19 Legislation with Big Support for HBCUs

If you are still trying to go to church, running out to the store, cooking out and visiting people, you are making this thing last longer and increasing the potential of infecting people you know and love.
This is not a hoax. It is a big deal. It is easy to catch and easy to pass along to someone else. Take care of everyone.


Picture: Gary Cameron-Reuters

‘Dean’ of the Civil Rights Movement, Paine Graduate Joseph Lowery Dies

Joseph Lowery, a prominent preacher, activist and HBCU alumnus who served as part of the founding coalition that helped to create the American civil rights movement, died last week in Atlanta. He was 98.

The Paine College graduate was best known as the closing voice at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, but for decades served as pressuring voice on matters of economic justice and social equality.

The passing of icons like Lowery reminds us, tragically too often in recent years, of how influential HBCUs were in creating a forced movement for ethnic equality in the United States. The difficult work of the movement they started nearly 70 years ago remains and thrives in more covert ways than what illustrated its beginnings, but who will we say are the new leaders of the movement?

Fifty years from now, will HBCUs still have a claim to the black faces and voices who represent racial struggle in a new millennium? If they will, they will do so because the HBCUs will have learned from the lessons of 50 years ago, and worked to promote the activists rather than tamping down their activity and zeal while they were the young and the restless on campus.

Today’s students may be rallying against leaders and policy on campus in the name of sexual representation, safety from violence and assault, and increased respect for student voices. Tomorrow, many of those students will evolve their advocacy into broader, graver issues. Are HBCUs well-suited today by trying to co-opt these students into silence, or by bullying them into submission?

We don’t make them like Lowery anymore. Perhaps we should — even if it is painful in the short-term.

NC Central Nursing Leads in Durham COVID-19 Response

NCCU Nursing Interim Chair Yolonda VanRiel discusses how faculty and nursing graduates are impacting community awareness and treatment of the region’s coronavirus response.

Click HERE to listen to the interview

Coronavirus Money Comes in Big For HBCUs

HBCUs will likely split more than $1 billion in federal funding for coronavirus response and support. Here’s the language from the bill.

For an additional amount for “Higher Education”, $9,500,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2020, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including under parts A and B of title III, part A of title V, subpart 4 of part A of title VII, and part B of title VII of the Higher Education Act, which may be used to defray expenses (including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll) incurred by institutions of higher education and for grants to students for any component of the student’s cost of attendance (as defined under section 472 of the Higher Education Act), including food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care as follows:

(1) $1,500,000,000 for parts A and B of title III, part A of title V, and subpart 4 of part A of title VII to address needs directly related to coronavirus: Provided, That the Secretary of Education shall allow institutions to use prior awards under the authorities covered by the preceding proviso to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus;

Howard University will also get $13 million in needed funding.

For an additional amount for “Howard University”, $13,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2020, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including to help defray the expenses (which may include lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance learning, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll) directly caused by coronavirus and to enable grants to students for expenses directly related to coronavirus and the disruption of university operations (which may include food, housing, transportation, technology, health care, and child care): Provided, That such amount is designated by the Congress as being for an emergency requirement pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.

The money is essential for every HBCU campus; not because coronavirus is a direct a sweeping threat to infect all students, faculty and staff at an institution, but because the virus sweeping through communities stymies the campus’ ability to fully serve as socio-economic anchors in their communities.

What happens if Winston-Salem State University is prohibited from conducting health screenings for low-income families in Forsyth County because of facilities being shut down in the city? What happens to farmer training and agribusiness outreach at Tennessee State University, Southern University, Langston University, Kentucky State University and Alcorn State University without support for their cooperative extension outreach?

How do HBCU students and faculty conduct record expungement seminars, teacher and principal training, and community-based research if HBCUs are limited by lost resources?

But most importantly — who is going to train all of the black financiers and bankers who will benefit from the funding earmarked to support minority-owned businesses and financial institutions outlined in this bill?