Alumni Publicly Declares “No Confidence In Chair of the Board” of HBCU Lincoln University, PA

September 15, 2015
Dear Alumnus/Alumna,
Robert Ingram
After much thought, deliberation and attempts to meet and work with the leadership of the Board of Trustees, I regret to inform you that the Executive Committee of the AALU is expressing No Confidence in Chairlady Kimberly Lloyd and is requesting the immediate resignation of the Chair and the entire slate of officers who serve in her cabinet at her pleasure and the approval of Lincoln University’s Board of Trustees.
Many would agree that the direction of Lincoln has been in question since the beginning of the current Board under Chairlady Lloyd’s leadership. As a result of the continuing decline in stakeholder relations and lack of communications, a newly-formed Coalition of Students, Alumni, Parents and Faculty recently sent a letter to Ms. Lloyd and Interim President Dr. Richard Green requesting a meeting to address concerns, seek information and hopefully find common ground to develop positive solutions to the numerous challenges and time-sensitive issues affecting each group of vitally important university stakeholders.
The Chairlady chose not to respond at all. Interim President Green responded in a manner that did not grant the coalition’s request to meet and discuss matters but rather, stated that the Coalition’s list of major concerns were premature to a review of the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan which is underway.  Furthermore, the Coalition has been denied a requested opportunity to be included on the agenda in the public portion of the Board of Trustees meeting on September 19, 2015. We believe this action is a material violation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Sunshine Laws.
The direction of the university under the leadership of the current Chair of the Board of Trustees is of primary concern to many alumni and we feel duty bound to speak out and forestall any further erosion of alumni engagement and relations. We believe that it is critical that the pattern of disregard, disengagement and disrespect of alumni of Lincoln University, that has been characteristic of this Chair, be halted now. The alumni of Lincoln desire not to be viewed and treated as an ATM, or competitors to university administrators, particularly the Office of Alumni Relations and some Trustees on the Board.
Among the many issues we find necessary to prompt our call for new leadership on the Board of Trustees are:


  • Refusal even in the face of overwhelming alumni support to reconsider and turn back Alumni Class Reunions to May. October Reunions have been a failure. Acting President Harrison had signed-off on a measure to restore the Reunions to May prior to her departure, yet qualified and informed sources indicate that the Chair sought to turn back that decision and thus we continue to pursue failed and undesirable policies with no justification or accountability;


  • Refusal to take graduation back to Sunday from Friday, even though alumni, students and family are unable to fully and freely participate in the FridayCommencement and each group along with many in the faculty desire a return to the traditional day;


  • The lack of desire and neglect to keep alumni and all stakeholders informed as to process of the Presidential Search and overall leadership succession as well as input and inclusion as the university is in a time of great transition and challenge;


  • Refusal to include alumni in the process to determine and designate Lincoln University on the National Register of Historic Places even though it was the alumni, themselves, who made early contact and got the process started as a result of stopping the Chairlady and the former University President from demolishing historic Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall (circa 1867);


  • Questionable accounting and fund-raising practices that minimize the impact of and discourage alumni giving;


  • The Chairlady has blocked the Alumni Association from the use of unused and unimproved vacant space on the 3rd floor of Alumni House–claiming through a high-level administrator (we have the email) that she personally reserved that space for her discretion and use. This would be in addition to the apartment suite that the Chairlady holds exclusive access in the Marshall Center. We believe this to be a clear conflict of interest;


  • Inability to demonstrate effective oversight of the University and its resources. The Board of Trustees has accepted or acquiesced in the management of the university to temporary, acting or interim personnel at the most responsible positions. The Interim President, Interim VP for Institutional Advancement and the Acting Provost are all cabinet level, temporary personnel. This was a large factor in the downgrade of Lincoln’s investment and economic status by Moody’s last year which identified too many vacancies in cabinet level positions as a factor in their rating;


  • Consistent pattern of ignoring and not answering emails and letters that is indicative of a pervasive culture at the university that lacks attention to customer service as well as professionalism;


  • Support of an alumni relations office and mindset that continues to encroach upon and ignore alumni traditions while enacting programs and policies with little or no alumni input in the planning or programming; and


  • A lack of accountability and an airing of the facts surrounding the departure of our last permanent President as well as his hiring under the recommendation of the search committee chaired by Ms. Lloyd who expressed unequivocal support for that President, even in the face of a global, viral onslaught and outcry impacting negatively upon Lincoln University’s reputation while all else knew the final outcome.
In closing, it is time to right the ship and seek out and find leadership that builds bridges not fox holes for a fight. The alumni of Lincoln University are among the most successful and resourceful professionals in the world and it is time to bring them back en masse to move Lincoln to and beyond its next 160 years. To our Chairlady’s credit, she stepped up when others did not or would not. There are a number of fair and talented professionals on our Board of Trustees.  We believe it is time for those individuals to now step up and move our university beyond this tumultuous period.


In service,
Robert Ingram ’76
Alumni Association of Lincoln University

Source: Alumni Publicly Issues “No Confidence In Chair of the Board” of HBCU Lincoln University, PA


Black Colleges Become Sanctuaries After Ferguson

By: Donovan X. Ramsey – The National Journal – September 10, 2015   Reblogged byhttp://www.civilrightsagenda.com

COURTESY MOREHOUSE COLLEGE OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS (Population 2043: Each month, Next America visits a different community to explore how it is responding to changing demography.)

In the midst of a terse na­tion­al con­ver­sa­tion about po­lice vi­ol­ence against Black Amer­ic­ans came news that More­house Col­lege, my alma ma­ter and the na­tion’s only all-male his­tor­ic­ally Black col­lege, wel­comed one of its largest fresh­man classes.

More­house is not alone in see­ing a surge in ad­mis­sions in the past year. EDU Inc., which ad­min­is­ters Com­mon Black Col­lege, an on­line tool used to ap­ply to 42 of the more than 100 his­tor­ic­ally Black col­leges and uni­versit­ies with a single form, pro­cessed 10 per­cent more ap­plic­a­tions for the 2015-2016 school year than last year. Pres­id­ent Robert Ma­son says that after a year of news of po­lice killings of young Black Amer­ic­ans, Black stu­dents—Black males in par­tic­u­lar—are look­ing for safe spaces.

New­s­week has run two pieces in the past few weeks de­clar­ing “Black Col­leges Mat­ter.”  Aside from de­bat­ing the aca­dem­ic value of HB­CUs and doc­u­ment­ing their tra­di­tions, which The New York Times did re­cently, it’s im­port­ant that these schools are also ac­know­ledged for the unique safety and se­cur­ity they of­fer young Black people.

“I think it can reas­on­ably be con­cluded that safety factors in­to the de­cision-mak­ing pro­cess when stu­dents are de­cid­ing what col­lege to at­tend,” Ma­son said. “I would con­tend that the heightened sense of fear con­cern­ing the safety of Black males has giv­en im­petus to par­ents now em­ploy­ing the same kind of lo­gic that is used to de­term­ine if a col­lege and the sur­round­ing area is safe enough to al­low their daugh­ters to at­tend. Be­fore the in­creased me­dia cov­er­age of vi­ol­ence against Black males and the na­tion­al dia­logue that has en­sued, I don’t think safety was as much of a con­cern for black males when de­cid­ing what col­lege to at­tend.”

“Behind these gates, I feel so safe. I really do. I feel like black people in America have an understanding between each other and there’s relative safety among the group. ”

In Feb­ru­ary, act­ress Ta­raji P. Hen­son made head­lines when she told Up­town Magazinethat she was trans­fer­ring her son to her alma ma­ter after he’d been ra­cially pro­filed at the Uni­versity of South­ern Cali­for­nia.
“So guess where he’s go­ing? Howard Uni­versity,” she told Up­town. “I’m not pay­ing $50K so I can’t sleep at night won­der­ing is this the night my son is get­ting ra­cially pro­filed on cam­pus.”

Fol­low­ing Hen­son’s rev­el­a­tion, Es­sence con­duc­ted a poll ask­ing par­ents if they prefer that their chil­dren at­tend an HB­CU. Nearly 80 per­cent said “yes.”
In his first ad­dress to the class of 2019, More­house Pres­id­ent John S. Wilson spoke of the chal­lenges and dangers black men face. “Ac­cord­ing to The New York Times, there are 1.5 mil­lion miss­ing black men in this coun­try,” he poin­ted out. “When you were in ninth grade, there were 320,000 black boys with you, na­tion­ally. Roughly only 160,000 gradu­ated from high school. And of those, only about 50,000 ap­plied to a four-year col­lege.”

Drummers from Howard University’s Marching Band perform during the National Urban League’s ‘Drum Majors for Justice Future Leaders Celebration’ commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington at Freedom Plaza. SAUL

One of the most mov­ing mo­ments dur­ing their ori­ent­a­tion week at More­house is the Par­ent Part­ing Ce­re­mony in which in­com­ing fresh­men, their par­ents, alumni and More­house of­fi­cials as­semble in the chapel. Par­ents are asked to re­lease their sons in­to the hands of “Moth­er More­house.” The com­munity makes a pledge to care for the new stu­dents, and par­ents are in­struc­ted to de­part im­me­di­ately after. Many fam­il­ies shed tears dur­ing the ritu­al.
Nate Ervin, 18, entered More­house this fall to study polit­ic­al sci­ence. He ap­plied to eight schools, four HB­CUs and four pre­dom­in­antly white in­sti­tu­tions. He was ac­cep­ted to all of them but says he chose to at­tend More­house be­cause of its fo­cus on up­lift­ing black men.

“ I would contend that the heightened sense of fear concerning the safety of black males has given impetus to parents now employing the same kind of logic that is used to determine if a college and the surrounding area is ‘safe’ enough to allow their daughters to attend. ”


“Be­hind these gates, I feel so safe. I really do,” says Ervin. “I feel like black people in Amer­ica have an un­der­stand­ing between each oth­er and there’s re­l­at­ive safety among the group.”  
Dani­elle Bro­g­don, 18, is study­ing me­dia, film and journ­al­ism at Howard with a minor in Afric­an-Amer­ic­an stud­ies. She says she thought about study­ing at New York Uni­versity or North­west­ern, but was at­trac­ted to Howard for its net­work of alumni in me­dia but for its pro­tec­tions.

“I have a friend in school in Nashville and she was telling me how she’s wor­ried,” says Bro­g­don. “Nashville is not the black­est com­munity and it’s in the South. She feels like she has to be ex­tra aware of who’s around her and how she in­ter­acts. She’s wor­ried about things like how her school would pro­tect her if she was in an al­                                                                                                                    Morehouse students attend an event on campus.


In a so­ci­ety that des­per­ately wants to be post-ra­cial, many ask if HB­CUs are still rel­ev­ant. It’s this sen­ti­ment that per­haps has al­lowed for a mass di­vest­ment from HB­CUs in the 21st cen­tury. In fact, des­pite the con­tin­ued and very evid­ent need for HB­CUs in edu­cat­ing black stu­dents, the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment has been slowly chip­ping away at fund­ing in re­cent years.
In­deed, I have nev­er felt more se­cure as a black man than I did as a stu­dent on More­house’s cam­pus.

As the na­tion’s only in­sti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion foun­ded to serve us, it is a rare space where black men are not vul­ner­able be­cause of their black­ness.  On the con­trary, at More­house and oth­er HB­CUs, black men and wo­men are pro­tec­ted – by a cam­pus po­lice force no less. On cam­pus – and for the first time in my life – I was free to run full speed without caus­ing alarm. I raised my voice in pub­lic, as­ser­ted my­self without in­cit­ing pan­ic. My black­ness did not render me sus­pi­cious or scary. I could in­hab­it every square inch of my six-foot, 200-pound body without risk­ing my life.

HB­CUs are rare Amer­ic­an in­sti­tu­tions in that they are main­tained for the af­firm­a­tion, ad­vance­ment and pro­tec­tion of black life. In a so­ci­ety in which young black people, men and wo­men, have their lives cut short every day by in­car­cer­a­tion and vi­ol­ence – state or oth­er­wise – the schools are sanc­tu­ar­ies from a world at war with black bod­ies.

In his best­selling book, Between the World and Me, au­thor Ta-Ne­hisi Coates de­scribes his ex­per­i­ence at his HB­CU alma ma­ter in such terms. Ad­dress­ing his teen­age son, Coates writes, “My only Mecca was, is, and shall al­ways be Howard Uni­versity. I have tried to ex­plain this to you many times. You say you hear me, that you un­der­stand, but I am not sure that the force of my Mecca—The Mecca—can be trans­lated in­to your new ec­lect­ic tongue. I am not even sure that it should be… And still, I main­tain that even for a cos­mo­pol­it­an boy like you, there is something to be found there — a base, even in these mod­ern times, a port in the Amer­ic­an storm.”
In a society in which young black people, men and women, have their lives cut short every day by incarceration and violence – state or otherwise – the schools are sanctuaries from a world at war with black bodies.

Donovan X. Ramsey, a multimedia journalist, is currently a Demos Emerging Voices Fellow.

HB­CUs, with about an eighth of the av­er­age en­dow­ment of oth­er in­sti­tu­tions and half re­ceiv­ing no fed­er­al fund­ing, op­er­ate primar­ily on rev­en­ue from tu­ition. Those stu­dents, however, rely heav­ily on fed­er­al loan and grant pro­grams to af­ford col­lege, with more than sev­en out of every 10 HB­CU stu­dents re­ceiv­ing Pell grants. An equal share takes out fed­er­al loans—about 20 per­cent high­er than the na­tion­al av­er­age. This means that HB­CUs are deeply im­pacted by changes in fed­er­al fin­an­cial aid policy.

In 2011, the De­part­ment of Edu­ca­tion re­duced the total num­ber of semesters for which stu­dents could re­ceive Pell grants from 18 to 12 semesters. The cut was felt deeply at HB­CUs where stu­dents, on av­er­age, take longer to gradu­ate. The same year, the DoE also tightened eli­gib­il­ity for Par­ent PLUS loans, a form of aid used in great num­ber by HB­CU stu­dents and fam­il­ies to fin­ance their edu­ca­tion. These sud­den, sim­ul­tan­eous changes cre­ated a crisis on HB­CU cam­puses around the coun­try. Ac­cord­ing to ana­lys­is by the United Negro Col­lege Fund, an es­tim­ated 28,000 HB­CU stu­dents were denied loans in 2012, res­ult­ing in a col­lect­ive loss of about $155 mil­lion in tu­ition rev­en­ue—re­du­cing in­sti­tu­tion­al budgets by 35 per­cent.
In 2010, the year be­fore the cuts, HB­CUs ex­per­i­enced their highest levels of en­roll­ment in the nearly 40 years the De­part­ment of Edu­ca­tion has been keep­ing track. In 2010, 265,908 stu­dents were en­rolled at HB­CUs across the coun­try. That num­ber has de­clined stead­ily every school year since.
Last month, pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate Hil­lary Clin­ton an­nounced a pro­pos­al to per­haps undo some of that dam­age by cre­at­ing a ded­ic­ated $25 bil­lion fund to sup­port to private non­profit schools that serve low-in­come stu­dents, of which private HB­CUs are an ex­ample.

   Apple Pledges $40 Million to HBCUs in Scholarships and Support

The tech company wants to recruit and retain talented black students, offering $25,000 and an internship.

To be sure, HB­CUs are not per­fect in­sti­tu­tions and cer­tainly are not sac­rosanct be­cause they serve a be­lea­guered pop­u­la­tion.
They’re worth pro­tect­ing and sup­port­ing, however, be­cause they punch above their weight when it comes to gradu­at­ing low-in­come stu­dents and stu­dents of col­or. The more than 100 HB­CUs around the coun­try en­roll nearly 10 per­cent of of black un­der­gradu­ates but award 16 per­cent of the bach­el­or’s de­grees earned by black Amer­ic­ans,ac­cord­ing to the Na­tion­al Cen­ter for Edu­ca­tion Stat­ist­ics. In ad­di­tion, HB­CUs pro­duce 70 per­cent of all black dent­ists and doc­tors, 50 per­cent of black en­gin­eers and pub­lic school teach­ers, and 35 per­cent of black law­yers, ac­cord­ing to stats from the UN­CF.
Mar­cel­lis Wil­burn, 18, says he chose Howard be­cause he wanted to pur­sue a ca­reer in crim­in­al justice. Thur­good Mar­shall’s alma ma­ter, he thought, would be a smart place to be­gin the road to be­com­ing a pro­sec­utor then judge.
“I’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested in go­ing to Howard be­cause of its law school,” says Wil­burn.

He says that mon­it­or­ing high-pro­file in­cid­ents of po­lice bru­tal­ity over the past year in­formed his view of the crim­in­al justice sys­tem and made him worry more about his safety in in­ter­act­ing with po­lice of­ficers.

“A typ­ic­al traffic stop could be a life or death situ­ation, be­cause po­lice are get­ting out of hand with Afric­an-Amer­ic­an men and wo­men,” says Wil­burn. “I feel safer on Howard’s cam­pus than I prob­ably would on an­oth­er cam­pus be­cause, here at Howard, our po­lice of­ficers and most of the of­ficer who at­tend to cer­tain situ­ations are Afric­an Amer­ic­an. I feel more com­fort­able.”

In a mo­ment when the na­tion is fi­nally fo­cus­ing at­ten­tion to the is­sue of po­lice vi­ol­ence against black Amer­ic­ans, black col­leges are be­ing re­cog­nized for the re­l­at­ive safety they af­ford their stu­dents, en­sur­ing that HB­CUs will re­main rel­ev­ant as unique spaces for in­tel­lec­tu­al, psy­cho­lo­gic­al and phys­ic­al free­dom.

Posted April 22, 2015
MAY 9, 2015

First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama to deliver commencement speech at Tuskegee University Saturday, May 9

TUSKEGEE, Ala. (April 21, 2015) – First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver the address at Tuskegee University’s 130th Spring Commencement Ceremony. Mrs. Obama will address approximately 500 graduates as well as their friends, family and members of the university community on Saturday, May 9, 2015, at 11 a.m. CST in the Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James arena.

Mrs. Obama is the second first lady in Tuskegee’s history to visit the university. Eleanor Roosevelt visited Tuskegee Institute (now university) and took her historic flight with Tuskegee Airman Charles A. Anderson on March 29, 1941.

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is a lawyer, writer, and the wife of the 44th and current U.S. president, Barack Obama. She is the first African-American first lady of the United States. She has become a national and international role model for women and an advocate for poverty awareness, higher education, and healthy living.

In her advocacy for higher education, Michelle Obama launched the Reach Higher Initiative in 2014. The aim of this initiative is to inspire young Americans to broaden their futures by expanding their education beyond high school. Reach Higher seeks to ensure that all students understand the importance of an education by exposing students to college and career opportunities; understanding financial aid; academic planning and summer learning opportunities; as well as supporting high school counselors who do essential work to get students into college.

A product of Chicago public schools, Mrs. Obama studied sociology and African-American studies at Princeton University. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1988, she joined the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she later met Barack Obama. They have been married since 1992 and have two daughters: Malia and Sasha.

Tuskegee University’s commencement ceremony is a ticketed event reserved for graduates, their families and guests and is not open to the public.

A live stream webcast of the ceremony will be available at www.tuskegee.edu/live

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Top 5 HBCU Dance Lines 2015



TOP 5 HBCU Dance Lines

Glance at a football game held at a historically black college or university (HBCU) and you will have a tough time just focusing on the football players. The rhythm and excitement of the HBCU football game experience is found in the stands with the marching band. The loud boom of the drums, the pronounced sound of the percussion section and the catchy chants could only use one addition, and it is ever-present. We are referring to the vivacious, delightful, soul-spirited, and electrifying ladies of the Dance Lines.

The truth is, marching bands aren’t complete without them. For close to a century, the lines have taken marching band entertainment to the next level. Dance lines are visual expressions of each and every note heard from the band. As the ladies move and twerk, they motivate the entire crowd to celebrate the music. The ladies of dance lines cheer the crowd on without ever opening their mouth and their dances are often recycled into campus-wide traditions. From the captain to the rookie freshman, if she’s on the line, her moves are solid. Though they never go unnoticed, they rarely compete. We aren’t talking about at the Battle of the Bands or regional marching band battles, we are talking about a competition amongst the ladies… Dance Line to Dance Line. So we ask you, who do you think does it best?Top 5 HBCU Dance Lines/Teams coming soon.

Poll end date: February 28, 2015 @ 11:59pm


Poll end date: February 28, 2015 @ CLICK HERE TO VOTE FOR TOP 5 HBCU’S FINALISTS

Top 5 HBCU Dance Line Contestants 2015
Golden Stars – Miles
Black Foxes – PVAMU
Scarlet Lace – WSSU
Dazzling Tigerettes – Stillman
Ebony Fire – Hampton
Dancin’ Divas – AMMU
Crimson Piperettes – Tuskegee
Motion of the Ocean – Texas Southern
Stingettes – Alabama State
Champagne Dancers – SCSU
Dega Diamonds – Talladega
Golden Passionettes – Albany State
Prancing J-Settes – JSU
Golden Girls – Alcorn State
Golden Girls – UAPB
Orchesis Dance Company – GSU
Mahogany N Motion – Morehouse
Golden Delight – NCAT
Ambiance Dance Company – UMES
Essence of Troy – VSU
Hot Ice Dancers – NSU
Ooh La La! – Howard
Diamond Dancers – FAMU
D’Elegance Dancers – DSU
Sophisticated Ladies – Tennesse State
Krush Groove – Lincoln U of PA
Golden Feline Dancers – Langston
Panther Dolls – Claflin 
Blue Satin – JCSU
14k Gold Dancers – B-CU
Dancing Dolls – Southern
Ladies of Rage – Fisk
Foxxy Dancers – MSU



Total Votes: 29,244


10 Reasons HBCU Cheyney Alumni Are Suing Pennsylvania and the Federal Government | News | Philadelphia Magazine

Why Alumni Are Suing Pennsylvania and the Federal Government?  Here’s what the federal civil rights lawsuit we filed today is about.

10 Reasons Cheyney Alumni Are Suing Pennsylvania and the Federal Government | News | Philadelphia Magazine

A coalition known as “Heeding Cheyney’s Call” (HCC), which consists of Cheyney University alumni, students, professors, staffers, and retirees, as well as community activists, religious leaders, and elected officials, today is suing the Commonwealth (full suit below) for continuing what we believe are decades-long civil rights violations against this great school.

HCC is also suing the federal government, claiming that it’s stood idly by and enabling those violations by doing nothing to stop them. You want proof? Here’s the good, i.e., Cheyney’s greatness, the bad, i.e., racial discrimination, and the ugly, i.e., well, that’s the previously mentioned racial discrimination stuff.

Let me count the ways: All 10 of’ ’em:

1. Cheyney University, founded during slavery in 1837 right here in Philly as the African Institute (before changing its name to the Institute for Colored Youth), is the oldest black institution of higher education in America. No disrespect to Lincoln University, admittedly the oldest black college in America. But it was founded 17 years later as Ashmun Institute.

2. Cheyney has produced alumni like Julian Abele (architectural designer of the Philadelphia Free Library and the Art Museum), Ed Bradley (60 Minutes correspondent), Octavius Catto (martyred Philadelphia civil rights activist), Dr. Rebecca J. Cole (one of the first African-American female physicians in the country), Marcus Foster (nationally renowned educator), Joseph E. Lee, Esquire (one of the first African-Americans to practice law in Florida), Bayard Rustin (national civil rights activist), and Andre Waters (Philadelphia Eagles star).

3. Cheyney’s Masters in Educational Leadership program has been one of the nationally ranked leaders in producing Masters’ degrees in education for students of color, and one of the major producers of teacher and administrative leaders in the tri-state region, including Philadelphia.

4. Cheyney’s impressive undergraduate and graduate “Call Me MISTER” teacher leadership program encourages African-American men — who are much needed and woefully underutilized in the field of education — to dedicate their lives to becoming role models. The university’s outstanding “Teach STEM Scholarship Project” prepares African-American women to become highly qualified teachers who will change paradigms in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics education through positive role-modeling and high tech innovation.

5. Cheyney’s extraordinary “Aquaculture Research and Education Center” meets the needs of the region’s critical waterways with the objective of training students to become professionals in various scientific areas in the U.S. and abroad.

6. Cheyney’s distinguished “Keystone Honors Academy” is a far-reaching academic excellence program that fosters intellectually enriching experiences for students with impressive GPAs. In addition, it positions students to receive Bond-Hill Scholarships that provide for complete tuition funding to attend state graduate programs in the fields of medicine, law, education, and business.

So why then is HCC filing this major federal civil rights lawsuit? Here’s why: Cheyney University, an all-time great institution, has an all-time low student enrollment and an all-time high budget deficit caused by:

  • racial discrimination in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
  • the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1992 Fordice decision proclaiming that states can be compelled to pursue corrective affirmative action to remedy discrimination against African-American students despite purported race-neutral policies;
  • and Presidential Executive Order 12232 of 1980 issued “to overcome the discriminatory treatment and to strengthen and expand the capacity of historically Black colleges and universities to provide quality education.”

These violations constitute the following bad and ugly facts:

7. The U.S. Department of Education’s predecessor, namely the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, determined in 1969 that Pennsylvania was one of only 10 states (including, e.g., the notorious culprits of Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia) still operating an illegal racially segregated system of higher education.

8. As recently as 1980, a successful racial discrimination lawsuit was filed against the Commonwealth by Cheyney students, faculty, and staff.

9. It wasn’t until 1983 that the Commonwealth — for the first time ever — finally submitted a formal anti-racial discrimination plan that was deemed acceptable by and to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) following repeated rejections.

10. In 1999, just 15 years ago, the Commonwealth signed a formal agreement with and at the request of OCR in order to resolve then-unresolved and still-unresolved issues regarding Cheyney as mandated by federal law.

HCC — through its lawsuit against the governor on the state level for unlawful commissions in engaging in discrimination, and the secretary of education on the federal level for unlawful omissions in refusing to enforce anti-discrimination laws — is seeking “parity through equity” so that the historic university can be placed on a level playing field in order to effectively compete with Pennsylvania’s always and unfairly much better-equipped 13 white state-owned universities.

For more information about the lawsuit and about HCC, go to HCC’s website atHeedingCheyneysCall.org or go to its Facebook page, or go to its Twitter feed at@heedingcheyneys. Or, if you’re the Governor or the Secretary, go get a lawyer.

Michael Coard’s radio show, “The Radio Courtroom,” airs at noon on Sundays and Wednesdays. It can be heard locally on WURD 900 AM and on the Internet at 900amwurd.com. Follow @MichaelCoard on Twitter.


Read more at http://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/10/29/10-reasons-suing-pennsylvania-behalf-cheyney-university/#8fHjE5UFLwzol5RJ.99

10 Reasons Cheyney Alumni Are Suing Pennsylvania and the Federal Government

| News | Philadelphia Magazine.


Lincoln wrangles over fate of historic buildings

Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall, built in 1865, is on the campus of Lincoln University. The hall is being considered for demolition, according to the school´s Strategic Plan 2013-2018. The hall serves as a headquarters for campus security.
Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall, built in 1865, is on the campus of Lincoln University. The hall is being considered for demolition, according to the school’s Strategic Plan 2013-2018. The hall serves as a headquarters for campus security.

Brick buildings, some dating back to the 1800s, line the main street of the campus of Lincoln University, a school that has produced a Supreme Court justice, a leader of the Harlem Renaissance, and two presidents of African nations.

For a group of alumni, those buildings are historic emblems of the first degree-granting African American institution in the nation.

For the school’s administration, they are structures that may pose a financial hardship during tough budgetary times.

That is the core of a clash between the college administration and an alumni group formed to lobby for preservation of the buildings.


The university is considering demolishing four of its buildings constructed between 1865 and 1891, according to the school’s “Strategic Plan Report, 2013-18,” and its “Universal Campus Master Plan.”

The 20-member alumni group, called the Lincoln University Heritage Initiative, is proposing that a historic district be designated on the 422-acre campus. The district would be made up of 15 buildings – the four older buildings and 11 others built between 1866 and 1931.

“We have plans for an economically viable themed historic district with restaurants, shops, and exhibits that will educate the public about the importance of Lincoln,” said Carol Black, a 1967 graduate and president of the alumni group’s board of directors.

Striking turnaround

The school’s consideration of the buildings’ future is a product of the difficult decisions the university must make “about where to invest its limited financial resources,” said Kimberly A. Lloyd, chair of the school’s board of trustees, in a statement released Thursday.

No final decision has been made, the statement said. The university has initiated discussions with the National Trust for Historic Preservation about obtaining an assessment of the campus before deciding the buildings’ fate, the statement said.

That is a turnaround from just two weeks ago, when Black said she was told by Valerie Harrison, the school’s general counsel, that Lincoln had decided to demolish Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall, the oldest building on campus.

The saga began at an alumni meeting last year when Robert Jennings, Lincoln’s president, mentioned demolishing Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall to erect a new welcome center, Black said.

The hall, built in 1865, serves as the school’s security headquarters. It is named in honor of Lincoln graduates Nnamdi Azikiwe, the first president of Nigeria after independence, and Kwame Nkrumah, first president of Ghana.

The alumni meeting propelled the group into action. Members began gathering documents, distributing petitions, and led a tour of the university for representatives of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, which makes decisions about historic designations.

Monuments to history

In 1985, Lincoln was deemed eligible for a historic district that would include the 15 buildings, according to a 1997 letter written by Dan G. Deibler, then chief of the commission’s preservation services.

But the commission has no record of a National Register nomination for Lincoln University, Howard Pollman, a spokesman for the agency, said in an e-mail.

The plan for a “rebuilt” Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall is discussed in an article published April 21 in the Lincolnian, a school publication. Jennings refers to the new hall as a “gorgeous building” that would be ready for occupation by November 2016, the article said.

The building had been deemed so expensive to repair that the cost would exceed the price of erecting a new building.

On June 6, members of the university’s board and administration met with the alumni group that offered a 90-minute presentation on the proposed historic district, Black said.

Four days later, Black talked with Harrison, who said the demolition of Azikiwe-Nkrumah Hall would go forward. On Thursday, Lloyd released the statement that the school planned to consult with the National Trust.

Other buildings listed as candidates for demolition include Cresson Hall (1870), Houston Hall (1881), and Bond House (1891), according to university plans.

Cresson Hall is described as a building with structural and environmental issues so severe that it should be demolished. Houston Hall, which is empty, is called unsafe.

Several other buildings erected after 1930 are also candidates for demolition.

Robert Ingram, a 1976 graduate, calls the structures monuments to the history of a university that has educated the likes of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes, and thousands of others.

The buildings are too important to be torn down, said Ingram, a Baltimore publisher and vice president of the alumni group.

“These are the oldest buildings at the oldest historically black college or university,” Ingram, said. “The Harvards and Browns would never talk about tearing down their oldest buildings. What makes us any different?”

kholmes@phillynews.com 610-313-8211

Kristin E. HolmesInquirer Staff Writer

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20140625_Lincoln_wrangles_over_fate_of_historic_buildings.html#BPxkIsR0mZ0gTot7.99


The student who chose an HBCU over Harvard – By Financial Juneteenth

This is a great story about a young man who chose an HBCU over Harvard.  Instead of the 16-year old genius Ralph Jones taking Harvard up on their offer, he chose Florida A&M University.

The story received national attention, but we have to ask ourselves:  Are we naive to automatically assume that Ivy League Universities are better for black students than the leading HBCUs?  Is a black woman out of Spelman any worse off than she would have been had she attended a


predominantly white university?

HBCUs do an amazing job of giving students confidence, a great college experience and a strong racial identity.  At the same time, many students attending predominantly white universities leave the campuses feeling frustrated, disconnected and forced to assimilate.

The Financial Juneteenth angle of this story is that it might be time to let go of the idea that white universities are better for black children than HBCUs.  This mindset of one that is reflective of white supremacy and always reminds us that in order to get a high quality product, we must put our lives and futures under the domain of our historical oppressors.  This is almost NEVER a good personal investment.

Read the story below:

When a boy enters first grade at the age of 4 and high school at the age of 12, it’s a foregone conclusion that the child will end up at a Harvard or a Stanford or a Cornell. Right? Not if the boy is Ralph Jones Jr., a 16-year-old freshman at Florida A&M University who has received national attention in recent days for passing up opportunities at the 45 other schools that accepted him — including the prestigious institutions listed above — to attend the Tallahassee, Fla., HBCU.

Jones said that for him it wasn’t about whether or not a school was an Ivy League — he thought about location, scholarship offers, campus atmosphere and the institution’s engineering program in making his decision. “Entering college at the age of 16,” Jones told The Root, “I think that my motives behind choosing were a little bit different than other people’s. One, I looked at distance from home. Florida A&M is about 300 miles away from my hometown of Atlanta, so that was something that was really important to me, whereas if I had gone somewhere that was considered an Ivy, that would have been a good 2,000.”

The proximity is important because he is so much younger than the average freshman, he said. His parents have already had to drive down to his school twice from Atlanta to sign forms for him because of his age. He also said it’s long been one of his goals to go to college for free. Many of his top choices were either too far away or did not offer him a full ride. Harvard and Stanford, for example, offered him some money but not a full scholarship. Cornell and Kettering offered full scholarships but were too far away for his liking. Georgia Tech, his No. 1 choice, did not offer a full scholarship.

READ MORE via Controversy Over 16-Year-Old FAMU Student Ralph Jones Who Chose an HBCU Over Harvard – The Root.

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