Morris Brown News 12-26-08


mb-news

Community Support for
Morris Brown College Grows

School Officials Hold “Yes We Care Week” — Appeal for College Recovery Fund

Atlanta, GA, December 26 2008.   Morris Brown College is in a fight for survival; and will hold Yes We Care Week, the most important campaign in its 127 year history.  Yes We Care Week, a nationwide effort to raise funds and awareness to keep Morris Brown in the business of educating the young men and women who have enrolled in the college, begins with a Recovery Rally on Saturday, December 27, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  This is a call to action of all Morris Brown Alumni and friends to stand up and be counted by making a donation to the Morris Brown Recovery Fund.  Many alumni and supporters will be on hand to offer their support and to engage in a massive telephone blitz reaching out to other alumni and friends across the country.  Donations will be received at the John Lewis Gym, Walnut and Mitchell Streets, on Morris Brown’s campus.  Donations may also be made to Morris Brown College by sending a check, payable to the “Morris Brown Recovery Fund,”  to Capitol City Bank,  562 Lee Street, SW; Atlanta, GA 30310, or by visiting any Capitol City Bank Branch located at 2358 Cascade Road, SW Atlanta; 5674 Memorial Drive, Stone Mountain; or at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, Suite S-4.  Donations can also be made on line at www.morrisbrown.edu.

This campaign will continue throughout the week and will culminate with second Recovery Rally on Saturday, January 3rd,  at which time Morris Brown officials plan to focus on engaging the total community of Atlanta.  “This struggle will not end until we can stop the encroachment of re-gentrification on one of the oldest African-American institutions in this country,” says Dr. C. T. Vivian, a civil rights activist and leader in the survival of Morris Brown.

The news of the shut-off of water at Morris Brown College on Monday, December 22nd, has caused a barrage of attention to the financial problems of this college founded by former slaves to educate themselves.  Since 2003, when the college lost its accreditation, Morris Brown College has struggled for survival.  However, with the help of the AME Church, Morris Brown Alumni, and a number of friends, the College has managed to keep its doors open providing a quality education for its students.   With a team of lawyers, bankers, and financial institutions, the president of the College and its Board of Trustees have been meeting around the clock to solve the immediate problem of restoring water service in order to receive students in early January (following the holiday break); and, at the same time, deal with the more formidable long terms issues of financial stability.

“We are confident that Morris Brown College will re-open following the Winter Break”, Dr. Stanley Pritchett, President of Morris Brown College said today, “but we have a lot of work to do in the interim.  That work begins with raising funds to restore water service to the college in order to meet the obligations to those who use the buildings on a daily basis.  The City of Atlanta has received a partial payment of $20,200.00 from Morris Brown, but the Water Department, in spite of pleas for consideration from many community leaders, has stood hard fast to its decision to accept nothing less than $380,000, the full amount owed.”

“Morris Brown Alumni, churches and organizations from around the country have called us in the past few days to express support.  For that we are grateful because we know that we need help on many levels.  We continue to try to reach City of Atlanta leaders, to  request a meeting and to work out a plan that would be acceptable to them,” Pritchett continued.  “We are not asking for a handout, but a partnership with public and private sectors to meet our responsibilities and place this Institution on a more solid financial footing.”

The appeal for help from Dr. Pritchett has not fallen on deaf ears as many have come forward to make sizable donations.  Several civil rights activists, local politicians and community leaders have been doing their share to raise the consciousness of the city.  “Since 1881 this College has transformed thousands of students into productive citizens.  We will work tirelessly and collectively to help sustain Morris Brown College through this urgent time.”  Pritchett said, “And I am asking all who believe in education as the gateway to success to join us in making a commitment to the legacy of this Institution.”
Media Contact:
Bunnie Jackson Ransom
404-226-8000 (cell) 404-505-8188 (office)

Rhonda Copenny
678-596-7447