Morris Brown College Officials Step-Up Appeal for Recovery
“Yes We Care” Rally Attracts National Attention
Atlanta, GA, December 31, 2008. As we approach the new year, Morris Brown College faces the most important week in its 127 year history. The clarion call is to restore water service to the campus in order for students to return to classes following their holiday break and to continue to provide basic facilities for those organizations that have lease agreements with Morris Brown which provide an income to the institution.
The City of Atlanta has not responded to repeated requests to have meaningful dialogue toward a workable plan to turn the water on at Morris Brown College. Since the December 12nd crisis a partial payment of $20,200.00 has been made, but pleas for consideration from many community leaders has not moved the city to negotiate; and the City’s Watershed Department has stood hard fast to its decision to accept nothing less than the full amount of the debt which is reported to be $380,000. In order to protect the school, and to meet its obligations to students and leaseholders, Morris Brown has filed a temporary restraining order in the Fulton Superior Court against the City of Atlanta requesting the restoration of water service. Bishop William DeVeaux, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, stated, “This restraining order will not prevent us from further dialogue with the City’s Water Department representatives in an attempt to come to a meeting of minds and a mutual agreement acceptable to both parties.”
The second “Yes We Care Rally,” scheduled for Saturday, January 3, 2009, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 P.M. in the art gallery at Jordan Hall, has gained momentum and the attention of several national leaders and notable personalities including the Reverend Al Sharpton, T I and T Mo with Goody Mob (a Morris Brown graduate). Conversations within the next two days will confirm other participants in the Saturday rally. Yes We Care, coined by the Reverend C.T. Vivian, is a nationwide effort to raise funds and awareness to keep Morris Brown in the business of providing a quality education for its students. During this past week, since the initial Yes We Care Rally, Morris Brown College has raised over $125,000.00 through Wednesday, December 31st. Churches across the city have collected offerings and checks from friends and supporters are coming in daily. “We ask community leaders, church leaders, and the general public to come out on Saturday and join our alumni and friends to lend their support,” said Dr. Stanley Pritchett, President of Morris Brown College.
“It is critical that the greater community realize the progress Morris Brown College has made toward recovery,” said Dr. Pritchett. “Because we have been able to remain open, with a team of faculty and a Board of Trustees, we have reinvented the college with a new mission. Every dollar received over the last two years has been put to good use. We now have a solid business plan and a team of lawyers, bankers, and financial advisors; it is unfortunate that the pressing issue of the water crisis is diverting attention from our long term solutions. We are so close and cannot permit the interruption of the accreditation process to be set back.” Pritchett added.
The president of the College and its Board of Trustees continue to meet around the clock to solve the immediate problem of restoring water service; and, at the same time, deal with the more formidable long terms issues of financial stability.
“We remain confident that Morris Brown College will not close its doors,” Pritchett continues, “but we have a lot of work to do in the interim. That work begins in getting our students back into the classrooms – with water. We are seeking partnerships with the public and private sectors to meet our responsibilities and to place this Institution on solid financial footing,” Pritchett said, “And I am asking all who believe in linking social responsibility and ethical stewardship to meet specific needs of students 0for a nurturing environment to achieve success to join us in making a commitment to the legacy of this Institution.”
Donations will be received at Morris Brown College; in addition, donations may be made to Morris Brown 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.
Bunnie Jackson Ransom
404-226-8000 (cell) 404-505-8188 (office)