We Must Rally to Protect Historically
Black Colleges and Universities
Morris Brown College is but one example
By Stanley J. Pritchett, Ed.D,
President, Morris Brown College,
I am amazed by the spirit of purpose which compels some of us, especially Black Americans, into action. Within the last five years, the people of my city, Atlanta, Georgia, have rallied to prevent the tearing down of the original Paschal’s restaurant, the closing of Southwest Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital and supported purchasing the papers of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., just to name a few.
This commitment to our history and institutions is powerful and sways the attitudes of millions. As President of Morris Brown College, the only Historically Black College founded by African Americans, who for 127 years has transformed “diamonds in the rough” into productive citizens, I ask that my city fight to keep this school open. If Morris Brown permanently closes its doors, it will surely be a solemn day for Atlanta, Georgia, this country, and more importantly, Black people.
Many are fully aware of the financial difficulties we currently face. Losing our accreditation and access to federal funding has limited revenue streams to support operational costs and pay debt. We are working tirelessly to prepare for our Southern Association of Colleges and Schools review next year, identifying academic programs to support workforce development in a global economy, and rebuilding our relationship with the Department of Education to provide students grants and loans. As well, the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation, supported by the Governor which allows Morris Brown to receive the Hope Scholarship and Tuition Equalization Grant. Internally, faculty and staff have learned to provide excellent service with limited resources, the Board of Trustees continues to offer dynamic leadership and the Alumni have been tremendous in raising money. Still, more needs to be done.
Morris Brown College is located in a city with numerous Fortune 500 companies, internationally recognized philanthropists and mega churches. If monies can be found to purchase the King Papers or sustain Grady Hospital, surely there is a contingent of Atlantans who recognize the utility of assisting Morris Brown during these urgent times. With our young people, now more than ever, in need of guidance and opportunity, an institution like Morris Brown should get the highest priority.
But Morris Brown is not alone in our fight for survival. There are more HBCU’s that need