Thursday’s town hall was a salute to Black history month from four distinguished leaders. The institution presidents of Howard University, Spelman College, South Carolina State University, and Florida A&M University gathered on Zoom and Facebook live for a highly anticipated event.
Despite the global pandemic requiring the town hall to be virtual, it was one to remember. SCSU’s President James E. Clark, Spelman’s President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph. D, Howard University’s Dr. Wayne Fredrick, and FAMU’s President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., were the panelists for the evening.
Black history month is a joyous month for those who embrace their Black culture and an even greater month for those who attend historically Black colleges and universities.
In an exclusive interview with President Robinson, he says the Black history month gives us all a chance to “recharge and embrace” our culture and each other.
“To me, Black history month is an opportunity for the rest of the world to learn what Black people already know,” said Robinson.
Carmen Cummings was the perfect host for the occasion with her charisma and phenomenal talking points. She posed questions that were relevant to the current state of our nation and the correlation with HBCUs.
President Campbell commended the marvelous ladies at Spelman, past and present, who are an essential part of history. From sit-ins during the civil rights movement to dominating the congressional vote, they make the changes they want to see.
She goes on to describe the Spelman student and faculty involvement in Stacey Abrams’ rise to triumph. Abrams lost the Georgia governor election and took the defeat to fuel her work that turned the Georgia senate from red to blue.
Dr. Wayne Fredrick told a heart-harming memory of his experience sitting with Vice President Kamala Harris and her family at the inauguration last month. He talked about Harris’ unaverred success that has prevailed since her days at Howard.
South Carolina state’s President, Mr. James Clark, explained the university’s procedures to protect the students from becoming infected or spreading the virus. He expressed his thoughts about the vaccine and how medical malpractice in the Black community has affected Black people’s perspectives on receiving it.
Robinson said the town hall’s most significant takeaway is to appreciate these wonderful institutions that have sculpted Black history.
“HBCUs have created thoughtful and forward-thinking leaders who are bound to be great,” said Robinson.
Without the current global pandemic, Robinson says he doesn’t know if this town hall would have been possible with four busy people having to work their schedules around flying to Tallahassee and speaking in Lee Hall.
“Despite all our busy schedules, it was amazingly easy to plan this event, and I am so happy that everybody was able to volunteer their time, ideas, and stories tonight,” said Robinson.
Spelman President, Dr. Campbell, concludes her comments for the evening with, “I have great hope for the future of HBCUs.”