Unemployment for Blacks remains at nearly 16 percent in comparison to nine percent for the rest of the nation. But Blacks with jobs in various industries are largely underrepresented. Boardrooms usually consist of few Black and brown faces if any. As a result, incidents such as Nivea’s “re-civilize” yourself ad targeting Black men or Vogue Italia’s “slave earrings” get the green light without so much as a blink.
Dr. Karl Reid, the United Negro College Fund’s senior vice president of academic programs and strategic initiatives, believes HBCUs are critical to diversity in the workforce due to some statistical studies.
In a job market that increasingly requires postsecondary education as an entry-level requirement, what could be more relevant than HBCUs’ commitment to enrolling students from largely low-income and academically underprepared backgrounds and “overproducing” graduates and doctoral students?
What, then, does the evidence — not the suppositions — tell us? That having produced, over 150 years, generations of leaders who have helped shape the fabric of America, HBCUs stand on as strong a footing today, if not stronger, than they did 40 years ago. Education does not have to be a zero-sum proposition where one type of institution wins and another loses. Rather, with increased policy and financial support for HBCUs, this could be a win-win-win opportunity — America wins, higher education wins and students win. The burden is on those who speak up for HBCUs and their students to let the evidence speak and hope that Americans are listening.”
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