Making the case for investing in HBCUs
Rushern Baker, the county executive in Prince George’s County, Md., says that the need for sustained investment in historically Black colleges and universi-ties (HBCUs) remains as great as ever.
By Rushern Baker (County Executive, Prince George’s County, Md.)
UNCF’s iconic, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste,” advertising campaign remains the gold-standard for shining light on the urgency of investing in Black colleges and universities.
No nation, the stories in the campaign reminded us, can be great if it leaves behind a large portion of its residents. More than 40 years later, the need for sustained investment in historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) remains as great as ever.
With the change in presidential administrations, HBCUs have once again returned to the national conversation, with some openly questioning the need for such institutions, particularly in the face of advances over the past several decades. The conversation is not new and the answer has not changed.
We need HBCU’s to continue to exist and they need all of us helping to support their coffers and make the case to decision-makers about the continued value they provide.
HBCUs represent only three percent of all two- and four-year U.S. colleges and universities, but they enroll 10 percent of all African American under-graduates. They produce 17 percent of all African American college graduates and generate 24 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields earned by African Americans annually, according to UNCF’s Patterson Research Institute.