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Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® Continue Giving HBCUs A Financial Boost

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Despite progress and national focus, historically Black colleges and universities across the country still need public support

 For the fourth consecutive year, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® will earmark on a progressive goal to raise $1 million in 24 hours for their national HBCU Impact Day initiative.  Set for Monday, September 20, 2021, the annual fundraiser is a part of the sorority’s four-year, $10 million commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) led by AKA International President and CEO Dr. Glenda Glover. The organization’s more than 300,000 college-educated members, corporate partners, and donors are challenged to make contributions to assist with the ongoing fiscal sustainability and operations of the more than 100 HBCUs around the country.

Dr. Glover, who is also president of Tennessee State University and an HBCU graduate, says while HBCUs are currently experiencing a renaissance that has brought about a new level of awareness, more must be done for their survival and long-term sustainability.

“The contributions of HBCUs can no longer be overlooked. Just look to the White House or the United States Congress.”Tweet this

“Despite the recent national attention given to HBCUs in 2021 and incremental state and federal funding, HBCUs still lag far behind other institutions of higher education when it comes to ongoing and sustainable support,” adds Dr. Glover. 

In 2021, the sorority gifted $1.6 million to 35 eligible four-year HBCUs.  The endowments on these campuses will grow in perpetuity and help schools reduce student debt through scholarships, fund industry-specific research, and provide much-needed infrastructure maintenance. Those funds are proving to be extremely crucial during the current climate in higher education.

HBCUs continue to be under-funded and now have an added burdened of operational challenges with the impact of the ever evolving COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Now more than ever is the time for Alpha Kappa Alpha to step up, as we have done for more than 113 years, along with our partners and continue our call to action for our historic institutions of higher education,” Glover contends. “The contributions of HBCUs can no longer be overlooked or minimized. Just look to the White House or the United States Congress. HBCUs account for nearly 25% of bachelor’s degrees granted to African Americans. I cannot imagine a world without HBCUs, but I can imagine how much stronger the world would be if we all supported the HBCU community.”

Members and supporters have surpassed the $1 million goal for the past three years. Last year’s Impact Day raised $1.3 million in 2020.

HBCU Impact Day is part of the sorority’s recognition of HBCU Week.  On September 20, chapters around the globe will host fundraising events in support of the $1 million fundraising goal. Interested donors can make contributions by giving by mail or online at http://donate.akaeaf.org during the 24-hour campaign.  For more information on the sorority’s commitment to HBCUs, visit www.AKA1908.com

About Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA) is an international service organization that was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. in 1908. It is the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African-American, college-educated women. Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of over 300,000 members in more than 1,000 graduate and undergraduate chapters in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Liberia, Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Canada, Japan, Germany, South Korea, South Africa, and in the Middle East. Led by International President and Chief Executive Officer, Glenda Glover Ph.D., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated is often hailed as “America’s premier Greek-letter organization for African-American women.” Visit www.aka1908.com for more information.

About the AKA Educational Advancement Foundation
Over 40 years ago, the Educational Advancement Foundation was established by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. to promote lifelong learning.  It is now the largest minority-owned women’s foundation in the country with assets totaling over $22.7 million.  The foundation has donated over $6.5 million for scholarships, fellowships, and community assistance grants and is an organization with a rich and distinguished history of service that spans nearly a century.  Creating the Educational Advancement Foundation was the method by which Alpha Kappa Alpha. Inc. sought to ensure that there would always be support for education, its oldest program of service.  Today, the Foundation, a financially strong and viable organization, is a powerful tool for good, pooling the resources of others who share this vision of providing a perpetual source of support for education. 

Alpha Kappa Alpha implements an AKA HBCU Endowment Initiative in partnership with EAF, in which an endowed scholarship will be established at each accredited four-year HBCU.  The goal is to stamp the Alpha Kappa Alpha brand of financial support on each HBCU campus to help students remain in school, complete their course of study, and receive their college degrees. For more information about the Educational Advancement Foundation, please visit www.akaeaf.org.

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Scholarship Opportunity

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With the rise of inflation and the cost of college skyrocketing, it’s never too early for high school students to start preparing for their post-high school journey. Now is the time to start applying for scholarships as they come available.

The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. has announced its annual International High School Essay Contest. Four College Scholarship Awards will be awarded. (1st Scholarship: $5,000; 2nd Scholarship: $3,000; 3rd Scholarship: $2,000; 4th Scholarship: $1,000). The contest is open to all college-bound, high-school seniors who submit an essay application through a local chapter of the fraternity. This year’s Essay Title is “A world crisis has caused a paradigm shift for health disparities and social justice; what are your suggestions for positive change.” The essay contest closes October 21, 2022. For more information visit an Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. near you. San Antonio college-bound high school students may visit www.psialphachapter.com for more information and to access the application.

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Education

Jordan Brand Welcomes Howard University

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One of the most acclaimed HBCUs in the nation and home of an astounding list of alumni to include the Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, Howard University and Jordan Brand team up for the next 20 years to establish academic and athletic opportunities.

What to Know

  • The 20-year partnership between Jordan Brand and Howard University is built on a legacy of excellence and a vision for Black futures.
  • The partnership aims to elevate Howard University’s athletic department, unlock new opportunities for recruitment and inspire a new generation to dream of excellence. 
  • Together, Jordan Brand and Howard University aim to amplify the influence of HBCUs on collegiate sport and continued impact on cultural globally.
  • In addition to the partnership with Howard University, Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand’s $100M commitment to the Black Community helps advance the work of organizations fighting to create systemic change.

Howard University, is one of the most esteemed Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) with a tremendous legacy, rooted in a commitment to excellence. Jordan Brand is proud to continue that legacy through a 20 year partnership that will create academic and athletic opportunities that elevate the best of the Black Community.

“Howard University and Jordan Brand share a legacy of excellence and deep commitment to the Black Community. As a HBCU graduate, I understand the educational impact an institution like Howard University has. We are proud to partner with Howard University and see the growth in Black talent on the field and well beyond it,” says Craig Williams, Jordan Brand President.

The partnership deepens Jordan Brand’s connection to HBCU culture — which has influenced all aspects of Black culture in North America — and honor’s the university’s heritage by driving cultural connections across the diaspora. 

“We have always been proud of our legacy at Howard University, but we are audacious enough to believe our future could be brighter than our past. Partnering with Jordan Brand is another signal of our ambitions as a university to become an even brighter beacon for Black Excellence. We are thrilled to work on that vision of greatness together,” says Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick, Howard University President. 

Grounding an exciting future for the Howard University athletic program, the first Jumpman uniforms for the Howard University athlete program will be revealed on August 27. 

“This partnership amplifies the culture of champions we are building at Howard,” says Kery Davis, Athletic Director for Howard University. “After winning multiple MEAC Championships last year we are poised to continue with Jordan Brand by our side.”

Beyond excellence on both court and field, Jordan Brand also aims to unlock new opportunities in recruitment that simultaneously elevate athletic and academic experiences. 

“HBCU‘s have been impacting culture since the beginning. Now we see a new era on the horizon, and an opportunity with Jordan Brand to introduce Howard University to the world. I’m excited to see our university collaborate with a partner like Jordan Brand that already means so much to the Black Community. Together, we have the power to make a difference and inspire the next generation of students to do the same,” says Jordyn Allen, Howard University Student Association President. 

In addition to the partnership with Howard University, Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand’s $100M commitment to the Black Community helps advance the work of organizations fighting to create systemic change.

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Black Life Texas

Essence Prep – Creating Leaders of the Future

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San Antonio’s newest school is opening its doors for kindergartners to fifth graders this fall. Essence Preparatory is a culturally and academically focused public school helping Black and brown students get better opportunities they often don’t find in other school settings.
The tuition-free public charter school, partially funded by the state, has a temporary location at 4535 Lord Road on San Antonio’s East Side. The school’s permanent location nearby Lord Road is slated to open in 2023.

When students start their classes on Aug. 22, they will see a diverse staff, which includes Black male teachers and smaller class sizes of about 15 students to one teacher. Texas state law requires a 22-to-1 student-teacher ratio in kindergarten through fourth grade, though districts can apply for waivers to exceed it. Essence Prep has a two-teacher per classroom model and anticipates enrolling 360 students.
Students will also learn from an innovative curriculum focusing on project-based, social-emotional, STE(A)M learning and a student conduct system concentrated on positive outcomes rather than disciplinary actions.

Essence Prep Superintendent Akeem Brown, who is the catalyst and founder of the school, has personally experienced how the education industry can be limiting for students of color.
“Although I attended some of New York City’s top schools as a student, access to that level of education was not available in my low-income community. This experience has led me to my mission to build and lead a high-performing school that directly serves students living in some of San Antonio’s most distressed neighborhoods,” Brown said, who began his career in education as a social studies teacher in Brooklyn, NY.

Brown has since managed programming and communications for the City of San Antonio’s Office of EastPoint and served as the director of operations and interim CEO of San Antonio Growth on the Eastside, where he supported STEM instruction in the San Antonio Independent School District and oversaw a $23.7 million Promise Neighborhood grant. Brown has also served as director of communications and policy for San Antonio’s City Council District 2 and was the director of people operations at Compass Rose Academy. He holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from South Carolina State University and is pursuing a master’s in organizational leadership from Our Lady of the Lake University.

. . . achieving a passing score is commendable, but it is not our gauge for overall student success and pursuit of excellence.

For parents unfamiliar with public charter schools, Essence Prep has to follow strict curriculum guidelines to prepare every student to not only “pass” but excel on the annual state STAAR test.
According to Essence Prep, “achieving a passing score is commendable, but it is not our gauge for overall student success and pursuit of excellence. At Essence Prep, all of our scholars know and understand that education is a privilege and a necessary tool for success in life.”

Brown emphasized that Essence Prep seeks to provide students with the pathways to an opportunity lacking in many areas of the city. Students will grapple with real-world issues and develop the skills necessary to be effective agents of change. The school will adopt community-building traditions like morning circle meetings and weekly family gatherings and use a “whole self” curriculum to teach social and emotional learning skills.

“Our school should be an environment where children learn the skills they need to advocate for themselves and the needs of their communities after graduation,” Brown added.
Essence Prep is currently accepting students entering kindergarten through the fifth grade and will scale to serve students in the 8th grade in the near future. The school will also provide free transportation within a five-mile radius of its location.

Families who do not have their own homes or have been displaced and students in foster or kinship care may register without certain documents. Contact Essence Prep for more information at (210) 446-9882 or visit its website at (www.EssencePrepSA.org).

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