HBCUs serve a vital role in their surrounding communities, from providing academic opportunities to promoting the health of the community’s denizens. Because February is Black History Month, we would like to celebrate some of the HBCUs that have given back to strengthen their neighboring Black communities.
1. Gadsden State Community College
Gadsden State Community College provides community members the opportunity to take free GED classes on campus for students to increase their job prospects while providing them the skills needed to pursue a higher education. The GED classes provide additional tutoring for community members who have another native tongue other than English and provide classes at different times throughout the week to meet the various times of availability of the community members.
2. JF Drake State Technical College
JF Drake State Technical College has a division, the Workforce Development Division, which focuses on giving members of the community knowledge of multiple careers and essential skills sought after by different industries. The Workforce Development Division is divided into four components: Tech Prep, Training for Existing Business and Industry, Continuing Education, and Adult Education. To meet the demands of the continuously evolving work sector, JF Drake State Technical College focuses on these four components because they have become more instrumental in the business world.
3. Southern University at Shreveport, Louisiana
Southern University at Shreveport, Louisiana also focuses on providing the surrounding community with skills to continue developing the economy of the community. SUSLA provides many classes on Adult Literacy, Community Education, Corporate Training, Homebuyer Education, Small Business Development, Workforce Training, and Youth Services initiatives through its Division of Community and Workforce Development (CWD).
To promote HIV/AIDS awareness in the neighboring communities, Fort Valley held a two-day event where community members were welcomed to attend. The two-day event provided HIV testing for free and provided knowledge about HIV/AIDS. A seminar was also facilitated in the two-day event.
5. Spelman College
With the role of social media now serving as a way to connect different communities together, Spelman College, specifically the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) at Spelman, decided to use social media to also provide information about HIV/AIDS to the neighboring communities.
6. Huston-Tillotson University
For the community, Huston-Tillotson University decided to facilitate environmentally friendly approaches to increase the well-being of the neighboring community. Huston-Tilllotson, as a part of their Green is the New Black student group, has established community garden to foster organic food alternatives for the community. Additionally, Green is the New Black has hosted environmental awareness events and a “Building Green Justice Forum” for the community.
7. Elizabeth City State University
Elizabeth City State University is also helping the surrounding communities with a green approach. The university has begun installing energy-efficient light bulbs throughout the community to help them save energy. Slowly, the surrounding communities will become officially environmentally friendly.