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It’s important for the HBCU community to stand together in good times and in bad.

When people question the relevance of HBCUs, they tend do so without exception. One beleaguered HBCU can easily become the poster child for the other institutions.

The pride many HBCU students and alumni have for their institutions is immeasurable. Students and alumni from my alma mater, Howard University, are known for their unique displays of HU fervor and passion. YOU KNOW!!!!

But it’s not enough for us to simply be proud of our own institutions. We have to celebrate the accomplishments of every school in the HBCU community. Our institutions and alumni must work together and support each other to cultivate a more prosperous future for everyone. There is no “I” in HBCU.

When negative headlines about black colleges permeate the news, the HBCU community must tout our positive endeavors and successes even louder.

In December, Bowie State University awarded more than 200 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees during its first ever winter commencement. Moreover, Florida A&M University graduated more than 600 students during its winter commencement.

Need help listing some HBCU highlights? No problem. Dr. Marybeth Gasman, professor of higher education at The University of Pennsylvania and Nelson Bowman III, director of development at Prairie View A&M University, compiled a list of 2011’s top HBCU achievements.

When mistakes are made on our campuses, the repercussions tend to reverberate far and wide. However, we cannot allow people who are unfamiliar with our schools and their history to tell our story.

The HBCU community — students, alumni, faculty, staff and supporters — must uplift one another. If we don’t, who will? When one institution is hurt, the others must help that school heal.

Live H.O.P.E. Give H.O.P.E.

Michelle Janaye
Assistant Director
The H.O.P.E. Scholarship