In 24 hours, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. has raised $1 million for historically Black colleges and universities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's "HBCU Impact Day" is part of a four-year plan to raise $10 million for HBCUs. Their fundraising efforts will go towards sustainability projects and scholarships at more than 100 institutions across the country.
“I understand very well the needs of an HBCU at a very high level,” Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. International President and Chief Executive Officer Glenda Glover said.
“HBCUs need sustainability so we need to ensure [these schools and] we’ll do our part to make sure the Black colleges and universities don’t close because of finances. This endowment will provide scholarships for students. We have raised a million dollars in one day for three years in a row … through online contributions and partnerships with corporations.”
Unfortunately, some HBCUs were struggling prior to the pandemic and COVID-19 has only worsened things. In fact, 15 HBCUs have closed since 1997. Prominent HBCUs like Morehouse College and Howard University have anticipated significant drops in revenue for the 2020-2021 academic year. Furthermore, Professor Gregory N. Price of the University of New Orleans found that roughly one out of every ten HBCUs were "financially fragile" before the economic downturn of the pandemic. In April, Congress issued more than $1 billion emergency funding to HBCUs. Not to mention, individuals like McKenzie Bezos and companies like Thermo Fisher have donated tens of millions of dollars to help out these trailblazing institutions.
“The pandemic has brought to light a lot of the funding needs Black colleges have already have been experiencing for years since inception,” Glover said.
“We’re hoping that we can use these funds to assist schools transitioning to online learning to help students work through this.”
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