Why Black Philanthropy Is Important Now, With Trump Taking Aim At HBCUs.

by Raheem Karim
black philanthropy

Many HBCUs struggle financially, this is why black philanthropy will play a vital role for the future of HBCUs in the coming decades.

Philanthropic funding helps colleges and universities to continue its operations. Most colleges and universities raise funding from alumni and most benefactors interested in donating to the institution.

Lets be clear historically most major black colleges receive or had received funding from wealthy white families or corporations. In 2014 the Koch Industries donated $25 million dollars to the United Negro College Fund. The Koch brothers, known best for spending big money to conservative causes and candidates.

On Friday Donald Trump signed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill he signed into law. Also he questioned whether or not the White House will seek to block federal funding for historically black colleges and other minority-focused education programs. Trump suggested that such funding was not constitutional on account of it allocating benefits “on the basis of race, ethnicity, or gender.”

He made chilling statement about the provision in the spending bill

My Administration shall treat provisions that allocate benefits on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender (e.g., Division B, under the heading “Minority Business Development”; Division C, sections 8016, 8021, 8038, and 8042; Division H, under the headings “Departmental Management Salaries and Expenses,” “School Improvement Programs,” and “Historically Black College and University Capital Financing Program Account”; Division K, under the heading “Native American Housing Block Grants”; and Division K, section 213) in a manner consistent with the requirement to afford equal protection of the laws under the Due Process Clause of the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.

HBCUs depend on this funding created by Congress in 1992, the Education Department provides federally-backed loans to historically black colleges and universities for the construction of buildings and other facilities. The bill provides $20 million in federal loan subsidies in fiscal year 2017 to support as much as $282 million worth of financing to the schools.

What Trump does not understand is that the funding is not race based, but on mission, accreditation status, and the year the institution was established.

The amount educational resources are not on a level playing field compared to white institutions and never has been.

If federal funding does come to halt by any chance, that means black philanthropy will have to pickup the slack.

This means HBCUs administration staffs have to do their part and educate their student body how and where to donate. Most alumni members say they don’t know how donate their money.

One way to get current students and alumni members involved is through grassroots efforts such as fundraising events and phone-a-thons.

College Presidents need to raise their college profile vocally and socially, so the general public will know that the college exist and is in need of funding.

In order for all this to happen there has to be more active engagement includes among alumni and current students, encouraging volunteerism and appointing a fundraising ambassador.

African Americans believe education is the key to success and uplifting a generation of people. Black philanthropy will play a vital role for current and prospective students. Well now is the time to put up or shut up.

For more information about where to donate to HBCUs visit The HBCU Foundation.

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