2013 HBCUSTORY SYMPOSIUM PRESENTERS

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For well over a century, Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) have produced many of the American nation’s most prolific African-American thinkers, professionals and leaders. Even so, the HBCU’s historical mission and vision faces questions to its relevance by detractors who argue that these educational institutions are no longer needed in a post-segregation era. HBCUstory, Inc. offers a counter-narrative, one that reflects the good work HBCUs have done and are doing.

In partnership with the Nashville Public Library, HBCUstory, Inc. proudly presents the 2013 HBCUstory Symposium on Saturday, April 27, 2013, at the Downtown Nashville Public Library from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm featuring new scholarly research on HBCUs and shedding light on the most successful programs and best-practices currently underway at HBCUs around the nation.

The Symposium’s registration cost of $25 includes lunch.
For a limited time: An early-bird registration rate of $20 is available until April 15, 2013.

Registration is available online at: www.hbcustorysymposium.eventbrite.com.

“Inspiring Stories of the Past and Present, For Our Future.”

Click here to access our 2013 HBCUSTORY Symposium Press Release

HBCUSTORY SYMPOSIUM 2013 PRESENTERS

Michael Sorrell

KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Michael J. Sorrell, Esq.
President, Paul Quinn College
Follow him on twitter at @MichaelSorrell.
Micheal J. Sorrell is the 34th president of Paul Quinn College in Dallas, Texas and is the reigning “HBCU Male President of the Year.” Under his trans-formative leadership, Paul Quinn demolished fifteen abandoned buildings, achieved full accreditation with the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS) and partnered with PepsiCo to transform its football field into the two-acre “WE Over Me Farm.” As Paul Quinn’s president, Sorrell is masterfully branding the college’s dynamic “Quinnite Nation,” which is experiencing one of the greatest turnarounds in the history of higher education.

cadegregoryCONVENOR
Crystal A. deGregory, Ph.D, Fisk ’03
Founder & Executive Editor, HBCUstory, Inc.
Follow her on twitter at @HBCUstorian.
Crystal A. deGregory, Ph.D., is the founder and executive editor of HBCUstory, Inc. Entitled “Raising a Nonviolent Army: Four Nashville Black Colleges and the Century-Long Struggle for Civil Rights, 1830s-1930s,” her dissertation focuses on the role of American Baptist College, Fisk University, Meharry Medical College and Tennessee State University and their students in the struggle for equality, justice and civil rights in Nashville, Tennessee. Dedicated to telling the #HBCUstory, she believes deeply in the unique mission of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). She has forthcoming work in A Single Garment of Destiny: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Globalization of an Ethical Ideal, Lewis V. Baldwin and Paul Dekar, editors; she will also serve as editor for Emancipation and the Fight for Freedom, the sixth volume in the 12-part series, Tennessee in the Civil War: The Best of the Tennessee Historical Quarterly.

POLITICS OF PHILANTHROPY: HENRY LYMAN MOREHOUSE, THE AMERICAN BAPTIST HOME MISSION SOCIETY AND NAMING OF MOREHOUSE COLLEGE, 1912-1913.
Daron-Lee Calhoun II, ’10 Morehouse
M.A. Candidate, College of Charleston
“The Politics of Philanthropy” will examine the paternalistic nature of Northern Missionaries with reference to black schools in general and Morehouse College (Atlanta Baptist College until 1913) in particular in the early twentieth century. The core of this poster will show how “the art of compromise” involving whites (General Education Board and the American Baptist Home Mission Society” and blacks (Missionary Baptists and prominent African-Americans) resulted in the changing of the name of the school for Henry Lyman Morehouse, a European-American, longtime supporter of the school. As I explore the nature of the renaming of the institution, many uncertainties come into mind. Firstly, what brought about the changing of the name from Atlanta Baptist College to Morehouse College? The college has had four names throughout its history, Augusta Theological Institute, Atlanta Baptist Seminary, and Atlanta Baptist College respectively. Each amendment was found within the new perspective of the school (firstly the move from Augusta to Atlanta, secondly from the status of a Seminary to College) dually reorganizing its governing board. However, in 1913 with the final naming, the only changing facet of the institution was the death of one of its principal founders, Reverend William Jefferson White. Although Dr. Morehouse was a pioneer in the field of Negro education, at the timing of the change, many others were worthy of the highest honor that he received. As I investigate the dialogue surrounding this change, the overall aspect of this presentation will provide a greater focus to the connection that benevolence of northern missionaries had on the control of these southern institutions.

THE HBCU SPORTS TRADITION: A DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS OF HBCU ATHLETICS PROGRAMS
J. Kenyatta Cavil, Ed.D., M.B.A., Assistant Professor, Texas Southern University
And Emiel W. Owens, Professor, Texas Southern University
J Kenyatta CavilAs Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ (HBCU) athletic programs continue to grow, expand and operate in the either the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) or National Athletic Intercollegiate Association (NAIA), and with the increased commitment to athletics from regional predominantly white institutions (PWI) programs, it is important to examine the current status of HBCUs’ athletic programs in their national associations. The purpose of this study was to provide an overview of each institution’s athletic program and other program components such as the athletic programs operating membership alignment in which each program is operating, number of sports, classification level and budget. A total of 105 HBCU institutions were identified and examined using a content analysis methodology. Results revealed the percentage of athletic programs offering specific sports, as well as significant differences between programs based on the athletic program’s history, location, operating membership in which the athletics program is an operating member institution, the status of the university (public or private), academic status as measured by Carnegie classification, and the university size as measured by enrollment. These findings, along with recommendations for future research, are presented in the discussion and conclusion sections.

HBCU RENAISSANCE: THE POTENTIAL OF BLACK COLLEGE PARTNERSHIPS
Carl Darnell, Tennessee State ’06
Doctoral Candidate, Indiana University-Bloomington
Follow him on twitter at @CarlDarnell.

darnellThe Harlem Renaissance was a marked by the creativity and sophistication of African Americans eager to prove the worth of their work, express their frustration and disappointment with the post-Reconstruction South they were fleeing, and carve out their place in the history and high culture of Western Civilization. The renaissance brought Black artists, authors, and all forms of artisans together in one location; this close proximity fostered unprecedented creativity and productivity that benefited every agent of the Renaissance. In this presentation, I argue that Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) may usher in an Intellectual Renaissance of 21st century by collaborating in inter-institutional partnerships, mergers, and affiliations. This presentation offers a survey of historic HBCU mergers, highlights existing HBCU partnerships, and then continues by proposing the appropriate formation of additional relationships among HBCUs in an effort to foster a Harlem Renaissance-like era of growth and prosperity for the nation’s Black Colleges.

SUPERHEROINES WITH AFROS 
Gwendolyn Cherrelle Denwiddie, Fisk ’11
Master’s Candidate, Lancaster University

Interested in the male-dominated, African American literary satirical tradition, this chapter from my forthcoming Master’s Thesis, inspired by the quips of African American female bloggers, banters with the witty, double-edged writings of Ishmael Reed, Percival Everett, and George C. Wolfe.

FOUNDATIONS OF OUR PAST: LESSONS LEARNED FROM LATE 19TH AND EARLY 20TH CENTURY PHILANTHROPIC SUPPORTERS OF HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
Kayla C. Elliott, Fisk ’10
Development Manager, Teach For America – Indianapolis
Follow her on twitter at @KaylaCElliott.

Elliott HeadshotBefore the Emancipation Proclamation, limited educational opportunities for African Americans were provided almost exclusively by northern abolitionists and missionaries. Spurred by catalysts such as the 13th Amendment and the Morrill-Land Grant Act, institutions dedicated to the education of African Americans spread throughout the north and south. The turn of the century brought a surge in philanthropic interest in supporting these institutions and their cause. Existing philanthropists such as George Peabody expanded their focus on Southern education to include African Americans, and new organizations specifically dedicated to the education of African Americans emerged. This study is an analysis of the strategies and governance models employed by foundations which supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the broader education of African Americans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The study compares these findings to the current top foundation supporters of HBCUs and suggests lessons learned for future success.

LIVING INSIDE OF SELF: THE LGBTQ EXPERIENCE AT AN HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGE AND/OR UNIVERSITY (HBCU)
Naykishia Head, Jackson State ‘03
Instructor, Tennessee State University
Follow her on twitter at @ProfessorNHead.

N HeadThe issue of a person’s sexual orientation has always held a negative connotation. In the Black community, there is even a larger negativity placed towards individuals who are not what society deems as “normal.” The stigma and shame associated with one’s sexuality, particularly within the African American community, continues to be an issue that needs to be addressed. According to campuspride, a website that gauges the level of campus safety for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and/or Queer Students, “No HBCU is currently listed on Campus Pride’s Campus Climate Index. Currently, of the 106 HBCUs, only 21% or 22 host LGBTQ organizations.” Why is this still an issue for LGBTQ students in 2012? Yes, there are some instances of tolerance and a welcomed atmosphere on the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and/or Universities, but we need to do more towards establishing LGBTQ and Ally Organizations at all of our institutions. The negative stigma that relates to LGBTQ students and the resistance of HBCUs to recognize and accept these students are two “elephants” in the HBCU “room” issues that will be discussed.

THE BOTTOM LINE: EVOLUTION OF RACIAL AND ECONOMIC SEGREGATION IN NORTH NASHVILLE
Jennifer Heusel
Doctoral Candidate, Indiana University–Bloomington
My dissertation is a rhetorical study that examines the vocabulary of post-civil rights American capitalism in local discourses about institutionally financing higher education. I argue that discourses about financing historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) provide a way to analyze the evolution of white supremacy. In one chapter, I explore the racial implications of “the bottom line,” which rhetorically provides a business logic for economic decision making. I critique this logic as it provided the rationale for the private HBCU Fisk University to sell a half-share of their Alfred Stieglitz art collection to a private museum in order to become financially stable and maintain accreditation. I argue that “the bottom line” when used in higher education financing encourages amnesia toward past and current racial exercises of power, and specifically ignores practices of geographical segregation in Nashville. Fisk’s status as a private liberal arts institution, its meritocratic history, and location in North Nashville provide a unique case under which to examine the constraints and possibilities of adopting business logics for financing higher education. With “the bottom line” as the organizing frame, what are the assumptions about racial interactions perpetuate or are ignored? Can those assumptions be challenged?

THE OBJECT OF: AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENT NEWSPAPERS AND THE WORLD THEY OBSERVED
O’Brian K. Holden, Fisk ‘10
Follow him on twitter at @okholden.

holdenCollege Newspapers have long been the organs employed by students to express the sentiments of student populations on college campuses. Though these periodicals are representative of their respective institutions, they are more than mere papers detailing school news. As Eric Gardner demonstrates in Unexpected Places that the Christian Recorder was more than a religious paper, so too are College Newspapers. College Newspapers are public forums for the presentation of the ideological spectrum of student bodies. Just as scholars have overlooked the significance of African American periodicals, so too have scholars ignored the significance of African American student newspapers. I argue that African American student newspapers are not simply newspapers that detail the social news of their campuses; rather they are sites for the publication of Literature and home to contemporaneous debates. Collegiate newspapers become the public sphere used to engage in the politics of race and the training grounds for future African Americans who engage in activist activities through print culture. Focusing on the Fisk Expositor which is first issued on January 1, 1878 and The Fisk Herald issued in June of 1883, I illustrate that African American student newspapers are papers that recognize the uniqueness of their isolation and educational opportunities, while engaging the world. Currently there is no such study that solely considers the importance of African American collegiate newspapers. Though African American student newspapers are widely cited, they have not received in-depth study. This project seeks to address this disparity.

PRACTICAL FUNDRAISING STRATEGIES FOR HBCUs
Brandy Jackson, Fisk ’06
Master’s Candidate, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education
Assistant Coordinator of Activities, Rosemont College
Follow her on twitter at @brj1rsvp.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have been the essential driving force toward providing African Americans access to education and equality. In the goal to continue in this tradition to educate more prospective students, alumni and administrators must use effective strategies to assist in sustaining HBCUs for generations to come. One of the main issues that prevent HBCUs from competing with predominantly white institutions is the difficulties in fundraising and the lack of alumni giving. As a result, rather than supporting HBCUs through their struggles, the main media unfairly depicts these institutions or exaggerates their financial woes in a worst light than it should be portrayed. Within my presentation my goal is to highlight practical fundraising strategies that will lead HBCUs to greater success. Through my research I hope to bring to the conference, effective office administrative procedures that must be practiced in HBCUs, to stress the importance of alumni giving percentages, to introduce ways to cultivate young alumni giving and most importantly to specifically underline what prompts or motivates alumni to give to these institutions and how HBCUs can learn from their donors. Successful fundraising approaches are needed and essential for all organizations. Though there are many techniques and case studies to learn from, it is important to know what works well for that specific institution. My presentation’s goal is to highlight routine duties that are effective for all colleges and universities. Overall the goal for HBCUs is to be ahead of the game and sustainable for the future.

THE NEED TO CARE FOR HBCU ARCHIVES AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Aisha M. Johnson
Doctoral Candidate, Florida State University
0African American donors have a need to sufficiently feel their collection will be accurately represented and frequently utilized by researchers. Often times, African American donors prefer to donate their collection to a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) rather than a predominately white school out of fear for their collection being processed with a lack of cultural understanding and not reaching their target audience. While HBCU archives embrace the opportunity to acquire such collections, they may not be equipped to handle these collections. What we have failed to recognize and fulfill are the crucial needs of the HBCU archives including Archivists knowledgeable in African American studies and necessary funds. This gap leaves way for prominent African American donors to submit their collections to predominately white schools whom are equipped. The solution to this major problem is recognizing and supporting the needs of HBCU archives including recruitment and training. This will also assist in the archives’ ability to acquire, process, and promote a variety of collections, creating more exposure.

THE IMPLICATIONS OF RACE & SOCIAL CLASS ON THE DEVELOPMENT AND GLOBAL IMPACT OF HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES (HBCUs)
Stevie L. Lawrence II
Director, College Success Services – The University of North Carolina General Administration
Doctoral Candidate, Jackson State University
This document provides an analysis of the factors of race and social class and their effects on the development of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). An examination of the racial and social class caste systems are documented beginning with the institution of slavery to those of the modern era Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. Both phenomena directly contributed to the racial and social status division in the United States; that still exist to some extent today, and provides a lasting imprint on the American higher education construct. Finally, the research presented, shares the global impact of HBCUs from three perspectives which include; diversifying the workforce globally, the effects HBCUs have on increasing the number of degrees earned by African Americans in the U.S. at disproportionate rates and the influences these institutions have on economic and community development at the local, state and national levels.

GIVING UP LITTLE KINGDOMS: THE PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE ON DESEGREGATION IN HBCUS AS SEEN IN THE JOURNAL OF NEGRO EDUCATION
Nadrea R. Njoku, Xavier ’06 and Eddie R. Cole, Tennessee State ’07
Doctoral Candidates, Indiana University-Bloomington
This paper will assess HBCU presidents’ varying views on desegregation during the immediate years prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954. Using presidents’ published opinions from the Journal of Negro Education from 1941 – 1954;these leaders provide multiple perspectives on the outlook of HBCUs. A total of 13 published opinions from 6 presidents at 6 HBCUs will be examined. These views differed by institution type, especially the intersection of these types: public and private to land-grant status and liberal arts focused. Exploration of HBCU leadership on desegregation will further current scholars’ understanding of administrative perspectives at diverse institutions of higher education by providing insight into these Presidents’ approach to leadership. This paper will explore the following research question: In what ways had the opinion of desegregation in higher education impacted how HBCUs were placed within the post-segregation higher education landscape? To answer this question, this paper will consider the historical context of HBCUs and the significance of the college president during a turning point in the history of higher education. This work using archived journal entries will also offer a discussion about present-day implications on HBCU leadership.

THE HBCU WELLNESS PROJECT: A COMMUNITY BASED PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH (CBPR) INITIATIVE FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
E. Clare Stewart, Fisk University ’05
Coordinator, Fisk-MMC HBCU Wellness Project, Fisk University

Follow her on twitter at @eclarestewart.

photoFor the past six years, Fisk University and Meharry Medical College along with four other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in Tennessee have provided opportunities for undergraduate students to engage in community based participatory research (CBPR) to address health disparities. Program participants or student health ambassadors (SHA) are fulltime students, through service learning, work as health promotion and disease prevention advocates in one of five health priority areas. These priority areas are the health disparities disproportionately impacting minorities in Tennessee: breast cancer, infant mortality, obesity, prostate cancer and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). SHA are trained in CBPR in a summer institute,during which they identify a health disparity of interest and design an intervention to address the disparity. In the following academic year, SHA complete a research protocol; submit their research to the university Institutional Review Board, implement their projects, and evaluate project outcomes.

“USING THE WEAPONS WITH WHICH WE ARE SKILLED”: GEORGE W. GORE AND STUDENT ACTIVISM AT FLORIDA AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL UNIVERSITY, 1950-1968
Learotha Williams Jr.
Assistant Professor of African American and Public History, Tennessee State University
Follow him on twitter at @learothawms.

Lea WilliamsThis paper briefly explores the life of former president of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, George W. Gore, Jr. Gore’s career in academia, which included two Historical Black Colleges and Universities, provides insight into the many challenges facing African American presidents at HBCUs during the second half of the twentieth century. During a period in US History oftentimes characterized by confrontation and radicalism, Gore’s response to the Black Freedom Struggle at times mirrored Booker T. Washington’s accommodationist policies, emphasizing methods of protest that were both conservative and non-threatening to the state’s white population. Yet, during his tenure as president of Florida A&M University—a term which witnessed the rise of activism among students and faculty at the institution—Gore successfully negotiated multiple and sometimes conflicting demands from constituencies in both black and white communities. By the time he left office in 1968, Gore had secured university status for the college and created an academic environment that would positively affect African Americans for generations to come.

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