THURGOOD MARSHALL COLLEGE FUND (TMCF) ANNOUNCES $1.8M TMCF FLEISCHER HBCU SCHOLARS PROGRAM HELPING STUDENTS TRANSITION TO COLLEGE AND CAREER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC (September 7, 2018) – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) announces today the launch of the TMCF Fleischer HBCU Scholars Program that helps high school students transition from high school through college and into the workforce. The program, which will be piloted on three campuses — Fayetteville State University, Texas Southern University, and Virginia State University – is made possible by a three-year $1.8 million grant award from Strada Education Network.

The new program aims to create an early talent program that identifies high-achieving high school students, equips them to make informed college and career choices through professional and leadership development activities, and positions them for successful careers with employers. It also will increase the capacity of TMCF member-schools to attract top-performing high school students.

“We see this groundbreaking program as a true capacity-building opportunity for our member-schools, said Dr. Harry L. Williams, TMCF president & CEO. “The TMCF Fleischer HBCU Scholars Program will provide the pilot schools with tools and technology to bolster recruitment efforts and hopefully achieve the same level of success as the original Fleischer program.”

Mr. Morton Fleischer, Fleischer Scholars Program founder, said: “When my wife and I created the Fleischer Program in 2009 to help qualified students from economically fragile communities, we had no idea how successful it would become. Seeing our program expand into HBCUs through this investment from Strada to TMCF will no doubt create a multiplier effect where these scholars transform into business leaders making a significant impact in our communities.”

“One of Strada’s top philanthropic priorities is to support and scale student success programs that work in preparation to pursuing successful career pathways,” said Bill Hansen, President and CEO, Strada Education Network. “We’re honored to partner with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to build on the impressive success of the Fleischer program and replicate it to benefit thousands more high school students in their transition to attend our country’s leading HBCUs.”

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ABOUT THE THURGOOD MARSHALL COLLEGE FUND (TMCF)

Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the PK-12 and higher education space. The organization is also the source of top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit:www.tmcf.org.

ABOUT STRADA EDUCATION NETWORK

Strada Education Network℠ is a national nonprofit dedicated to improving lives by catalyzing more direct and promising pathways between education and employment. We engage partners across education, nonprofits, business and government to focus relentlessly on students’ success throughout all phases of their working lives. Together, we address critical college to career challenges through strategic philanthropy, research and insights, and mission-aligned affiliates — all focused on advancing the universal right to realized potential we call Completion With a Purpose®. Learn more at StradaEducation.org.

Chamber to sponsor women’s conference

A new event from the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce is designed to showcase the impact of women in the Twin Counties.

The Chamber will host the first-time ShE-E-O Women’s Conference Kick-off that’s sponsored by Pfizer and the Eastern North Carolina Center for Business. The event is scheduled for noon Sept. 19 at the Benvenue Country Club. Chamber officials said the event will help women explore where they can add the most value in the community, at their jobs, with their peers and in their personal lives.

The topic of what is anticipated to be an annual event is “Re-Imaginning the Power of Women.” David Farris, president and CEO of the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce, said he is thrilled to be a part of an impactful social event he has helped create.

“This is the start for many other signature women’s conference events that will be done by the Chamber in the upcoming years,” Farris said.

At the conference, the audience will hear testimonies and advice from many local, statewide and nationally known women who have excelled in not only their careers but their personal lives, officials said. The conference will include a message from guest speaker WRAL anchor Renee Chou and a panel discussion.

Amanda Bell, who is the customer service and marketing manager at Family Medical Center of Rocky Mount and Chamber executive board member, will serve as the moderator for the table discussion that will take place after the panel discussion.

The table discussion will provide the attendees time to take a deeper look into how they can excel in their lives by brainstorming and sharing ideas with other women at the event.

Bell said this event is important because women need to support each other and the ShE-E-O conference will offer an opportunity for women to join forces, support and learn from each other’s mistakes and success.

Dr. Monique Brown, owner of Monique Brown M.D. in downtown Rocky Mount and this year’s recipient of the Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award, will be one of several panelists at the women’s conference. She said the occasion is an opportunity for the Twin Counties to network and collaborate with women with a vast wealth of knowledge and experience in a variety of areas.

“Women in our region have a tremendous amount of influence and attributes that they contribute to our community daily,” Brown said, “and it is a blessing to be able to showcase them and network with other women who share their love for the development, health and success of our community.”

The rest of the panelists will be Kristen Brabble, chief administrative officer at First Carolina Bank, Evan Covington Chavez, development manager for the Rocky Mount Mills, Deborah Sperati, partner at Poyner Spruill LLP, Tina Taylor, CEO and founder of Heritage Leadership Academy-STEM Education for Young Women in Emerging Markets and former chief information officer at GE, and Kimberly Thigpen, owner and founder of The Bath Place in downtown Rocky Mount.

The master of ceremonies and moderator for the panel discussion will be Dr. N. Joyce Payne, international affairs and STEAM advisor to the president of Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The conference will also have a networking hour sponsored by the Women’s Professional Networking Group of Rocky Mount.

Tickets are still available for $50 for Chamber members and $60 for prospective members. Tickets can be ordered through the Chamber website events calendar at RockyMountChamber.org or by calling the Chamber at 252-973-1211.

By Corey Davis
Rocky Mount Telegram

Racial Bias in Muni Market Costs Black Colleges, Research Shows

Before Dillard University can start building a new dorm for its 1,291 students, the historically black college in New Orleans needs to raise money. To do that, it will have to contend with what researchers say is racial discrimination in the muni-bond market.

Historically black colleges and universities in the U.S. pay more to issue municipal bonds than non-traditionally black schools, according to recent research. After controlling for credit quality, issue type and other relevant factors, HBCUs pay on average 14 percent more in underwriting fees compared with historically white institutions.

Banks have to work harder to sell HBCU bonds, said Pengjie Gao, professor of finance at the Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame and one of the authors of the report entitled “What’s in a (school) name? Racial discrimination in higher education bond markets.” Because of that effort, the school gets charged a higher fee.

For non-HBCUs, an average 81 cents out of every $100 raised flows to underwriters. HBCUs pay 11 basis points more, at 92 cents per $100 dollars raised. “Somehow the investor taste does matter for their decisions,” Gao said.

In states like Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the spread jumps to 30 basis points. The report, written by professors from Duke University, Drexel University, University of Southern California and Notre Dame, attributes the upcharge to racial bias among local investors, who are most likely to buy muni bonds for the state tax break.

‘Racial Animus’
“Because HBCUs are located in states with high levels of anti-black racial animus, underwriters face steep frictions when trying to find willing buyers,” the report read.

These higher spreads come at a significant price. Gao put the cost at $35,000 per issue on the low end. America’s 100-plus HBCUs could find better things to do with that money, said Dillard President Walter Kimbrough. More than 75 percent of students at historically black institutions rely on Pell Grants to cover tuition and expenses, according to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. At Dillard, for example, $35,000 would cover two full scholarships.

Bias in the bond market is another version of discrimination black Americans and institutions have faced in the financial sector, academics noted. In recent years, large financial institutions have defended themselves against charges of racial discrimination against employees and customers.

“There’s already inequity, so I’m not surprised to see this ongoing inequity in the bond market,” said Joni E. Finney, director of the Institute for Research on Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania. “I think somebody should call them out on it and say, ‘We expect this to change.’”

Expanding Pool
Some lawmakers have tried. After a preliminary version of the academic study was released in 2016, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison introduced the HBCU Investment Expansion Act, an action that would grant triple tax-exempt status to bonds sold by the schools. That would allow out-of-state buyers to purchase the bonds tax-free. In theory, expanding the pool of possible investors outside of the state they were sold would make it easier for underwriters to place the bonds — and less costly for the historically black colleges.

“This legislation will level the playing field and help HBCUs get the funds they need to build new dorms, labs or classrooms without additional costs or fees,” Ellison said at the time.

The bill stalled in both the Ways and Means and Finance committees where it has remained ever since. Ellison is now running for Minnesota Attorney General.

As Dillard prepares for its first muni-bond offering since 2002, Kimbrough said he hopes the findings from the report will help him negotiate a fair deal with the underwriter they choose. He also said he knows what he’s up against.

“We are under-resourced institutions that serve an under-resourced community,” Kimbrough said. “Because of how everything else operates in the nation, those with the least resources end up paying more.”

By Danielle Moran and Jordyn Holman
Bloomberg

Derrick Jackson

VBMA-VICKSBURG, MS: AUGUST 2018 HBCU MENTOR SPOTLIGHT

Name: Derrick Jackson
Role: VBMA-Vicksburg HBCU Mentor
Region: Vicksburg, MS

  1. What is your role or level of participation in the VBM Academy?

    I serve as a mentor for VBMA and I am frequently involved.
  2. If you had to describe VBM Academy in one word, what would it be?
    If I had to do describe the VBM program it would be Motivational.
  3. What is the best thing about being a part of the VBM Academy?

    The best of being a part of VBMA is the level of involvement. I work with high school and middle school students that are interested in the STEM field and they constantly ask intriguing questions related to my major. I get to inspire future leaders to go into STEM in which one day they could change the world. This past Summer I told my story how it went. Most were expecting me to say I worked a regular job and went home every night. My actual answer was: I won and came in 1st place in a hack-a-ton in Durham, North Carolina for The Opportunity Funding Corporation (OFC) which is part of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), to becoming an Apple Scholarship winner, an intern for IBM, and to winning a scholarship that paid for my last year of school. It motived not only the students but the VBMA mentors and coaches as well to follow their dreams and to never give up.
  4. What would you tell other students about the program that would make them want to be a part of it?
    I would tell other students to join VBM because it builds character within students to become who they want to be in life, they provide a helping hand understanding the students’ needs and making them a better person inside and outside the classroom.
  5. Is there one event or experience you have been a part of that has been most memorable? 
    The most memorable experience was the eCYBERMISSION trip to DC. I had so much fun networking and exploring DC.

Desirae Johnson

VBMA-VICKSBURG, MS: AUGUST 2018 SCHOLAR SPOTLIGHT

Name: Desirae Johnson
Role: VBMA Scholar
Region: Vicksburg, MS

  1. As a VBM Academy Scholar, what are some of the activities that most interest you and why?
    FTC is the most interesting activity because I like to work with robots and go to more competitions. It’s fun racing other teams and see how they do certain things. Everything is not always about winning a race, but about how we made it to the competition.
  2. If you had to describe the VBM Academy in one word, what word would it be and why?
    Teamwork! The reason I say teamwork is because everything that we do we need a team; it’s not just a one man’s job. Trust me if I wanted to work alone I couldn’t because there’s always going to be someone asking you if you need help. Scholars working as a team teaches us what to do in the real world. It’s nothing you can ever not learn at VBM, everything we learn we can use it any and everywhere.
  3. Describe your most memorable VBM Academy STEM experience?
    My most favorite memorable experience is when I get to help the younger scholars with FLL because I get to mentor them on how to do something. I never do the work for them because they’ll never learn if you continue doing projects for them.
  4. When your friends at school ask you about the VBM Academy, how do you describe the VBM experience?
    I tell them about how we use technology and math in so many ways. When working with robots we have to research, learn and sometimes measure how long certain parts should be to build the robot. I begin to explain how STEM is used in our everyday lives because every job in the US uses science, technology, engineering, and math.
  5. What makes the VBM Academy an important part of your out-of-school activities?
    We get to meet and work with other schools in the VWSD not only just to converse with each other but actually do some productive activities. I learn more about STEM at the VBM Academy than I do at school.

Emmanuel Durojaiye

VBMA-BALTIMORE, MD: AUGUST 2018 SCHOLAR SPOTLIGHT

Name: Emmanuel Durojaiye
Role: VBMA Scholar
Region: Baltimore, MD

  1. As a VBM Academy Scholar, what are some of the activities that most interest you and why?
    The activities that I found most interesting were TEN80 and FTC. These activities both interested me due to how hands-on they were and develop your problem-solving skills. I want to pursue a career as a Mechanical Engineer. TEN80 and FTC both have contributed and aided in my further knowledge and understanding of the mechanics in Engineering.
  2. If you had to describe the VBM Academy in one word, what word would it be and why?
    One word to describe the VBM Academy would be: Engaging. Overall, I feel the VBM Academy is an amazing program and opportunity for students that enjoy STEM and want a career in it. It engages students in many activities and competitions that interest everyone.
  3. Describe your most memorable VBM Academy STEM experience?
    My most memorable VBM Academy STEM experience would be when we competed in the 2018 NSBE TEN80 competition. This was the most memorable experience because I felt as a team we were able to win the competition.
  4. When your friends at school ask you about the VBM Academy, how do you describe the VBM experience?
    When my friends ask me about VBM Academy I describe the VBM experience as a great out-of-school STEM program that strives to enable students and expand their knowledge and understating in STEM by participating in various hands-on activities as well competitions.
  5. What makes the VBM Academy an important part of your out-of-school activities?
    VBM Academy is an important part of my out-of-school activities because it has greatly participated in my growth and a better understanding of STEM as well as guiding me towards the career I want to pursue in STEM in the future.

RaShawna Sydnor

VBMA-BALTIMORE, MD: AUGUST 2018 TEACHER FELLOW SPOTLIGHT

Name: RaShawna Sydnor
Role: VBMA-Baltimore Teacher Fellow
Region: Baltimore, MD

  1. What is your role or level of participation in the VBM Academy?

    My role is Teacher Mentor.
  2. If you had to describe VBM Academy in one word, what would it be?
    Opportunity!
  3. What is the best thing about being a part of the VBM Academy?

    The ability to actively engage with students outside the classroom in a self-selected and thought-provoking program that will not only expand their minds but their possibilities is the best thing about being a part of the VBM Academy.
  4. What would you tell other students about the program that would make them want to be a part of it?
    I would tell other students that the program training and activities are hands-on and will teach them skills that they can use at home and in their classrooms. They will also have the potential to travel, meet new people and participate in experiences that they may not without VBMA.
  5. Is there one event or experience you have been a part of that has been most memorable? 
    The activities that we participated in as part of our summer training have been the most memorable. In fact, I’ll be engaging students in one of the math activities during our upcoming new student orientation and I am the ELA/Social Studies teacher!

Teetee Braxton

VBMA-VICKSBURG, MS: AUGUST 2018 TEACHER FELLOW SPOTLIGHT

Name: Teetee Braxton
Role: VBMA-Vicksburg Teacher Fellow
Region: Vicksburg, MS

  1. What is your role or level of participation in the VBM Academy?

    My role is Fellow Teacher. I am facilitating over Ten80 and Junior Solar Sprint.
  2. If you had to describe VBM Academy in one word, what would it be?
    Exhilarating!
  3. What is the best thing about being a part of the VBM Academy?

    The best thing about being a part of the VBMA Academy is collaborating with other Fellow Teachers and working with bright young future leaders.
  4. What would you tell other students about the program that would make them want to be a part of it?
    This program gives the opportunity to think creatively and experience things hands-on and socialize with others who are just like you.
  5. Is there one event or experience you have been a part of that has been most memorable? 
    One experience that was great to be a part of was building the Junior Solar Sprint. It was great to learn and experience the process in which my future students will participate in.

Tunji Ogiefo

VBMA-BALTIMORE, MD: AUGUST 2018 HBCU MENTOR SPOTLIGHT

Name: Tunji Ogiefo
Role: VBMA-Baltimore HBCU Mentor
Region: Baltimore, MD

  1. What is your role or level of participation in the VBM Academy?

    My role in the VDM Academy is an HBCU mentor. A few of my responsibilities included meeting with scholars and parents on a regular basis to ensure they are actively engaged in educational material and activities, support VBMA staff in designing and delivering learning experiences, leading workshops with scholars, assisting scholars in preparing for competitions, and accompanying scholars on field trips and local competitions.
  2. If you had to describe VBM Academy in one word, what would it be?
    Influential!
  3. What is the best thing about being a part of the VBM Academy?

    The best thing about being part of the VBM academy is I get to make and positive impact as a Mentor. I love to help others.
  4. What would you tell other students about the program that would make them want to be a part of it?
    I would tell them to come and give back to your community, share your experiences, and give guidance to the youth. If you had a younger sibling wouldn’t you want to see someone doing the same thing? It is easier for them to take advice from someone that looks, talks, and dresses similar to them.
  5. Is there one event or experience you have been a part of that has been most memorable? 
    One of my most memorable experiences took place this summer. I was given the opportunity to transport a couple of kids from Coppin to their STEM summer camp a couple times. This stuck out for me because I’m not a morning person. I had to wake up very early around 4:00—5:00 a.m. to get the job done. At first, that was draining to do every day for a week but, after talking to the kids and seeing their interest in STEM, it became an easy job. They were so excited to go to camp and tell me what they did for the day. One of the kids even asked me to be his mentor.

TMCF SUPPORTS THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE AWARDING $8.6M IN PRESERVATION GRANTS TO HBCUS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC (August 31, 2018) – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is pleased to see The Department of the Interior’s National Park Service (NPS) award $8.6M in much-needed preservation grant dollars authorized by Congress to eighteen Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in nine states.

According to the National Park Service, Interior Secretary Zinke’s Historic Preservation Initiative for HBCUs “was established to identify, and restore those historic structures on HBCU campuses considered to be the most historically significant and physically threatened. It was also established in direct response to the needs of many of the historically black colleges and universities, which faced critical rehabilitation needs, but lacked the resources to repair these buildings.”

TMCF has consistently supported increasing congressional appropriation funding for these historic preservation projects. “This is another example for all to see that the TMCF model of direct bipartisan advocacy with the United States Congress and the Administration is effective and working, “said TMCF President & CEO Dr. Harry L. Williams. “We appreciate the Bipartisan HBCU Congressional Caucus and the National Park Service for working to preserve these historic pieces of American History for many years to come.”

List of TMCF Member-School Grant Recipients:

 

HBCU Grant Recipients Project State Amount
Howard University Founders Library Handicap Accessibility Renovation District of Columbia $500,000
Delaware State University Preservation of Historic Loockerman Hall Delaware $500,000
Fort Valley State University Renovation of the Historic Bywaters Building Georgia $470,000
Harris-Stowe State University Rehabilitating the Vashon Community Center Missouri $500,000
South Carolina State University Preservation of Wilkinson Hall South Carolina $500,000
Virginia State University Preservation of Vawter Hall Virginia $493,815
Virginia State University Preservation of Storum Hall Virginia $274,278
Total $3,238,093

Note: Dr. Harry L. Williams, TMCF president & CEO, is available for further comment.

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ABOUT THURGOOD MARSHALL COLLEGE FUND (TMCF)

Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). Publicly-supported HBCUs enroll over 80% of all students attending HBCUs. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education spaces. The organization is also a source for top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit: www.tmcf.org.