All Articles Tagged "Howard University"
I don’t think anyone can deny the resources and connections you can gain from attending an Ivy League university. Currently, most of the notable figures in business, politics, and finance have an Ivy League background, including our President and First Lady. Most MBA students at the Ivies have their choice of employers, since some of the most prominent firms recruit exclusively at these universities.
Then after landing a job, an Ivy Leaguer can maneuver easily through the business world since he has a network of post-graduate school mates just like himself that are gaining influence in their new-found environments. He also can reach out to graduates from many years past if he needs a favor. Fellow alums are usually willing to oblige solely based on the alma mater they share.
However, one of the attributes that makes this group of schools so exclusive, is that only a chosen few can be admitted. In fact, each year admissions to these schools get tighter and tighter. Harvard is the most stringent, accepting only 5.8 percent of its over 33,531 applicants. Here’s what Rachel Toor, an author, college-admissions counselor and former Duke University admissions officer had to say about the Ivy League acceptance situation: “More people are applying for the same small number of elite colleges than there ever have been. There are a gazillion applications for every spot….Everyone wants to keep their admit rate low because that makes you more selective, which gives you a higher place on the college rankings. People in admissions say they don’t pay attention to rankings, but of course they do.”
So although it’s not impossible to get into these universities, if you’re an average or even above average student you will find it very challenging without any “special” admissions assistance. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a university where you could get some of the same benefits, for about half the cost, and actually have a good chance of being admitted? Well, I’d recommend Howard University. In my opinion, it’s one of the most underrated business schools in the United States, based on the opportunities the school offers. As a graduate from Howard’s business program I cannot deny that I’m biased. However, I’ve had years to examine and scrutinize its benefits as well as its shortcomings.
“No man is an island,” they say. And I agree. The need for contact and companionship is as pronounced as the need for food and water in countless species on earth, and humans are no exceptions. Personal relationships are integral to our overall well-being; from them, we get validation, affirmation, and a sense of security. Wanting to belong is common, natural urge.
But when that urge turns into thirst, you’re officially doing too much.
Such is the case of two young ladies, Laurin Compton and Lauren Cofield, who are suing Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated for human rights violations after they were not accepted into the organization. Human rights violations.
Now, listen. I’m all for suing people. I’ve been looking for someone to sue since I was roughly 14 years old. I’m also all for fair treatment and doing whatever you need to do to get the fair treatment you deserve. But suing because someone won’t let you into their club is far too much. And to do so on the basis of a violation of human rights is insulting, in my humble opinion, to people who have suffered actual human rights abuses. You know, things like genocide, racial segregation, human trafficking, things like that. Not being kept out of a club.
I mean, do you really want to be the sister of someone who doesn’t want you around in the first place? If you know that someone is smiling at you because they’re forced to, doesn’t that cheapen things a little bit? Let’s say, for a second, that these ladies win their case and are then admitted. They’re going to be forever known as “those girls (or worse) who sued us.” No one is going to be saving you a seat in the lunchroom, madams. When you show up to parties, now held in the courtyard because your chapter can’t afford to rent out a club thanks to you suing them, nobody is going to be happy to see you. No “hey, girl, come get in this line and make loud, unifying noises with us!” None of that. You’re really going to spend countless time, dimes, stress, and energy to make some people who didn’t like you enough to let you in the first time let you in now? Kindly have a Sprite and a seat and enjoy both until that judgment-clouding thirst is gone.
This is nothing but a tantrum. A big ol’, grown up, ‘give me what I want or I’ll hold my face til I turn blue” tantrum. And speaking of tantrums… Kanye, for some reason, still insists on throwing his own every time he is mentioned on a list that he is not at the top of. Most recently, he called in to HOT97 to whine after he was listed number 7 on MTV’s Hottest MCs in the Game list. At this point, no one can possibly be surprised. But with the tremendous success he’s had throughout his career, you’d think he wouldn’t take each less-than-glowing thing said about him as a mortal offense. There’s plenty of validation just laying around at Kanye’s feet, tons of proof of his abilities as a rapper and entertainer–it’s okay if someone doesn’t like you as much as you do, Kanye. It’s okay. You’re still awesome. You didn’t have to call the radio station and announce that you gave Sway his first television. It really didn’t have to get personal. But, at least he didn’t sue. Yet.
Both Kanye and the jilted AKA pledges seem to think that someone–be it Sway or the AKA organization–owes them something, and that is what stokes the fire of their seemingly unquenchable thirst. As long as they feel so entitled, their mouths will stay absolutely arid and not a fire hose on this planet will be able to help them out.
It’s no surprise that in the black community belonging to the Divine Nine, a historically black fraternity or sorority is big deal for some people. Hurt feelings, deflated pride much drama and in the worst cases even death has been associated with the process of being pledged into one of these organizations.
The latest case of women not making the cut comes from two college seniors at Howard University. Washington City Paper is reporting that Laurin Compton and Lauren Cofield have filed a lawsuit against Alpha Kappa Alpha saying they violated their human rights and Howard University for allowing the hazing to take place.
The women say the hazing began their freshman year when they were invited to “Ivy Day,” a ceremony for outgoing AKAs and prospective pledges or inductees, Howard’s AKA chapter’s pledging privileges have been taken away for past hazing violations.
They claim the hazing came in the form of the AKAs telling them they couldn’t pearls, the colors pink, green or any colors that could be blended to make pink or green. The inductees, who were called “Sweets” or, in some cases, “weak bitches,” were also told they couldn’t speak to non-AKA members.
Compton’s mother, who is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, wrote a letter complaining about the process. Cofield’s mother, also a member, addressed the hazing as well.
From there Compton and Cofield were ostracized by the sorority members being labeled “snitch-friendly” and “snitch-sympathists.”
In 2013, three years later, Compton and Cofield still haven’t been inducted. When they applied again, the Howard chapter told them that their cap for new members had been reached.
Cofield and Compton believe since they’re mothers are both AKAs, and they are subsequently legacy pledges, they should have been the first members offered induction into the sorority. They believe their human rights were violated because they were discriminated against because of their familial connection to the sorority. They are requesting that the court grant an injunction to place the current pledging process on hold.
Do you think these women and their mothers are taking things a little too far, or do they actually have a legit case?
Things aren’t looking too rosy for black Americans and their economic status, despite the fact African American spending power is expect to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015.
A group of scholars met for the African American Economic Summit at Howard University on Friday and they predicted “an alarming picture of the financial ills afflicting the black community even as the nation recovers from the recession,” reports The Washington Post.
Currently the white-black wealth disparity is more than 20 to 1; black homeownership has decreased; and more African Americans are unemployed, meaning income is down. While the economy has been showing signs of recovery, with recent jobs reports showing improvement, unemployment for blacks remains at 13.8 percent. The group of gathered scholars acknowledge that President Obama entered office during the worst economic situation since the Depression. But some think the President needs to more directly address issues of race.
“We are basically talking about an economic system that is shot through with discrimination,” said Bernard E. Anderson, a former assistant secretary of labor, during the meeting. He added that it seemed President Obama had yet to address economic disparities between blacks and whites. “He does not want to be labeled a president who is consumed by racial inequality in this country,” said Anderson, who has previously met with Obama’s economic advisers.
The attendees did not just talk about the problems, they also offered far-reaching, if politically unlikely, policy prescriptions, reports the newspaper. Among the ideas floated was one by Duke University professor William A. Darity Jr., who said policymakers should pursue a large-scale public jobs program to dramatically lower unemployment. Darrick Hamilton, an economist at the New School, added that the government should divert some of the money used to fund the income-tax deduction for mortgage interest to fund “baby bonds” that would provide $15,000 for disadvantaged newborns of any race to invest later in higher education, a business, or a home.
So whose cute kid is this? I’m sure if you look very close at his face, you’ll notice that he looks a great deal like one of our favorite Hollywood starlets. Still not sure? Well, here are a few clues: His famous mom is an Academy Award nominated actress who can hold a note and has done so in some of her most notable film roles. That voice even helped her pay her way through college at Howard when she was a singer and dancer on a dinner cruise ship (she was also a secretary at the Pentagon). When she’s not acting, she’s advocating NOT wearing fur, and even appearing unclothed for PETA to push the cause. And she currently is killing the game as one of the stars on the CBS show, Person of Interest. The answer should be a bit obvious by now…so, who does this handsome fella belong to?
Howard University has groomed some of the best female talent in acting, literature and for the world stage, and the school has also had the same success when it comes to their male students. These 10 prominent men have studied in the school’s classrooms (and cut a rug at the Homecoming festivities…) and have gone on to do amazing things.
Sean “P. Diddy” Combs
Diddy has called himself many names over the years, but each version of himself has always been proud to hype up the time he spent at the famed HBCU. He was majoring in Business when he dropped out in 1989, but has given back to the school in various ways. He was part of the Howard Homecoming in 1995 alongside the Notorious B.I.G., he keeps close ties with current students and even offered support as students protested over housing and financial aid packages in 2009.
If you’ve been living under a rock for like…forever, Howard University is the historical black college in Washington, D.C. that has been one of the leaders for turning students into future leaders of tomorrow. The school also been the alma mater to many high profile black celebrities. Here are 10 ladies who enrolled at HU and either graduated (some with honors) or made a big impact during their time there.
Taraji P. Henson
The Academy Award nominated actress hustled to make her way through college and support herself. She was first enrolled at North Carolina University Agricultural and Technical. She then transferred to Howard and majored in theater. Henson had a job as a secretary at the Pentagon and was a singer and dancer on a cruise ship to help cover the costs of her education. She graduated in 1995 with a degree in theater arts.
There is something about attending a historically black college or university that isn’t always easily summed up in words. There is something special, reverent that—if you are fortunate enough to have attended and graduated from one—you can’t always explain to someone who explored different higher education options. Some people doubt the relevance of an “all black” school in a “real world” that is far from all black. Some dismiss the caliber of education received at HBCUs as sub par.
For those who chose to attend an HBCU when they very easily could have chosen their pick of the litter, you know what others do not. You know that there is no place that can embrace you, challenge you, love you, frustrate you, prepare you and propel you into destiny quite like the right HBCU. You, like I, didn’t reserve your alma mater as a back up plan. You surveyed your myriad options and decided that it, hands down, was the best choice. When others tout their degrees from other institutions they deem more rigorous and acceptable, you smirk because—without taking anything from their accomplishment—you know the truth…and the truth never needs to be argued. It stands alone.
There seems to be a kinship shared amongst graduates of historically black institutions. If you’re out and you come across someone else who graduated from an HBCU, it’s as if there is an immediate commonality, even if he or she attended a different school. “You went to Spelman? Man, I went to Hampton.” And so the conversation goes. It’s almost like we’re all a part of this overarching fraternity. Yet, at the same time there is unending rivalry as well. It is understood that not all HBCUs are created equal. As such, it is common for alumni to one up each other in a quest to solidify their institution of choice as the best.
I recently attended a fundraiser where another attendee asked what school I graduated from. When I responded, he followed with a quick, “Ok, so you graduated from the second best HBCU that exists huh?” Baffled, I asked which institution was considered the best. He informed me that his alma mater, FAMU, was. I chuckled because, again, the truth never needs to be argued.
You see, I am a proud graduate of Howard University, the place we alums affectionately refer to as the Mecca. Like many HBCUs, Howard feels like home. In fact, as you walk onto the hilly campus, you are greeted by a sign that literally says “Welcome Home.” You are surrounded by a sea of beautiful blackness. And while it may seem sometimes that it’s just about looking the part, Howard’s campus is filled with brilliantly beautiful minds. As you walk through the hallways of Douglas Hall, you are reminded of legends who walked those very halls centuries earlier. It is difficult to not be humbled by the sheer weight of the importance that such an institution, and other institutions like it, has played in the history of people of the African Diaspora. It gives me great pride to be associated with such a legacy of excellence.
I recently saw a poster that said that the first African American Supreme Court Justice, African American U.S. Senator, female mayor of a major city, African American female lawyer, African American U.S. governor, African American U.S. Ambassador, African American General in the U.S. Army, and I could go on and on, were all graduates of Howard University. That is what an HBCU education will get you, for those who were wondering. To all of my fellow Bison, I send an “awwwww HU” your way. And to my HBCU companions who didn’t choose Howard, I love you too. But like Kanye, when he hopped on stage and interrupted Taylor Swift, I submit to you “No disrespect to your school, Howard is the best; in fact, it’s the standard.” I kid. Not really.
While I am clearly biased—I unabashedly, indubitably, and unequivocally herald Howard as the best—I am sure that if you are a graduate of a historically black institution that you have a similar pride in your alma mater. Let’s talk about it.
Are you proud that you attend or have graduated from a historically black institution? If so, what sets your school apart from the others?
Sheena Bryant is a writer and blogger in Chicago. Follow her on twitter at @song_of_herself.
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For the HBCU graduates who choose to settle far away from their alma mater, it may be hard to find the right college apparel to rock in support of their favorite school. According to Xconomy, more than half of all African American professionals are graduates of HBCUs, and for Howard University graduate Clover McFadden, they represented a huge untapped market.
“Very few individual universities put their bookstores online, and you don’t get a full selection of apparel,” McFadden said to Xconomy. “There are very few people in the HBCU space, and it’s always apparel for men.”
Shortly after graduating, McFadden went back home to Detroit where she too experienced difficulty finding apparel that showcased her university. Then she heard about the Detroit business incubator financially backed by Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans.
“I thought, ‘That’s it!’ ” McFadden said to Xconomy. “I could see (Detroit’s) turnaround starting to happen and I wanted to be a part of it.”
The HU grad started Circa 1837 in October. The website provides women with a space to find clothing that represents their prospective HBCUs, historically black sororities and several service and social organizations.
Circa 1837 doesn’t just provide “sweatshirts with big logos.” McFadden’s business creates subtle, after-work appropriate attire from cardigans, jackets, yoga pants and tops that currently showcase 28 universities and two sororities.
Since its inception, McFadden divulges that the response has been “great.” She’s had over 17,000 visitors and sold over 700 pieces.
“We’re also getting good feedback—we now offer extended sizes and an expanded range of colors,” she said.
All of the gear is officially licensed. McFadden says that her future goals include extending Circa 1837 to also offer men and children clothing in the upcoming months. She also plans to secure licenses from all 105 HBCUs across the country so that no HBCU alum will need to worry about finding apparel again.
Some say the need for HBCUs has long passed and it’s time to give up the ghost on an “all black everything” college education. Beyond very entertaining halftime shows, legendary homecoming celebrations and the string of news articles on financial mismanagement– a lot of folks just aren’t familiar with what HBCUs have to offer.
The Grio took some time to explain just that:
HBCUs excel as a group as well. A National Science Foundation study found that the top eight colleges producing African Americans who went on to get Ph.Ds. in science and engineering over the previous decade were HBCUs — ahead of Harvard, UC-Berkeley, MIT, Brown and Stanford.
Check out more of the pro-HBCU argument right here!
Do you think HBCUs are still important? Why or why not?