As the countdown begins to the most controversy moment of the year, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) organization stands in support of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivering the commencement address at Bethune-Cookman University on Wednesday, May 10th at 12 noon.
There are a mass number of disagreement towards the commencement address speaker. Conversely, I came to an understanding of everyone’s reasoning. Notwithstanding, neither do I agree with the outroar of individual’s reaction towards DeVos nor President Jackson and his administration decision. I also do not agree with the comparison of DeVos and Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. What Dr. Bethune left is her legacy of faith, scholarship, and service and that’s what exactly should be accountable during this exhilarating moment of excellence. As you come to your milestone of celebrating an accomplishment that is another tremendous step in life, DeVos as a speaker should be the one less thing in mind at that given time.
Yes, DeVos said historically black colleges and universities were pioneers of school choice but students, alumni, and supporters know exactly what the historic background of HBCU’s are and what they stand for as of today. HBCU’s current relied on the federal support such as from the Department of Education either you like or not and they also are institutions that are open to all races no matter of the founding background. Accordingly, to what Dr. Jackson stated, Dr. Bethune relied on support from leaders in order to get the institution off the ground regarding their feelings of what type of institution it is. As we move through the millennial that federal support is more crucial than ever, it’s very vital that HBCU leaders continue to invite political leaders to their institution’s state and federal. Even Dr. Bethune once worked in federal as an advisor on minority affairs in the Roosevelt Administration, was given a chance to organize two national conferences on the problems of black Americans.
Leaving us her last will & testament, she left us racial dignity, stating that we must learn to also share and mix with men (and women too). We must make an effort to be less race conscious of individual and human values. Consequently, I take it in as to be mindful of what DeVos said regarding HBCU’s but continue to grow and learn from it as well as relying on the institutional support from these individuals. If they are uneducated regarding an HBCU, let’s educate and school them, lead them in the correct direction of what an HBCU serves in academic excellence.
As referring to life lessons, God forgives and gives his children second chances repeatedly and DeVos deserves a second chance in stepping on an HBCU campus and serving as commencement speaker at Bethune-Cookman University. You never know, what she has in store as a speech and may even be regretful of her comment towards HBCU’s. Enter to learn, Depart to serve is a motto of what Dr. Bethune founded more than 145 years ago, which she left the responsibility to young people that are to not be discouraged from aspiring toward greatness, for they are to be the leaders of tomorrow.