Common Cause North Carolina are looking for undergraduate students to be Democracy Fellows on their campus this fall. There are available positions at Bennett, Shaw, NCCU, NC A&T State, WSSU and Fayetteville State.

The HBCU Democracy Fellows will work closely with Common Cause College Outreach Coordinators and Fellows at HBCUs across the state of North Carolina to boost civic engagement and promote the value of becoming lifelong participants in democracy on their campus.

HBCU Democracy Fellows will focus on increasing student turnout in elections and student activism by:

• creatively communicating with peers about the importance of students voting and having a voice in decisions affecting their everyday lives, their futures, and our HBCUs.

• disseminating information about the voting processes (voter registration, requesting absentee ballots, accessing polling locations, voting early, etc).

• connecting issues of interest to the importance of voting.

• assisting students in joining ongoing community efforts.

This is a 10 hour minimum per week commitment for the fall semester with the opportunity for advancement in the spring. Selected Democracy Fellows will receive $500 upon successful completion of the program or course credit (if offered by the school). The Common Cause College Outreach Coordinator will work with each Democracy Fellow to secure internship course credit where possible.

To apply:

1. Submit your resume* as a PDF with the file name “Last Name, First Name Resume” (ex. Sanders, Dominique Resume) by email to Use the subject line “Resume – Democracy Fellowship at [Your School].”

2. Complete and submit the application using this online form.

3. If you have any questions, contact Alyssa Canty, Fayetteville and Triangle college outreach coordinator at 919-987-1366 or Reggie Weaver, Triad college outreach coordinator at 336-365-2378.

*All applications submitted without a resume will be considered incomplete and not reviewed

Bennett College’s 18th President Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins.

GREENSBORO, NC – The Bennett College Board of Trustees announced Wednesday the appointment of Dr. Phyllis Worthy Dawkins as the institution’s eighteenth president. Dawkins assumes the presidency after serving as interim president since August 15, 2016.

According to a press release from the college, Dawkins is an accomplished leader in higher education who understands the inner-workings of the accreditation process and has a wealth of experience at historically black colleges and universities. Prior to coming to Bennett, she served as acting president of Cheyney University in Cheyney, Pennsylvania, where she was also provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. She has also worked at Dillard University in New Orleans and Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina

“The Bennett College Board of Trustees is please with Dr. Dawkins’ performance during the period in which she served as interim president,” said Dr. Gladys Ashe Robinson, BOT chairwoman and a Democratic Senator from Guildord County. “She has developed a genuine relationship with students, faculty, staff and alumnae and is reaching into the religious, civic and philanthropic communities to engage them in Bennett’s present and future sustainability. We are confident that Dr. Dawkins, along with the support of trustees, will reenergize, reorganize and rebrand Bennett for future success.”

Dawkins assumes the top academic post at Bennett with five primary goals: increase enrollment and retention; strengthen academic offerings; increase funding to enhance budgeting; strengthen the accreditation status; and revise, implement and assess the strategic plan.

“I am extremely honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve as president of such an esteemed institution,” Dawkins said. “Bennett College was founded in 1873 and became women’s only in 1926. In the nine decades that Bennett has been one of only two all-women’s HBCUs in the country, she has produced outstanding leaders including the first African-American female surgeon in the south, the first African-American woman to become a district attorney in North Carolina and the current Deputy Minority Leader in the State Legislature.

“I have been thoroughly impressed with the students, staff and faculty of Bennett College since arriving in Greensboro in November 2015,” Dawkins continued. “For years Bennett has been on of the community’s best-kept secrets, but I plan to work in concert with the BOT, faculty, staff, students and alumnae to ensure the institution’s visibility is raised. I am very grateful to the Board

“I have been thoroughly impressed with the students, staff and faculty of Bennett College since arriving in Greensboro in November 2015,” Dawkins continued. “For years Bennett has been one of the community’s best-kept secrets, but I plan to work in concert with the BOT, faculty, staff, students and alumnae to ensure the institution’s visibility is raised. I am very grateful to the Board for entrusting me with such an awesome responsibility, and I look forward to working closely with them to ensure we position Bennett College to continue educating young women for generations to come.”

Under Dawkins’ interim leadership, in June Bennett signed a Memorandum of Understanding with American Language Academy that will help increase the institution’s numbers of international students. In late May, Dawkins traveled with eight students and a staff member to Seoul, South Korea, to establish faculty and student exchange programs. Later this month she and another staff member will travel to South Africa to further enhance Bennett’s International Program. Moreover, the college has several MOUs under negotiation, including one involving a global exchange program.

During her time as interim president, Dawkins was highly engaged with students. Additionally, she has reinvigorated Bennett’s relationship with several church denominations. She worked with the Rev. Dr. Daran H. Mitchell, senior pastor of Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church and President of the Pulpit Forum of Greensboro, to raise money for the college. Mitchell gave Bennett’s Baccalaureate address in May. In January, Dawkins delivered the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. keynote address at First Baptist Church in Reidsville, North Carolina, before members of the Ministerial Alliance of Reidsville and Vicinity, and in late May she delivered a Women’s Day address at Shiloh Baptist Church in Greensboro.

Dawkins has also strengthened the college’s relationship with its founding denomination, the United Methodist Church, by hosting the Black Methodists for Church Renewal’s annual Roll Call in April and also attending a retreat of the United Methodist Church’s Western North Carolina Conference at Lake Junaluska in June.

Dawkins has actively engaged with the institution’s alumnae, attending numerous chapter events and sponsoring Alumnae Donor Retreats. Under her leadership, alumnae giving and the overall percentage of alumnae gifts are up.

In May during commencement weekend, a $1.5 million scholarship campaign in honor of Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole was announced, Bennett officials have begun talks with Guildford County Schools about opening a school for foster care children on campus, and just this week Dawkins participated in a recruitment event with Church of God in Christ leaders in Charlotte.

For more information about Dr. Dawkins, read her full bio here:

Bennett College, Kentucky State University, Florida Memorial University, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Oakwood University, St. Augustine’s University, Bluefield State College, Rust College, and Lane College are among the top universities in the south according to recently released 2017 U.S. News and World Report College Rankings.

Bennett College ranked #9, Kentucky State University ranked #16 (tied with Newberry College and Tennessee Wesleyan College), Florida Memorial University ranked #23 (tied with Keiser University, Lees-McRae College, Shorter University and Williams Baptist College), University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff ranked #42 (tied with College of Coastal Georgia and Warner University), Oakwood University ranked #47 (tied with North Carolina Wesleyan College), St. Augustine’s University ranked #49, Bluefield State College and Rust College ranked #52 (tied with Chipola College, and Georgia Gwinnett College), and Lane College ranked #56 (tied with Our Lady of Holy Cross College and University of Arkansas at Fort Smith).

This category is classified by regional colleges which is defined by its emphasis on undergraduate education while awarding less than half of its degrees in liberal arts disciplines.

“Congratulations to the following HBCU’s that are recognized by the U.S. News and World Report. It is a very distinct pleasure to know that those institutions are providing a quality education to future leaders that after leaving the campuses will take on the world by force using what knowledge that the HBCU’s provided with to the best of their abilities and providing services in making the world a better place.” said Demetrius Johnson, Jr., President and Founder of HCF.

You can check out the full list of the Regional Colleges South Rankings as well as other rankings that HBCU institutions may have made by U.S. News and Report here.