United Negro College Fund (UNCF) led a national social media campaign on yesterday (October 26), urging the Senate to provide at least $5 million for the HBCU Historic Preservation Program, as passed by the House before Congress adjourns.
“HBCUs have a significant place in American history and provide incredible value and values to minority and low-income students, and to communities in which they reside,” said Cheryl Smith, UNCF senior vice president of public policy and government affairs. “The HBCU Historic Preservation Program serves as an essential purpose to HBCUs, which have a special place in the fabric of American history, culture and education. We look forward to working with the Senate to ensure final passage before the 114th Congress adjourns.”
According to UNCF, no federal funds have been provided since 2009 for the restoration of historic buildings at HBCUs; however this year there is a chance to secure funding in the FY 2017 budget.
UNCF suggest several ways to help #PreserveHBCUs. One of the suggestion is to post pictures on social media of a historic building at an HBCU campus that need restoration (Twitter tweet example below). Second suggestion is to write a letter and e-mail or tweet to your Senator, you can view their letter here, which you can personalize and send directly to both of your U.S. Senators. It’s as simple as entering your zip code.
— HBCU Campaign Fund (@HBCUCampaign) October 26, 2016
“Thanks to Congressman James E. Clyburn (D-SC), a proud HBCU alumnus, this important bill is moving one step closer to the finish line, but further action is desperately required,” said UNCF President and CEO, Dr. Michael Lomax. “HBCUs are indeed national treasures and we invite everyone to join us today in supporting the restoration of more than 700 historic buildings on HBCU campuses.”
HBCU historic preservation was a signature of UNCF initiative from 1995 through 1999 when UNCF partnered with the National Park Service to support the rehabilitation of historic structures on 10 HBCU campuses. Historic preservation remains a UNCF strategic priority today as several HBCUs this year are celebrating or approaching 150 years of existence.
“HCF is proud to join UNCF as advocates of HBCUs in this vital movement of making a move and a voice in obtaining Congress attention in moving this initiative forward to receiving the appropriate funding that it deserves. HBCUs are absolutely national treasures and the history of these prestigious institutions as well as the buildings should remain in the American history for years forthcoming. The tradition and history of our HBCU institutions and historic buildings are what continues to add value to the students who these institutions produce as our future leaders. HCF will strive to participate in all ways we can in assisting UNCF to preserve historic buildings on HBCU campuses and we ask that all our supporters will stand with us as well to assist UNCF in making a better day to a beautification of the historic beautiful HBCU campuses across the nation.” said HCF President and Founder Demetrius Johnson Jr.
For more information regarding UNCF #PreserveHBCUs Campaign visit here.