HBCUS Benefit From Missouri Effect

By Free Radical

Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University

In a Washington Post  op-ed, Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University in New Orleans, writes that Historically Black Colleges and Universities such as his have recently experienced an enrollment spike in response to what some observers have called the  “Missouri effect.” Last year, a number of predominantly White universities, most notably the University of Missouri’s Columbia campus, experienced student protests. These protests addressed both singular act of racism and microagressions as well as the exposure of systemic oppression.

In the op-ed, Kimbrough notes “Freshman enrollment is up 49 percent at Shaw University, 39 percent at South Carolina State, 32 percent at Tuskegee University, 30 percent at Virginia State University, 22 percent at Dillard University, 22 percent at Central State University, 20 percent at Florida Memorial University, and 19 percent at Delaware State University.”

Harris-Stowe, just miles away from Ferguson, which also inspired campus activism, experienced enrollment growth as well.

Kimbrough sees HBCUs as safeguards from the racial isolation experienced at predominantly White schools where there are “more black students on brochures than on a campus tour.”

Yet the college president rebuffs the notion that HBCUs are racially insular and do not prepare graduates for the “real world.” He cites a number of HBCU alums such as Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, Diane Nash, and Jesse Jackson who made it their life’s work to bridge the racial divide.

For more on his op-ed, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *