The Digest Five – Top HBCU Cities
An unheralded strength of the historically black college is the surrounding community that supports it. Without good neighbors, institutional influence in athletics, business, public health and secondary education can go unheralded, often with lasting effects on recruitment and reciprocal community development.
Good HBCU communities induce students to remain in the cities in which learn and grow, and they are the biggest resource for any growth in research, fund raising and social advocacy to benefit HBCUs. Here are five of the cities taking an active role in the lives and growth of their black colleges.
5. Greensboro, NC - Bennett College for Women and North Carolina A&T State University are the social and political hubs for youth in Greensboro. Their traditions of political activity and social awareness continue to define the character of their students and the surrounding community. As a result, religious organizations, civic groups and other advocacy organizations in the city look to these schools to head research and economic development pertinent to communities of color in the college-rich region.
4. Washington D.C. - Chocolate City is not only a warm and inviting homecoming host city, but its access to federal government, eclectic social atmosphere and transient cultures make it the ideal place to support diverse initiatives at Howard University and the University of the District of Columbia. Close locale to diplomats, politicians and large corporations give these schools access to deliver thorough discussion and solutions on issues that matter to members of their surrounding communities.
3. Orangeburg, SC – South Carolina State University and Claflin University are leading institutions in research and capacity building opportunities for the City of Orangeburg, and in turn, the city overwhelmingly supports its athletic, social and community development efforts. Additionally, Orangeburg is rapidly growing as a research hub in the S.T.E.M. fields, thanks to strategic partnerships between the city, state and these institutions.
2. Atlanta, GA – With its model black middle class created in large part by HBCU graduates from the 80s and 90s, Atlanta partners with the AUC in a multitude of development opportunities in the liberal arts, business, and sciences. Spelman has hosted film festivals and global sustainability conferences, Morehouse, national town hall meetings and globally-recognized events in embrace of its LGBT community. Clark Atlanta has featured a multitude of forums and programs to address domestic violence, student achievement, entrepreneurship and political awareness – all in benefit of ATL’s community at large.
1. New Orleans, LA - The city’s embrace of the Bayou Classic could be enough to place it high on this list. But, against the backdrop of recovery from Katrina, the city has welcomed research opportunities in health care, reform efforts in secondary education, and civic partnerships with SUNO, Xavier and Dillard to make New Orleans a top city for HBCU shared ad increasing prosperity with its HBCUs.