A few months ago, a panelist on the Digest After Dark podcast asked where could she purchase authentic HBCU apparel from a company that in return, supports our HBCUs. The first entity that came to mind was Last Bison Standing. LBS is a licensed vendor and one that was originally created to provide financial assistance and funding for community service initiatives for Howard University students.
Ishmale Powell is a 15-year-old high school graduate whose story has gone viral—not just because of his scholastic achievement and age — but because he has to crowdsource for his post-secondary education despite having a 4.5 grade point average, 1130 SAT score, and 22 ACT score.
Something is wrong with that.
Taylor V. Smith is a current first-year graduate student at The George Washington University (GWU) studying Higher Education Administration. Her research interests include analyzing structures and systems that support as well as enhance retention and graduation rates at HBCUs, TRIO programs, and the role of college access programs assisting first-generation college students to and through college.
We are about to learn a hard lesson―the hard way―Howard is not invincible.
Truthfully, I wish that I was writing something different. But I am not. [Read more…] about The “Whistleblower” Who Gambled with Truth & Service
Krystal Leaphart is a passionate leader and emerging champion for intersectional racial justice. Krystal serves her communities at the margins of organizing, advocacy, and facilitation; she has extensive experience working and volunteer with civil rights organization, civic engagement nonprofits, and community service organizations. She currently serves as the Special Assistant and Policy Associate at the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women, or NOBEL Women. Originally established in 1985 as a national organization to increase and promote the presence of black women in government, NOBEL Women in recent years has expanded its vision to serve as a global voice to address a myriad of issues affecting the lives of all women. She served as the Chief of Staff for IMPACT, a nonprofit that fosters civic engagement, political involvement, and economic empowerment for young professionals of color.
Krystal is originally from Detroit, Michigan. She moved to Washington, DC to pursue a degree in Sociology from Howard University. While on campus, Krystal was active with several campus organizations and movements including the Women as Change
Agents (WACA), Elect Her, Bethune Annex Debate Team and she served as President for the Howard University Chapter of the NAACP. While President, she led the chapter in protest around the execution of Troy Davis, the murder of Trayvon Martin, and helped register thousands of students to vote in the 2012 election.
In addition to her on campus activism, she held FIVE undergraduate internships with the NAACP Washington Bureau, the Office of U.S. Congressman John Conyers, the Public Policy Department for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, DC Office of Human Rights, and Operation Understanding DC. Krystal is a veteran student activist and always ready, willing, and able to assist current Howard students and their activist pursuits.
While working in the community, she began to do work with black woman and girls advocacy efforts. Krystal served as a mentor lead with the Dreamgirls, now EmpowerGirls program with the YWCA National Capital Area. As a Lead, she went above and beyond to facilitate conversations with middle and high school girls around racism, diversity, black women in civil rights, and privilege.
While working with the mentoring program, she was invited to serve on their Young Women’s Leadership Council. As a chair of the advocacy committee the council, she is also the co-chair for the advocacy board committee. In this work, Krystal brings her expertise in intersectionality, racial justice, and safety for black women and girls. This work has also led to Krystal getting involved with Aya Incorporated, a two-tier professional development mentorship program based in Southeast DC and Howard University.
As a facilitator and speaker, she has spoken about anti-black racism, elements of civil rights movements, and the plight of black women and girls. Recently, Krystal was named as an inaugural Boss Girl by the Pace Center for Girls in Florida. She received this award because she is committed to community advocacy and intersectional organizing. In September 2017, Krystal served as Campaign Lead for the March for Black Women. She organized youth and college-aged DC students. Recently Krystal was honored by the Safety Pin box team; she accepted the #BlackWomenBeing award. This award is given to black women or femme activist leaders in the community.
Krystal is motivated by her family, friends and black women and girls that have been involved in civil rights work.
Arguably, the two most important black spaces in America are HBCUs and the Black Church. The importance and connection of both is outlined in the new documentary, “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” The title of this documentary is attributed Richard Wright Sr., and serves as a directive which influenced not just the arc of the film, but several historically black campuses.
Lance Woods works as a Dream Director with The Future Project―an organization that is building a movement to turn schools across the country into places that unlock the passion and purpose of everyone inside them. As a Dream Director, Lance has an opportunity every day at Cody High School-Academy of Public Leadership, to inspire students to become believers in their own futures and to courageously act on it.
Jarrell V. Jordan understands the value of HBCU outreach in secondary school systems. In 2016, he established the Importance of Education Tour to motivate and inspire students and parents about the prospects of historically black colleges in career development―all while balancing life as a sophomore political science and religion major at Morehouse College and being named as an Ambassador for the White House Initiative on HBCUs All-Star Ambassador program.