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EDUCATIONAL Development The State of Historically Black Colleges and Universities with Dr. Julianne Malveaux BY LIBRA WHITE A long history of supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HB-s an organization committed to both academic excellence and the em-powerment of the Black community, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has a CUs). The Sorority’s eternal bond with HBCUs was birthed nearly a century ago when 22 female students on the campus of Howard University—one of the nation’s most renowned HBCUs—founded what would become the single largest African- American women’s organization in the country, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.. With the historical election of President Barack Obama, the nation’s fi rst Af- rican-American President, the relevance of HBCUs has often been called into question under the pretense that race relations in this country is a thing of the past. As an added obstacle, the current economic crisis has drastically affected the funding of colleges and universities across the country, particularly already strug- gling HBCUs. Dr. Julianne Malveaux is the president of Bennett College for Women, one of 105 HBCUs in the United States. Bennett College for Women was the recipient of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Distinguished Professor Endowed Chair in 2010. Recently, the DELTA Journal checked in with Dr. Malveaux, who also serves as Dr. Julianne Malveaux honorary co-chair of the Sorority’s National Social Action Commission, to get her take on the current state of HBCUs. DELTA Journal: What are the again. So, there is a missioning issue. I biggest challenges facing HBCUs think the third biggest challenge is how today? to connect ourselves to 21st century is- Dr. Malveaux: I think one of the big- sues; how to be not behind the curve, gest challenges is money. I think that but ahead of the curve, around issues all of higher education is grappling like technology and global education. with issues of funding, but HBCUs es- pecially. I think the second big issue DELTA Journal: What do you is mission. Many people want us to re- think are the solutions for these prove ourselves again and again. “Why challenges? do we have HBCUs?” “Do we still need Dr. Malveaux: I tell people all the HBCUs?” You hear that over and over time if they didn’t go to an HBCU, adopt 68 ▲ DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.


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