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More than ever, the Tom Joyner Foundation is committed to the future of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. HBCUs continue to play an important part of educating our nation’s youth and producing future doctors, lawyers, business executives, scientists and philanthropists. Even as the country is working its way out of one of its toughest economic periods in decades, the Foundation has been working with HBCUs around the country in various ways through programs, scholarships and capacity building.
You know HBCUs are close to my heart. Every time I speak at a commencement, I am thrilled to get the hugs from students, parents, Aunties, Momos and PawPaws who are thankful, tearful and full of pride to have a college graduate. That’s why this 22-year-old Foundation is forever thankful to the thousands of donors who have supported us, and as a result, the students, faculty and administrators at these HBCUs.
Look, I know this economy is taking its toll on so many of us, but I remain driven to make sure our beloved HBCUs are here today – and tomorrow. It may seem cliché, but James Weldon Johnson said it best in his poem, Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, and what has become known as the Black national anthem:
“Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us, Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us; Facing the rising sun of our new day begun, Let us march on till victory is won.”
So, no matter what anyone says, the Tom Joyner Foundation will invest in programs that will continue to produce scholars, athletes, politicians, corporate executives – in short, game changers. That’s right, students who will make a difference in whatever field they enter. I know that graduates of HBCUs get an experience that’s enriching, nurturing and confidence-building. That’s the foundation of success.
Now, and well into the future, the Foundation will help arm the next generation of leaders with the tools they need to succeed.