Clark Atlanta University (CUA) had a big day on Saturday: two graduations took place, a massive, historic number of donations occurred, and Stacey Abrams gave the commencement speeches to about about 4,000 students.
The HBCU secured $5 million for three of its upcoming entrepreneurial, leadership, and social justice projects. The three million dollars was donated by House of Cheatham, best known its hair products, for a center that will be renamed after House of Cheatham’s founder, former state senator Robert H. Bell, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“These significant new resources to fund entrepreneurial programming will enable Clark Atlanta University to continue to graduate our students with a competitive edge to become successful career leaders, innovators and social justice change agents,” Clark Atlanta President George T. French Jr. said in a statement.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a foundation created by Facebook creator CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, who is a pediatrician and teacher, awarded a Racial Equity Grant worth $1 million for CUA’s Executive Leadership Institute. The institute was designed to train the generation of future presidents at HBCUs.
The average tenure of a HBCU president is three years; college presidents elsewhere last between six and eight years, according to AJC.
With a $1 million investment and a center named after the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation board chairman Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., CUA will have a social justice institute.
Civics education, voting rights, racial, economic, gender and social justice policy research, youth civic leadership development, entrepreneurship, and community outreach are some of the topics the institution will prioritize.
“The institute will provide a unique opportunity to invest in the next generation of civil rights, women’s rights and social justice leadership to continue the fight for racial, economic, gender and social justice that lies ahead,” the coalition’s president Melanie L. Campbell said.
The need for Atlanta’s largest private school to have social justice after former President Donald Trump lost Gerogia after it turned blue. Many political analysts credited Abrams and large groups of political active Black people fighting for social justice with the switch.