Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. is seeking to raise $1 million in 24 hours to make an impact on the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities on Monday.
The Chicago-based sorority is celebrating its second AKA HBCU Impact Day on Sept. 16 by raising the money for the AKA-HBCU Endowment Fund. The fundraising drive comes as some HBCUs are reportedly facing risk of accreditation loss and budget challenges.
“With our 111-year history, our sorority has always emphasized education and today we are raising money for HBCUs,” said Candace Jackson, vice president of Xi Zeta Omega chapter in Washington, D.C.
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Meanwhile, President Donald Trump last week said that HBCUs with religious affiliations would no longer be barred from receiving federal funding for construction projects. The shift, based on a recent Justice Department legal opinion, affects more than 40 faith-based HBCUs and seminaries, The Associated Press reported.
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Trump told HBCU leaders that “no one has done more for you than me” during his remarks to leaders and attendees at the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities conference last week in Washington, D.C.
Trump also used the speech to review assistance he’s provided to HBCUs since taking office, including signing a farm bill that included more than $100 million for scholarships and research at certain historically black colleges and universities.
Trump said federal law had restricted more than 40 faith-based HBCUs and seminaries from fully tapping a program that provides federal loan guarantees for their construction projects.
“This meant that your faith-based institutions, which have made such extraordinary contributions to America, were unfairly punished for their religious beliefs,” the president said.
Trump announced that a recent Justice Department legal opinion declared such “discriminatory restrictions” to be unconstitutional.
“From now on, faith-based HBCUs will enjoy equal access to federal support,” he said.
The White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities was created by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. Trump announced the program was moved from the Department of Education and relocated to the White House.
Last year, the AKAs raised $1.2 million during their inaugural AKA Impact Day.
"This was a historic moment for Alpha Kappa Alpha, but it was also just as historic and meaningful for our HBCU families," said AKA International President Dr. Glenda Baskin Glover, who is also president of Tennessee State University, and an HBCU graduate.
The first installments were presented during Black History Month this year to 32 colleges and universities. Most received $50,000, such as Lincoln University and Norfolk State University, but Bennett College for Women received $100,000 as their accreditation was at risk.