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Historically Black Colleges and Universities Are Key to Black Americans Achieving Economic Success

New Haven, September 1, 2021 – The Prosperity Foundation (TPF) is excited to celebrate Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Awareness Month.

Historical Black Colleges and Universities, make up only 3% of the country’s colleges and universities, yet they enroll 10% of all Black students and produce almost 20% of all Black graduates in the US. For over 180 years, HBCUs have exhibited excellence in higher education and served as engines of opportunity and advancement for thousands of Black Americans. HBCUs are rooted in faith, community, and service. These institutions were founded with specific goals, to serve the Black community, to reduce the racial gap in financial literacy, and improve Black representation in government and the workforce.

Established in the mid-19th century to provide African descendants the opportunity to obtain undergraduate and graduate-level education, over 100 HBCUs have since been founded to educate Black students, instill strong values, and achieve greater economic success. These institutions have provided undergraduate training for 75% of all Black officers in the armed forces, 75% of all Black people holding a doctoral degree, and 80% of all Black federal judges. More than 80% of all Black Americans who received degrees in medicine and dentistry were taught at HBCUs. HBCUs have played a significant role in enhancing equal educational opportunity for all Black people and lead the way in institutions granting bachelor's degrees to Black students in the physical sciences, life sciences, engineering, and mathematics.

Over the years, there have been several initiatives established to increase the capacity of HBCUs to provide the highest-quality education to an increasing number of students. These initiatives are often established and supported by government agencies, private-sector employers, educational associations, philanthropic organizations, and other affiliates. A key milestone of support is President Jimmy Carter’s White House Initiatives for HBCUs. On August 8, 1980, he signed Executive Order 12232 which directed the Secretary of Education to implement a federal initiative to eliminate barriers that unfairly resulted in reduced participation in and reduced benefits from federally sponsored programs. President Carter’s Administration also instituted a National HBCU week and conference designated to pay tribute to HBCUs for their legacy of providing equal opportunities for higher education. Still celebrated today, President Trump, under Executive Order 13779 renewed the initiatives on HBCUs.

To commemorate this month, The Prosperity Foundation is proud to host a series of events to recognize HBCU alumni in our community and present to aspiring students, academic opportunities available to them at these great institutions. The series will feature community leaders who will discuss the State of the Union relative to HBCUs, demystify attending college, and an immersive educational program on entrepreneurship. We invite you to join us during this month of activities as we continue to invest in our community, our education, financial prosperity, and the future of our youth.

While there are a number of events scheduled, a feature student event is an entrepreneurship workshop series held on both September 18 & 25 from 11am to 3pm. Topics covered are Introduction to Entrepreneurship, Business Model Canvas, Leadership, Pitch Essentials, just to name a few. The series is appropriate for students in 9th grade and forward.

To register, please contact Kelaiah Lawrence |



Media Contacts

Kelaiah Lawrence |

About The Prosperity Foundation

The Prosperity Foundation was created to establish a sustainable system of support to meet the unique needs of the Black community. The Prosperity Foundation accomplishes this by providing educational programs in healthcare and economics as well as grants to Black families and black owned non-profit organizations.

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