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Community Engagement

The Local Take Talks HBCU Love With CAU Trustee Thomas W. Dortch, Jr.

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This week on WCLK's The Local Take(Saturdays 8am) I speak with Atlanta Business leader and Clark Atlanta University Trustee and Alumnus Thomas Dortch. The last few months have been notable for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). We've seen the establishment the HBCU Executive Leadership Institute at CAU, the establishment of a Knight Foundation Chair in Journalism at Howard University, significant donations from MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, and Deion Sanders coaching at Jackson State University.  It makes Stanley Nelson's 2017 PBS Documentary on HBCUs "Tell Them We Are Rising" seem prophetic. 

Thomas Dortch recently made a $1 million dollar donation to establish the Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. Southern Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Justice at Clark Atlanta University.  He speaks about the giants in the history of Clark Atlanta University and the on-going innovation taking place on our campus from the Propel Center to the Executive Leadership Institute. 

Many HBCUs have experienced tremendous growth in enrollments, Morris Brown is back, even star atheletes are signing with HBCUs.  I ask if we are experiencing a renaissance. 

Dortch helped establish the National Black College Hall of Fame in 1988.  This is a non-profit organization that recognizes the achievements of HBCU graduates. This weekend gathering includes college beauty queens and one of the largest gatherings of Div. 1 and Div. 2 college golfers and much more.  He shares why it is important for us to honor this legacy.  He goes on to mention that in 1930 there were 230 HBCUs but today there are only 104.

For more information on Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. 

For more information on Clark Atlanta University.