TMCF ANNOUNCES 30th ANNIVERSARY AWARDS GALA HONORARY CONGRESSIONAL HOST COMMITTEE

WASHINGTON, DC – (October 19, 2017) – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) announces its 30th Anniversary Awards Gala Honorary Congressional Host Committee consisting of members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives. U.S. Senators represented on the Host Committee include Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). U.S. Representatives include Alma Adams (D-NC), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Virginia Foxx (R-VA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Terri Sewell (D-AL), Bobby Scott (D-VA), and Mark Walker (R-NC).

With 98 percent of all revenue going directly to HBCU students and schools, TMCF’s gala is one of Washington DC’s largest, non-political, annual fundraising events, with over $50 million raised for HBCUs since its inception in 1987. TMCF has always had bipartisan and bicameral support from elected officials as advocacy on behalf of the nation’s Black College Community is one of the main pillars of TMCF’s work.

“Bipartisanship is the only way TMCF has been able to be an effective voice on Capitol Hill for our nation’s publicly-supported HBCUs and PBIs for the past 30 years,” said TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.  “Having the trust and support of so many Members of Congress is a testament to the fact that our work crosses party lines. On both sides of the aisle and in both chambers of Congress, there continues to be a growing caucus of legislators who are saying yes, black colleges and universities do matter.”

This year’s sold out black-tie affair will honor TIAA President and Chief Executive Officer, Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. as CEO of the Year; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Partner Richard S. Lincer with the Thurgood Marshall Legacy Award; and Delaware State University President, Dr. Harry Lee Williams with the Educational Leadership Award.

For more information about TMCF, the Gala or this year’s honorees, please visit www.tmcf.org/gala.

NOTE: Members of the working press who wish to cover this event, must obtain press credentials by contacting Mr. Paris Dennard at paris.dennard@tmcf.org.
###

About Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF)
Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the PK-12 and higher education space. The organization is also the source of top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit: www.tmcf.org.

THURGOOD MARSHALL COLLEGE FUND CELEBRATES 30th ANNIVERSARY YEAR WITH BLACK-TIE AWARDS GALA

WASHINGTON, DC – (October 17, 2017) – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is celebrating 30 years as the premier organization for advocating, supporting and investing in our nation’s publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBUs) and Predominantly Black Colleges and Universities (PBIs) at its 30th Anniversary Awards Gala, October 23, 2017 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

The Gala recognizes individuals who have been leaders in their industries and represent the legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall. This year TMCF will honor TIAA President and Chief Executive Officer, Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. as CEO of the Year, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP Partner Richard S. Lincer with the Thurgood Marshall Legacy Award, and Delaware State University President, Dr. Harry Lee Williams with the Educational Leadership Award.

In addition to the corporate CEOs, congressional members, and other key education influencers coming out to help celebrate this special occasion, the attendance will include over 500 HBCU students, presidents, chancellors, faculty, and middle and high school scholars who were all attendees for TMCF’s award-winning Leadership Institute, which precedes the gala. Additionally, celebrity guests, Jussie Smollett, Vivica A. Fox, Darryl M. Bell, Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber, Kevin Frazier, and Hall of Famer and NBA Cares Ambassador Bob Lanier will be in attendance.

“For 30 years TMCF has been a beacon of light for so many deserving students and our member-schools,” said TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor Jr. “This year’s honorees exemplify the very best Corporate America, law and higher education. We’re able to develop minds and deliver dreams through the support of our generous partners and friends who understand that without money, there is no mission.”

The proceeds from the black-tie gala will enable TMCF to continue its 30-year vision of changing the world, one leader at a time. TMCF’s gala is one of Washington DC’s largest, non-political, annual fundraising events, raising millions of dollars for its member-schools since its inception in 1987.

For more information about TMCF, the Gala or this year’s honorees, please visit www.tmcf.org/gala.

NOTE: Members of the media, who wish to cover the gala, must obtain press credentials by contacting Mr. Paris Dennard at paris.dennard@tmcf.org.
###

About Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF)
Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the PK-12 and higher education space. The organization is also the source of top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit: www.tmcf.org.

TMCF’S 17th ANNUAL LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE BRINGS OVER 500 HBCU AND PBI STUDENTS, LEADERSHIP AND FACULTY TO WASHINGTON DC

WASHINGTON, DC (October 10, 2017) – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) will assemble one of the largest development and recruiting conferences of Historically Black College and University (HBCU) presidents, chancellors, faculty, and students at its 17th Annual award-winning Leadership Institute, presented by Wells Fargo, in Washington, DC at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Starting October 20th, the four-day conference includes development and leadership workshops, networking events and a private recruitment fair. Over 60 of the country’s top Fortune 500 companies, federal government agencies and graduate program representatives will be offering full-time jobs, internships and continuing education opportunities to the HBCU and PBI students in attendance. This year, the Leadership Institute will include the presidents, chancellors and faculty from TMCF’s 47 member-schools, as well as scholars from the Vivian Burey Marshall STEM Pilot Initiative, a TMCF pipeline initiative to HBCUs. This group of eight to tenth grade students will be on hand to listen, learn and witness first-hand what competition and comradery at the college level is like.

“If it wasn’t for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, my future goals would not have been as attainable. I was raised on the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.” TMCF without a doubt has contributed to that village and eased certain burdens in my life, said class of 2016 Leadership Institute student, Alex McKee. “TMCF invested in me as a college student and that investment has inspired me to be an investor in future endeavors of my life. I stand eternally grateful to TMCF for allowing me to be able to not just chase my dreams but to realize my dreams.”

TMCF’s Leadership Institute is a national program that aims to develop the student-attendees’ leadership skills, create a community of like-minded scholars, provide companies and government agencies access to overlooked diverse talent, and help students make connections that lead to “good” jobs.

“At its core, TMCF is about investing in our member-school students today, so they can be the global leaders of tomorrow. Our Leadership Institute is the primary vehicle putting our students on the road to opportunity and success,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., TMCF President & CEO. “For 17 years our partners – from so many sectors – have come to Leadership Institute to diversify their expanding workforce with the most talented students who happen to attend one of our publicly-supported HBCUs or PBIs.” “I am extremely excited to have our member-school leadership and faculty at the Leadership Institute this year. In order to develop our students we have to focus on and have the support of the faculty and administration as well.”

The Leadership Institute concludes with all participants attending TMCF’s 30th Anniversary Awards Gala on October 23, 2017. This convening of high school students being groomed to attend an HBCU or PBI, to the students attending these schools and finally the faculty and administration leading these schools all under one roof to develop and sustain the Black College Community is a first and historic achievement for TMCF as the organization celebrates its 30th Anniversary.

NOTE: Members of the media, who wish to cover Leadership Institute, must obtain press credentials by contacting Mr. Paris Dennard at paris.dennard@tmcf.org.

###

ABOUT THE THURGOOD MARSHALL COLLEGE FUND (TMCF)
Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member-schools include the publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Predominantly Black Institutions, enrolling nearly 80% of all students attending black colleges and universities. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the PK-12 and higher education space. The organization is also the source of top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.

TMCF is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, charitable organization. For more information about TMCF, visit: www.tmcf.org.

Parents Need Charters, Change and Choice

diverse-issues-education

As more than 50 million students go back to school, Americans of every background and political persuasion should agree on one basic bedrock goal: No matter where these young people live, no matter how much money their parents earn and no matter their race or ethnicity, they all deserve an excellent education. That is a basic promise of American life, set forth in 1954 in the historic Supreme Court decision, Brown v. Board of Education, and countless federal and state laws, court orders and public policies over more than six decades.

While much progress has been made, the promise of equal access to quality education has not been fully fulfilled. Too many public schools are shortchanging children of color, especially in fragile communities with severe socioeconomic challenges.

About three quarters of African-American and Latino students are assigned to public schools where most students come from low-income households. From 2001 through 2014, the number of African-American and Latino students attending impoverished public schools increased by 11 percent. These schools are often failure factories, with only 18 percent of African-American fourth graders proficient in reading and only 19 percent proficient in math, according to the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress.

You’d expect the advocates for equal educational opportunities would be demanding what President Franklin D. Roosevelt called “bold, persistent experimentation.” But we still hear warnings about the risks inherent in any innovations, rather than clarion calls against the stagnation that is an inevitable consequence of clinging to a failed status quo. Thus, there have recently been demands for more stringent regulations on charter schools, including an outright ban on for-profit charters, as well as claims that experiments in parental choice will lead to even greater segregation in our classrooms.

In spite of these admonitions against innovation, educational policymakers should explore more, not fewer, courses of action, and African-American parents must be able to choose among more, not fewer, options for their children. When parents and policymakers alike can consider more alternatives to top-down systems and traditional schools, our young people will achieve more, and America will be the winner.

Fortunately, charters, choice and other educational reforms are reaping real results, especially for African- American students. Charter schools — tuition-free public schools that operate independently of established school systems while still held accountable for student achievement — now serve some 3 million students in 42 states.

Reflecting their families’ yearning for something better than the status quo, African-American students comprise more than 17 percent of charter school students nationally and more than 30 percent in at least a dozen major cities. The improvements in student achievement have redeemed the dreams of the families that have chosen charter schools.

According to a study conducted by Stanford University’s Center on Research on Education Outcomes in 2015, Black students in public charter schools gained the equivalent of 26 days of learning in reading and 36 in math, compared to similar students attending traditional public schools. For an entirely low-income sampling of African-American charter school students, the gains were even greater: 44 days in reading and 59 days in math.

While innovating in many important ways, charter schools can reflect the culture and nurture the potential of young people from communities of color. Many of our nation’s historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), recognize that charter schools share this mission and can create a pipeline for students and faculty for our institutions.

These are among the reasons why eight HCBUs are operating charter schools, and many others are partnering with the charters, as are local chapters of 100 Black Men, an organization of accomplished professionals serving their communities. For instance, in New Orleans, where more than 90 percent of public school students now attend charters, the historically Black and Catholic Xavier University is working with five charter management organizations on a teacher residency program.

As our nation’s policymakers evaluate education reforms, they need look no further than the schools in our nation’s capital. In Washington, D.C., the on-time high school graduation rate for African-American students in the public charter schools is 73 percent, compared to 62 percent for their counterparts in the traditional public schools. That is one of many reasons why Thurgood Marshall College Fund urges Democrat and Republican Members of Congress to renew the SOAR Act, which invests in Washington’s charter schools and traditional public schools, as well as offering about 1,000 scholarships to private schools – yet another impetus for parental choice and change.

From our capital to communities across the country, the lesson is clear: When we have the courage to change our schools and empower parents, our students and teachers will do us all proud. Now is not the time to hem and haw and hesitate – now is the time to make history.

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. is the president & CEO of Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the largest organization exclusively representing the Black college community.

Jennifer Wider is executive director of the Center for Advancing Opportunity (CAO), a research and education initiative born out of a partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the Charles Koch Foundation, and Koch Industries.

Advocate Shares How HBCU Scholarships Are Created, and the Best Ways to Earn Them

Thurgood Marshall College Fund Vice President of Programs Andrea Horton joins us to talk about TMCF’s latest scholarship initiative, the anatomy of how nonprofits and corporations design scholarships, and best practices for students and parents on applying for scholarship aid.

Supporting black colleges helps charter schools

logo-trn-500w-BLK

The greatest country on earth is awash in fragile communities in which less than 20 percent of adults are literate, fourth graders lack proficiency in basic reading and math, jobs are scarce, and incarceration is as common as college.

These fragile communities are black, white, brown and yellow. They exist in places as different as Appalachia and Fort Lauderdale.

I know. I grew up in one. And had it not been for my mother’s choice to take me out of a traditional public school and take advantage of the educational opportunity offered at a pilot magnet school, I would never have become a successful lawyer, corporate executive and now the head of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which represents 47 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) — schools established when black students had no option other than segregated institutions. These schools have a long history of educating some of the nation’s most influential and successful African-American doctors, educators, lawyers, business leaders and entrepreneurs.

It is through the lens of HBCUs that we have come to see that the plight of students trapped in poor schools, often in fragile communities, is not only an economic challenge for this nation, but an issue of national security.

We have a unique understanding at our colleges. We know what it takes to help students who are most economically disadvantaged and educationally vulnerable. And we know that when students are well prepared in primary and secondary grades, they are more likely to learn and to graduate from higher education than if they were disserved.

We also have a vested interest in ensuring that the children who arrive as freshmen on our campuses are extraordinarily well-prepared. Although some of our campuses have experienced enrollment growth recently, the challenge we increasingly face is how to graduate young people who arrive as college freshmen woefully under-prepared academically. Currently, about 35 percent of HBCU students graduate within 6 years of starting their education. As federal and state governments refuse to fund remedial education for university students and demand higher graduation rates from post-secondary institutions, the only way HBCUs can survive is if the students who show up are college ready when they leave the PK-12 system.

Better parental choices are, frankly, a matter of life or death for many of our country’s HBCUs. And the only way to impact that is to ensure that high quality secondary school choices abound and that parents are aware of the options that exist to help them take their families out of traditional district schools that have long failed their precious youth.

HBCUs have stepped up to the plate to provide this leadership. Howard University, for example, started a charter school called Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science, which is preparing the next generation of leaders for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This area of focus is of particular importance because African-Americans receive just 7.6 percent of all STEM bachelor’s degrees and 4.5 percent of doctorates in STEM.

Another example of HBCUs taking matters into their own hands can be found in Tallahassee’s Florida A&M University, which opened the Developmental Research School in 1877. The Research School gives a nationally competitive college preparatory education to each of its students and serves as a state-of-the-art laboratory for education innovation. Throughout its 140 years of existence, the school has graduated thousands of students who have gone on to become leaders in their chosen professions.

These are some of the things we are doing to address fragile communities. If we don’t do it, who will?

It’s become clear the organization that once supported the greatest needs of our disadvantaged is no longer interested in that work. The NAACP recently came out and again called for a moratorium on charter schools, absurdly claiming that the promise of charters never materialized.

This was preceded by American Federation of Teachers boss Randi Weingarten’s attacks on school choice, referring to charters as the “polite cousins of segregation.”

We cannot afford this kind of issue-myopia in our society. The stakes are simply too high as fragile communities continue a downward spiral. The only solution is to improve educational outcomes and that begins with increasing school choices for parents. We have seen the dangerous domino effect if kids in these communities are forced to stay in failing schools.

And while the NAACP and Weingarten seem to be perfectly comfortable with that scenario, we are not.

We will continue to fight for these fragile communities. And if the NAACP continues to reject the educational opportunities school choice provides them, they risk becoming irrelevant — or worse — an enemy of the very people they claim to fight for.

Johnny C. Taylor Jr. is the president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the largest organization exclusively representing the black college community. Follow him on Twitter at @JohnnyCTaylorJr.

Source: Times Record News

Alex McKee

Alex_McKee

If it wasn’t for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, my future goals would not have been as attainable. I was raised on the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child.” TMCF without a doubt has contributed to that village and eased certain burdens within my life. TMCF invested in me as a college student and that investment has inspired me to be an investor in future endeavors of my life. I stand eternally grateful to TMCF for allowing me to be able to not just chase my dreams but to realize my dreams.

I am a reflection of Justice Thurgood Marshall because I strive each and every day to mirror the same level of conviction and determination demonstrated by Justice Thurgood Marshall himself. I intend to strive for excellence and the highest level of success as I carry on with my future life endeavors. He earned his well-deserved place in history and it should never be forgotten that he was one of the catalysts that made it possible for my generation. I strongly admire and appreciate the mark that Justice Thurgood Marshall left in the world as he followed his chosen path. It is my prayer that I can leave my mark on this world by any means.

TMCF | Lowe’s Scholarship

NSI_Lowes_logo_no_tagline

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund in partnership with Lowes is pleased to provide financial assistance scholarships to undergraduate college sophomores, juniors, and seniors at TMCF member-schools who are in good academic standing who are at risk of not returning to school or graduating due to an outstanding financial need and/or emergency situation that leads to a financial crisis. Qualified applicants must have an unmet financial need ranging from $500 to $7,500.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Enrolled full-time in an accredited TMCF member-school
  • College sophomore, junior or senior
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Demonstrate a combination of financial need and merit
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident
  • Complete a FAFSA
  • Must be at risk of not returning to school or graduating due to an outstanding financial need
  • Have an outstanding balance remaining on their account

Applicants must submit the following documents for consideration:

  • Resume (should demonstrate community service and leadership abilities)
  • Current Account Balance Statement
  • 2017 – 2018 Student Aid Report
  • College Transcript (official or unofficial)

How to Apply
To apply, click the button below and create a TMCF Account. Once you sign up and create a TMCF Account, you can complete the TMCF | Lowe’s Scholarship application. The deadline is May 15, 2018, 11:59 PM EST.

College Affordability Is a Family Affair

blackpressusa

Do you have $100,000 saved for your child to earn a four-year public college degree or as much as $200,000 for that same student to attend a private university? Paying for the high cost of college is a major burden facing many families across the country. In fact, according to a recent study by the Institute for Higher Education Policy, for families from low-income communities, the financial burden can seem daunting and even insurmountable. The cost to earn a college degree can sometimes eliminate higher education options for many deserving and qualified students. Fortunately, across government, corporate and philanthropic circles, millions of people are dedicated to addressing this issue by providing much-needed resources.

As we work toward equalizing college access and affordability, it is up to families to take specific action in identifying the elements that can make for the best collegiate experience as shaped by costs, training, and student culture. As a parent myself, and leader in the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) space, the issue of college affordability is one that I confront regularly. The good news is that there are things we can do to make sure every student with the grades, desire and work ethic to go to college can do so without finances being the barrier to their success.

Parents Must Start the Conversation Early and Take The Financial Lead

Even if a child is poised to be the first in his or her family to attend college, which should be applauded, it is up to the parents to know key details about applying, enrolling, and paying tuition along the way.

High school students usually consider which colleges they want to attend for a myriad of reasons outside of their career interests and what they can afford. Parents, so excited their child has decided to go to college, then begin the process of figuring out how they will meld savings, get loans and apply for scholarships to cover the cost, sadly on a semester-by-semester basis. This is before figuring out if the school of choice is a good fit for their child’s aptitude and outlook on education and professional development.

Parents should have honest conversations with their children beginning as early as the sixth grade about how much personal money may be available for college. There are a lot of hidden college-related costs outside of just tuition. Remember, there are application fees, medical examinations and vaccinations, travel costs, payments for housing, food, books, supplies, and computers.

If parents don’t have the extra money to contribute to their children’s education, they must look at alternate options available based on their combined family income. Parents or guardians should also inform their children early that they must also contribute to helping finance their college education through good grades, summer jobs, high test scores, and community service that will earn them scholarships and grants. It’s not just the parents’ responsibility; our children have some responsibility too.

Parents, if you do not know how to take the lead, that is okay; don’t be afraid to seek help. There are plenty of free resources, books and reputable online services that can help ranging from the Department of Education to Strada Education Network.

Families Should Consider All Options and Available Resources

Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) works to provide graduating high school students and current HBCU students with scholarship opportunities and information on college prospecting. In many instances, attending one of our publicly-supported HBCUs, coupled with a TMCF scholarship, can prove to be a smart value proposition for incoming freshmen students. With programs like our Leadership Institute and our list of scholarships and wrap-around services, I have seen TMCF scholars graduate debt-free…with job offers! We take great pride in working with select students to identify programs of strength at our 47 member-schools. TMCF works with families to pair students with programs to create the best geographical, financial and cultural fit based on the interest and talent level of each student upon graduation.

Choosing the right college is a decision requiring substantial research and a strategic approach. Even if the best fit for a student is starting off at a community college program with matriculation agreement to a publicly-supported HBCU, be encouraged, be open and be focused. The school and, ultimately the career, we choose will affect the trajectory of our financial health and our professional mobility. And it will impact how we invest in, influence and guide the next generation of engineers, teachers, public servants, and entrepreneurs.

Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. is the President & CEO of Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. Prior to joining TMCF, he spent many years as a successful corporate executive and attorney. Follow him on Twitter at @JohnnyCTaylorJr.

TMCF President & CEO on ESPN’s Undefeated Podcast HBCU 468

undefeated-podcast

TMCF President & CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. joined the Rhoden Fellow’s Podcast HBCU 468 to discuss the state of HBCUs and the new leader of the White House Initiative on HBCUs. You can listen to the entire podcast on Apple Podcasts. The portion where Mr. Taylor joins the discussion starts at about 12:20.