Recent Bomb Threats Against HBCUs

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are well-known for empowering students to be transformative leaders and productive citizens, while providing a safe and inclusive space for academic success. These institutions were established in the 19th century, a time in history when segregation prohibited Black Americans from pursuing higher learning at predominantly white institutions (PWIs). HBCUs have served an integral role in the lives of many Black men and women who are leaders in science, law, medicine, civil rights, the arts, and athletics in America and globally. HBCUs remain the top producers of Black graduates in STEM Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) fields. United States Congresswoman Alma Adams reported in 2020 just how impactful HBCUs have been to STEM and the U.S. economy, highlighting that “HBCUs graduate 42% of Black engineers, 47% of Black women engineers, and 40% of all Black Congress members”. Of note, our Vice President, Kamala Harris, is also a proud alumna of an HBCU, Howard University.
HBCU PictureRecent hate crimes threaten the security of many faculty, staff, and students as nearly 20 HBCUs across the United States have reported bomb threats to authorities in the last two months. As a result, life on these college campuses was disrupted by lockdown procedures while students were encouraged to seek shelter in their residence halls. For some, these intimidating tactics are reminders of generational trauma, harkening back to threats and violence in Black churches, homes, and schools during the Civil Rights era and beyond. 

These institutions instill values of academic excellence, in spite of adversity, and provide educational environments that equip diverse professionals for the realities that will face them in their work. For these and many other reasons, the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity at Wake Forest School of Medicine celebrates the countless contributions of HBCUs as they continue to provide paths to higher education and excellence for future Black leaders. We also recognize HBCUs' pivotal roles in social justice movements and the fight for inclusion and equal opportunity for all people. This Center stands in solidarity with all HBCUs against any senseless act of hatred that disrupts peaceful learning environments and inclusive excellence.