CAU President Shares the Importance of Attending HBCU’s

10/11/2017, noon | Updated on 10/11/2017, noon


By Christopher Shuttlesworth

As Clark Atlanta University (CAU) President Ronald A. Johnson recently returned to Chicago for the 20th Annual Football Classic, Johnson spoke

with the Citizen on the importance of students attending Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

Johnson said he was very excited for CAU to be invited back to the annual Football Classic because the Classic represents one of the great, long traditions of HBCU’s.

Second to Atlanta, Chicago sends the largest pool of student applicants to CAU and this year’s Football Classic provided more than $1.7 million in scholarships.

“The Chicagoland is a major market for us in terms of student applicants and we enjoyed coming to Chicago because it’s a great city,” he said.

Johnson explained that HBCU’s were defined in the Higher Education Act of 1965 as institutions that provide higher education for Black people.

“HBCU’s were founded to be inclusive,” he said. “They were not founded to be exclusively for Black people but inclusive for people who were excluded. The other major state institutions excluded Black people

but Black folks didn’t exclude anyone.”

Johnson continued to say it’s important that HBCU’s continue to provide Black youth with opportunities that match their gifts and talents for today’s global world.

“We have to make sure our youth are given the opportunities to excel because if they don’t excel then they’re going to just look back,” he said. “Then corporations will turn to China to get talent and if you’re not in the talent line, then you, your family and community will be ignored and become irrelevant to the future.”

Johnson explained that his parents weren’t able to complete high school but encouraged him to further his education and as a result, he obtained a PHD.

Grammy-Award winning rapper, social activist and philanthropist, Chance the Rapper recently expressed his desire to attend Clark Atlanta

University (CAU) on Twitter.

“I was [trying] to go to Clark ATL,” tweeted the 24-year-old rapper. “I’m still [trying] to go. Like not honorary, the full blown you dig. Can someone help me sign up?”

Chance, whose real name is Chancellor Bennett, was raised on the South Side of Chicago and recently contributed one million dollars to the Chicago Public School system.

During the Football Classic, Chance told CAU Officials that he wanted to apply his ‘creativity in a stimulating environment,’ according to a CAU press release.

Dr. Nsenga Burton, Chair and Professor of New Media Production at CAU, said he discussed with Chance about the opportunities that CAU’s

Mass Media Arts Department could offer him along with the universities’ Africana Studies and Political Science majors. To learn more about CAU, visit www. cau.edu.