Club races to educate students on HBCUs  


Mrs. Hall

Mr. Multhaupt, Precious Amuwha, Mr. Hume, Isaiah Thomas, Anton Akroush, Mrs. Beebe, Ravleen Gill, Rehma Saeed, Sonali Pawa, Vanessa Hunyh, Marayla Cross and Mrs. Fitzsimonds come together to plan this event

Sonali Pawa, Reporter

Racing Ahead, one of UAIS’s newest clubs, is working to put together an HBCU event for prospective students and their parents. HBCUs, or Historically Black Colleges and Universities, are institutions established with the intention to serve the African American community.  

Many HBCUs were formed due to segregation in the United States, prior to the establishment of the Civil Rights Act. There are over one hundred of them in the United States, with most located in the South.  

Although HBCUs were created with the intention to grant African Americans with access to higher education, their student bodies are made up of all races.  

The idea for this event came up after Mrs. Fitzsimonds, a UAIS counselor, attended a presentation entailing information about HBCUs and their benefits. Astonished that high schools do not educate their student populations on HBCUs, she brought it up to the Racing Ahead board members.  

The board agreed that educating the student body on Historically Black Colleges and Universities was important. They recognized that most people are familiar with large schools, such as the University of Michigan, Penn State, or Cornell; however, not many people are familiar with HBCUs, such as Spelman College, Howard University, and Hampton University. In addition, Racing Ahead board recognized that there is a value to HBCUs and sharing information about them is important.  

I think it is very important to educate people about HBCUs because many people don’t know that they exist, and those who do don’t really understand their value,” President Precious Amuwha said.  

In addition, many people are not aware of the racial significance HBCUs hold. Therefore, along with educating students about the programs they offer, it is of equal importance to educate them about their historical values.  

“I believe it is equally important to remind students about how deep racism has taken us in this country to where Black people were forced to branch off into their own schools in order to have a chance at a good education,” Amuwha said.  

Racing Ahead members have been working tirelessly planning for this event. However, due to numerous road blocks, their plan is constantly changing.  

“The planning process for the HBCU event has taken longer than expected, but we are being flexible and altering our plan as needed,” Racing Ahead advisor, Mrs. Fitzsimonds said.  

As of right now, Racing Ahead members are formulating a virtual presentation entailing information about the benefits of attending a HBCU.  It will be shown to the student body at UAIS, specifically junior TOK classes.  

Although Racing Ahead is a newer club, they have already formed a presence in UAIS through their various events such as: open discussions, an AMES day, and a Black Lives Matter sit-in.  

The student members of the club share their passions for equality, inclusion, and diversity with the student body and make it a more welcoming and inclusive place.  

“I am glad I am a part of Racing Ahead because I get to contribute to the creation of a more welcoming and inclusive environment in our school,” sophomore Rena Henderson said.  

Racing Ahead plans to release more information for their HBCU event shortly after semester break. In the meantime, Racing Ahead members continue to spread their message of diversity, inclusion, and equality for all throughout the student body at UAIS.