The NFL has launched a new partnership that is sure to excite HBCU alums all over. The NFL has partnered with the MEAC (Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference) and SWAC (Southwestern Atlantic Conference) to increase opportunities for students interested in pursuing careers in the NFL. This partnership goes beyond the field to the front office of NFL teams across the country. If you are unsure of what schools are a part of the MEAC and SWAC, these conferences include HBCUs like Howard, Hampton, Grambling State and Prairie View.
Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Troy Vincent, released a statement saying: "Our partnership with the MEAC and SWAC is not only important for our pipeline of qualified individuals at all levels of football, but also to improve the NFL's goals for diversity and inclusion. With this partnership, we are making steady progress in developing future coaches, officials, scouts, managers, front office personnel and others through effective football resources, educational programs and internships."
The partnership will include internships at the league and team levels and job shadowing. There will also be a summit at the Celebration Bowl where the MEAC and SWAC champions will face off against each other. This move is a major one for HBCUs, proving that there is lots of talent on the campuses of our illustrious institutions.
A huge supporter of this partnership is Cleveland Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Sashi Brown. Even though he is proud graduate of Harvard Law, he is even more proud of the fact that he is a graduate of Hampton University. "At my core, I’m a Hampton Pirate. It’s had every bit a part in shaping me and developing me into the position I’m in now. It’s an exciting partnership. There is a great history between the league and those two conferences. I’m pleased by it, and I think it’ll be mutually beneficial," said Brown.
Even if your HBCU isn't included in this partnership *cough Tennessee State University stand up* this is something that we all can celebrate and appreciate.
Share this article with your friends on Twitter and Facebook!
READ NEXT: Donald Glover welcomes you to Atlanta in new series...
President Obama made his way to Howard University on Saturday to serve as the commencement keynote speaker at the 2016 spring graduation.
In addition to offering encouraging words about entering the real world and post-grad life, President Obama took time to remind the graduates to embrace their blackness in all that they do. He reminded the students how far people of color have come in this country, but how much is still used against them. However, he told them to use their understanding of these issues to push them to go further while following their dreams.
"...we cannot sleepwalk through life, we cannot be ignorant of history. We can't meet the world with a sense of entitlement...You have to go through life with more than just a passion for change -- you have to have strategy," Obama said.
He also shared how different the graduating classes were today in comparison to when he graduated from Colombia University. While sharing and reflecting he acknowledged that there were not a lot of high positions held by blacks during that time but today, you can find black men and women in all fields excelling and holding esteemed positions, even running the United States.
"Be confident in your heritage. Be confident in your blackness... Create your own style, set your own standard of beauty, embrace your own sexuality... Because you're a black person -- doing whatever it is that you're doing -- that makes it a black thing!"
This speech was the first of three the President is scheduled to give for this spring commencement period. We are not sure what his other speeches will consist of, but this one is definitely going down in the books as one of the great ones. Not only was his message needed for the graduates but anyone who watches will be inspired. Thanks Obama, no sarcasm included.
What was your favorite takeaway from the President's speech?
READ NEXT: 15 things post-grad life taught me in one...
Since the beginning of this new school year, current students and alumni of Howard University, a Historically Black University in Washington DC, voiced concerns about the administration and the management of their university. Students took to social media using the hashtag #TakeBackHU to discuss everything from lagging financial aid processes to lack of air conditioning in the dorms, rodents and more.
The social media campaign was initiated by the following students @_OnlyJalen, @AliyaJones_, and @nadaleemarcelle.
The hashtag quickly picked up steam and several alumni and students joined in on the dialogue.
The current president responded on Twitter.
Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, the current president of Howard University, has since responded with an official statement and met with representatives of the campus student organization, HUSA.
Later that evening, the #TakeBackHU team issued a statement on Twitter.
The DCist reports that Aliya Jones organized a peaceful protest mentioned in the above statement on campus on September 4th in the administration building, also known as the "A Building," with about 50 other students.
Howard University has also agreed to set up a Student Customer Service Help Desk to address some of the concerns with residential life and financial aid.
Unfortunately considering the current fiscal climate, the problems experienced at Howard University are not unique in the higher education arena, especially for HBCUs.
The students made it clear on social media that while they are passionately voicing their concerns about Howard, they are doing it out of love, according to Global Grind.
Want more content like this? Sign up for our weekly newsletter below.
In a recent interview with Uptown Magazine, Taraji P. Henson discusses why she decided to send her son to Howard University, a Historically Black University and her alma mater, after being racially profiled at the University of Southern California. Naturally these remarks stirred a debate of whether Black students are safer at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities i.e. Xavier, Howard, Spelman, Morehouse, etc. ) or PWIs (Predominantly White Institutions, i.e. USC, Yale, Stanford, NYU, etc.).
In my opinion, the debate about students of color being safer at an HBCU or a PWI is not a worthy debate. The discussion should center on whether students (of color) are safe on or off campus, regardless of the student body's demographic makeup. Higher education institutions should value their student’s safety regardless of race, but it has happened again and again, that these institutions find the need to revise the laws as an attempt to quell controversy and calm the hearts of horrified parents.
Especially with the rise of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and most recently with Martese Johnson being brutalized and arrested by police, the safety of students on college campuses is on the forefront of everyone’s minds. If anything, these situations will reinforce the need to make sure that all students are ensured of their safety while in class and hanging out with their friends in their college towns; particularly in light of righteous concerns about police brutality. For instance, students at UVa are now protesting to restrict ABC officers to arrest people and the Governor has made an executive order to retrain all officers.
USC responded recently stating their concern for a student having to deal with racial profiling on their campus, since Taraji’s comments have stirred so much conversation.
Taraji even responded recently to critics on Twitter:
I really don't care what ppl think about what I do with MY LIFE AND ALL INVOLVED WITH ME!!!!! Give it a rest. ✌️
— Taraji P. Henson (@TherealTaraji) March 23, 2015
Howard University has yet to comment.