HBCU enrollments up as students of color continue to search for safe spaces
- Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough writes in the Washington Post that racial animus at predominantly white institutions has yielded an increase in enrollment at some historically black colleges and universities.
- Familiarity, a sense of racial relief and faculty who resemble black students are major factors in families reconsidering offers from predominantly white schools.
- The search for safe space typically manifests in independent learning or living space where black and minority students do not have to consider micro-aggressions or separatism as an accepted part of the environment.
It is not surprising that black students nationwide are returning to campuses which, while struggling with resources and ability to market in a "post-racial" America, still resonate with millions black students throughout the United States. For many graduates of HBCUs, these campuses yield a unique sense of post-graduation fulfillment in the skills learned at these schools, but it has rarely translated into legislative clout or philanthropic gain.
There remains a divergence among some administrators about how to handle protests and racial animus on campus. For some, they have prompted genuine internal review and reaction. For others, like the University of Chicago, leaders have doubled-down on the notion that college is not a place for intellectual or cultural safety. In the end, executives should know that all students are watching, and supporting with their tuition dollars in places which don't prioritize even the look of a racially safe environment.
- Washington Post Enrollments surge at historically black colleges amid rise in racial tensions
- Chronicle of Higher Education What 'safe spaces' really look like on college campuses