HBCU fair promotes opportunities


Becca Green, Features Editor

“The energy at an HBCU, I can’t really put into words, you have to find out for yourself,” said Diana Atenco-Gonzalez, a representative and recent graduate of University of District of Columbia (UDC).


On Wednesday October 5, Jackson-Reed held their second annual Historically Black College/University (HBCU) fair. The fair took place in the Auxiliary gym where there were tables with representatives from different HBCUs, a DJ, and a variety of snacks for students in attendance. 


There were 15 schools being represented at the fair, and about 160 students in attendance. The fair was not only for Jackson-Reed students, but high school students from around the city. Students from Ballou, Eastern, and Phelps were also excused from class to take part in the fair. 


Organizer of the fair Brandon Wims explained that the event was about “providing exposure to all students” and giving “all the kids the opportunities to be successful no matter what.” 


Antenco-Gonzalez explained that “it’s important to have HBCU fairs because sometimes I feel like we don’t get promoted as much. The culture at an HBCU is completely different from other schools.” 


The representative from Delaware State explained “Historically, [HBCUs] are significant because it states a landmark. A place of hope and opportunity for those who weren’t presented at, mainly black and brown people. It’s important today because now it still promotes social awareness, still signifies the landmark and is pushing education for everybody.” 


The representative continued “not everyone has opportunity to education to this day so I think its important for us to provide that opportunity no matter their socio-economic background race, religion, creed, social orientation, or sexual orientation.”


Senior Sanai Anderson explained that after attending the fair she was more interested in attending an HBCU. “I feel like it’s a little hub where you can just be yourself without worrying about discrimination from teachers or stuff like that.” 

Anderson explained that at the event she learned about how many HBCUs are in the DMV: “I thought it was only one, but [there are]five.”


Junior Zakia Palmer, like Anderson, is also interested in attending an HBCU.“It’s a space where we, especially as young black girls, can just feel comfortable and really feel like ourselves without having to worry about racial issues,” she said.


Both representatives and students could agree that HBCUs felt safe and familiar. “I feel like I fit right in, like family. At all HBCUs you get that familiarity of being a part of a family,” Atenco-Gongzalez said.•