Financial Update - Volume 19, Number 3 - Schools Gather to Discuss Community Development
Vol. 19, No. 3,
Third Quarter 2006
Schools Gather to Discuss
Representatives from a dozen HBCUs in the Southeast joined officials from the Atlanta Fed, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Home Loan Bank, and Seedco, a nonprofit organization that helps people join the work force and achieve economic self-sufficiency.
Sowing the seeds of economic development
Michael Milner, the Birmingham Branch's regional community development director and the meeting's organizer, said the conference laid important groundwork. The meeting was the first held by the Atlanta Fed, he said, to focus on how minority institutions of higher learning can more actively promote economic development in their communities.
“Community development is part of the mission of many historically black colleges, as many campuses are located in economically distressed inner cities and rural areas,” Milner said. “But often HBCUs need some help in taking their vision to the next level.”
Broad range of initiatives discussed
Some HBCUs have already taken important steps, such as instituting community development programs ranging from job training to opening office and retail space to refurbishing and building affordable housing. The major topics of discussion at the Birmingham meeting included
|||securing grants to fund community development programs;|
|||sustaining existing community development programs;|
|||securing moral and financial support from college presidents and boards of regents by conveying to them how the programs benefit the school; and|
|||gaining community support.|
Among the institutions represented at the Birmingham meeting were Florida Memorial College, Miles College, Lawson State University, Trenholm State Technical College, Shelton State Community College, Alabama A&M University, and Benedict College.