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  • Writer's pictureRobert Louis Shepard, PhD

Are Black Colleges Boosting Minority Representation in the Sciences?


An Emphatic "YES!" And I am honored and proud to have served the historically black college and university (HBCU) community in the capacity I did for nearly a quarter of a century. I take consolation in knowing that if a positive article like this (click here to see the article) is published in a highly regarded publication like The Atlantic Monthly for the world to see, then the whole story is not told and the positive impact of HBCUs on boosting minority representation in the sciences is even better than described in the article. The impact by these institutions in the production of competitive American scientists is done in the face of limited financial resources and weak physical infrastructures.


My prayer is that the nation will one-day say that HBCUs have done without long enough, and make good on a statement found in the last sentence of the 29th paragraph in the 2nd Inaugural Address given by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, DC on Jan. 20, 1937 where he said to the Nation…. 


"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Notwithstanding that HBCUs have had "too little" from the beginning of their existence, I believe strongly that HBCUs are "National Treasures" that will be around way into the future, no matter their struggles which seems to be eternal.


This short Youtube Video describes our efforts on behalf of HBCUs and click here to see our work with Tribal Colleges in the states of North and South Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana (the Youtube Video is in the Blog entry dated October 16, 2010 under Older Posts).


Finally, many students that received their undergraduate STEM training at HBCUs continued their graduate training at some of the most prestigious Tier 1 academic institutions in the nation. Additionally, some work at influential companies/ organizations and continue to expand their knowledge base by staying current and up-to-date.

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