No matter one’s background, they’re deserving of access to education. Currently, there are several Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that share this sentiment and are taking initiative.
A majority of formerly incarcerated people of color aren’t presented life fulfilling opportunities. Changing this circumstance, Parents reports that HBCUs nationwide are creating and investing in new prison-to-college education programs. The programs aim to “reduce recidivism and improve economic opportunities.” They help to teach skills needed to land jobs, become a business owner, and navigate life after prison. Overall, the mission is to support individuals in having a higher probability of successfully re-entering society.
The effort is a flip of the pre-K to prison pipeline, which has harmed the Black community and its youth.
Currently, institutions such as Howard University, Claflin University, and Lane College are part of providing a way for formerly incarcerated people of color a proper chance to improve their lives despite their past.
“I remember feeling like I had no way of cleaning my life up after I was released from prison,” shared Adrienne Gates, who was incarcerated for two years and is now a tax expert and financial counselor, according to the outlet.
She continued: “I knew I wanted better but didn’t know how to get there. I am excited about the possibilities for these HBCU programs to support those who have a past but aim to be better and live better. I believe I would have seen success much sooner if programs like this were available for me. Every person deserves a second chance to right their wrongs; this program gives them the foundation to do so.”
The intent behind Howard, Claflin, and Lane spearheading the programs for HBCUs is to support the fight of both addressing and breaking down the systemic inequality that Black families continue to face.