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Historically Black Colleges and Universities Visit Historically Awesome CPS Schools

Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) may not have the university campus, but it certainly had the spirit of a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) as CPS marked HBCU Day with fervor and enthusiasm. This momentous event brought together students, teachers and HBCU alumni to share their stories and inspire the next generation.

The Oct. 18 celebration was held at several schools across the district, including Withrow University High School, Hughes STEM High School, Walnut Hills High School, Chase Elementary, Woodward Career Technical High School and Taft Information Technology High School.

With the aim of fostering awareness and appreciation of the invaluable contributions of HBCUs to higher education and society at large, the event saw a series of impactful and informative sessions. Throughout the day, students at each school had the unique opportunity to interact with HBCU alumni, gaining valuable insights into the educational opportunities offered by these institutions.

At Taft High School, the highlight of the event was a panel discussion featuring HBCU graduates. "It means a lot that so many graduates are here at Taft giving us their time to tell us about the HBCUs they attended,” said Eric Kennedy, senior at Taft. “It shows they care for us and want something good for our future."

The engaging panel discussion at Taft provided students with a platform to learn about the HBCU experience, hear personal success stories and discover the myriad opportunities available at these historic institutions. 

Part of the discussion that caught the attention of all students was the panel’s highlight on HBCUs smaller community and the lasting connections that come as a result. Panelists described connections they made with other students and professors while exchanging friendly taunts with their peers over which HBCU is better. 

HBCU Day at Taft “I want these students here to know that you don't necessarily have to go to the high a-lister schools in Michigan, Ohio or Pennsylvania for that college experience,” said Terry Williams panelist at Taft High School and Tuskegee University alumnus. “There are small schools where you can garner success and sometimes it takes us meeting students at their level for them to see that.” 

Meanwhile, Chase Elementary incorporated art displays and book readings to help younger students grasp the importance of higher education. Lawana Kenny, fifth and sixth-grade social studies teacher at Chase Elementary organized the event after being inspired by author and guest speaker, Latoya Turner and her book Brown Hands, Black Schools

“We work to make this connection early between HBCUs and our students because if you don't see it, you don't think you can become it," said Kenny.

As CPS continues to prioritize diversity, inclusion and educational excellence, events like HBCU Day serve as a beacon of aspiration, and the path ahead.

If you are interested in attending an HBCU, you can find the Common Black College App at: https://commonblackcollegeapp.com/