Black History Month 2023: UNCF Working for Better Futures
With Black History Month 2023 upon us, UNCF again celebrates the history and culture of the African American community and salutes the scholarship, excellence and high achievement at our historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Yet, even as we celebrate our achievements, we are once again faced with a disheartening example of a policing culture that is embedded in the approach of many cities and towns across our country. It’s a culture that too often devalues Black lives and dehumanizes Black men, a culture that perpetuates the notion that Black people are not worthy of respect, empathy and justice.
For the past 78 years, UNCF has worked towards equity in our nation, and indeed we have come a long way. However, when incidents like Tyre Nichols’ murder arise again and again, it is both frightening and discouraging. But it also challenges us to continue the important work we do each day to change the dehumanizing and vicious terrorism that repeatedly produces the murders of Blacks at the hands of law enforcement.
UNCF’s mission is to create a nation where all Americans have equal access to a college education that prepares them for rich intellectual lives, competitive and fulfilling careers, engaged citizenship and service to our nation … a nation where true justice and equity prevail.
We do this by supporting our HBCUs and students. Because only through education can we lift the prospects of future generations of Black people. And only education — at all levels and of all people — can lift the veil of racism that so deeply permeates our culture.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Tyre Nichols’ family, friends and neighbors. I know that, like me, you are saddened and distressed by another senseless murder of a Black man at the hands of the police.
But we must keep going.
Thank you for all you do to support UNCF, our students and our HBCUs.
Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D.
President and CEO