Angela Burt-Murray, co-counder of CocoaFab.com and co-host of “EXHALE,” a talk show on ASPiRE, recently judged The Home Depot’s 2014 “Retool Your School” campus improvement program. Burt-Murray discussed the importance of raising awareness of historically black colleges and universities, what they mean to the community and why The Home Depot program is vital to sustaining schools.
What did participating in the judging of the “Retool Your School” program mean to you?
It was an incredible opportunity to be able to judge The Home Depot “Retool Your School” program. As an alumna of Hampton University, I know that there is nothing more wonderful than an HBCU. To be able to participate in a program that is going to grant money but also raise awareness of HBCUs and that they are viable, necessary and important, is something you can’t pass up.
Tell us about some of the proposals that were presented.
I was very excited about a number of the programs that were presented to us today. Some of the ones that stood out were programs where the students were going to retool a dumpster and turn it into a work lab and a living space. I’m really excited to see if they are selected and how that turns out. There was one campus that presented a proposal to create a bike and walking trail on their campus, which is wonderful because it promotes activity and beautifies the campus. So, there were a lot of great elements and lots of great proposals.
What would you say to schools that have not entered the contest?
If you have not entered, then you really should take the time to get your team together and put a program together and try to win this money. It’s a great opportunity. Not only to win money that most HBCUs need, but it’s also a great way to foster a lot of community spirit and get people involved. It shows the importance of HBCUs and how vital they are.