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NCNW joins Bethune-Cookman University in $8M fundraising effort to save HBCU

The National Council of Negro Women Inc. and Bethune-Cookman University have launched “Advancing the Legacy,” an awareness-building and fundraising initiative created to provide ongoing support of founder Mary McLeod Bethune’s lifelong mission to ensure access to higher education for African American students.

NCNW National Chair and President Johnnetta Cole, Ph.D., recently joined B-CU President E. LaBrent Chrite, Ph.D., to announce the initiative as an effort to protect Bethune’s vision and mission.

Bethune-Cookman University has achieved one-third of its $12 million campaign goal, with $8 million needed to close the gap in scholarship funding. The “Advancing the Legacy” campaign includes a digital element, asking advocates to make a financial contribution online at and share their support on social media using the hashtag #AdvancingBCU. All funds will be used to support students, reduce the cost of access and strengthen retention and graduation rates.

“We have accomplished so much over the past year in terms of preparing for B-CU’s future, and we just have one last bridge to cross,” Chrite said. “Everything we have done and will continue to do is intended to protect and advance Dr. Bethune’s legacy and ensure access to higher education for African American students.”

Cole added: “Dr. Bethune fearlessly and successfully surpassed countless obstacles faced by a Black woman who was raised by former slaves. Even during her childhood in South Carolina, she understood the power of education and made her life’s work to provide access to young Black men and women. She also understood the importance of empowering Black women, which is why she established the NCNW. B-CU and NCNW are forever connected by her vision and legacy.”

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