GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Bennett College President Dr. Phyllis Dawkins is confident in their campaign efforts towards $5 million.
“The only thing we can do between now and Feb. 1 is to impact our financial resources and we need about $5 million -- at least #5 million -- to stabilize the institution,” Dawkins said. “Between Dec. 11 to the present, we've raised almost a half million dollars in that short period of time.”
Dawkins credits that to the “Stand With Bennett” campaign and movement. The T-shirts and hashtags can be seen online on social media. Several celebrities are joining in on the advocacy and donations.
Dawkins shard just a few of a list organizations that have come forward such as The National Council of Negro Women, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., The United Negro College Fund, The United Methodist Church and the The Women’s Coalition.
Recently, Pastor Jamal Bryant with New Birth Missionary Baptist Church made his donation public.
“I saw it on social media just like many of you saw it,” Dawkins said. “People started sending me emails and text message asking me to listen to the video.”
His church helped to raise $12,000. He is now leading an effort to challenge other churches to step up.
“Tentatively they’re trying to raise at least $1 million for Bennett across all the churches across the nation,” Dawkins said.
Bryant sent the following statement about the campaign.
“As we all know, many of our Historically Black Colleges and Universities were birthed out of the Black church and so it’s the responsibility and divine assignment of the church to lead the effort to support our HBCUs. Bennett, in particular, holds a special significance because it is one of only two HBCUs operating with the sole purpose of educating Black women; and with women serving at the highest levels of business, industry and politics, we must be especially committed to safeguarding the institutions that are preparing our young sisters to lead.”
Board Member Sen. Gladys Robinson said that while the board and trustees have looked at all possibilities following Feb. 1, they are sure that the accreditation of the students will be preserved.
“We are very committed to the young women who go here and to make sure that they were able to graduate with accredited degrees," Dawkins said. “That is going to be the case, that is going to happen. Parents were assured of that, students were assured of that."
Bennett College launched a strategic plan to make sure this probational period does not happen again. There are four main goals of the plan; fiscal stability, new majors, stabilization of the college and improving student life.
“Bennett is very critical to fill a niche that other institutions do not in this area so we need to make sure that everybody gets involved in our survival,” Robinson said.