Three years into her journey, the New Jersey native realized her lack of knowledge about most HBCUs, despite advocating for them through her Experience the Legacy HBCU College Fair.
The fair that she hosts bolsters itself on helping to bridge the opportunity gap for Black and brown students during application season, and to encourage them to explore the option of attending HBCUs by showing them the unique excitement of HBCU homecoming, theGrio reports.
Richards said, “As a prideful HBCU grad, it also irritated me that so much misinformation was out there to discourage people from even considering these schools.”
She continued to explain in an interview with theGrio that her college visit tour was most eye-opening when she went to the South. Richards admitted that all she knew about it was learned from stories told by friends, television shows, or music references. However, her experience visiting Southern HBCUs turned her expectations on their head.
“I saw Black people everywhere, even in areas where I didn’t think Black people were going to be. And I loved that,” Richards told the outlet.
The trip only affirmed her passion for making learning about HBCUs more accessible and helping others increase their understanding of the unique socio-economic factors that influence the resources at each of these amazing schools.
“They [HBCUs] are doing more with less. There is a lack of real information out there, and people just don’t know what they don’t know. So, the biggest impact I hope I have on people is being a resource [and] being able to share with them information about HBCUs and the experience that they probably never thought about or knew,” Richards said.
“I hope the impact also allows them to love and appreciate not only these institutions but themselves, as Black people specifically even more. No matter how many times they try to oppress, downplay, minimize, remove, erase, delete us, our contributions [and] our history, they can’t, and it makes them mad.”
Richards explained that the value of HCBUs lies in their ability to help Black people feel uplifted in a space that resonates for them.
Richards concluded, “The biggest impact I hope I have is that I help remind people just how great Black people are, have always been, and will always continue to be. No matter where I am in this world, if I meet someone and they go to an HBCU, I am always good. I have always been taken care of, [and] treated like family.”
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Source: Black Enterprise