Black MBAs Create Relief Fund for Displaced Students
The National Black MBA Association Inc. announced this week the formation of a student relief fund to provide emergency grants to college students displaced by the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Keeping in line with its vision to lead in the creation of intellectual and economic wealth in the African-American community, the country’s largest Black professional organization pledged to raise $1 million from its corporate partners, 39 chapters and individuals for the National Black MBA Student Empowerment Relief Fund. The money will be used to provide emergency assistance to students forced away from their colleges due to the hurricane and flooding in the Gulf coast region, the group said.
“We are saddened by the tremendous devastation suffered by so many communities, families and individuals,” said NBMBAA Chairman Alvin Brown after meeting with other national black political and civic leaders including Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Dallas-based spiritual leader Bishop T.D. Jakes.
“The NBMBAA Student Empowerment Relief Fund is one way that we can directly impact students who were affected by the disaster and help them continue their education,” Brown said. “The NBMBAA 39 chapters from across the U.S. along with the National Headquarters office, located in Chicago, Ill., have come together with an initial contribution of more than $50,000. Together we will rally our corporate partners and others to join this cause.” Distribution of the funds will be coordinated through the schools that have accepted displaced students.
Jakes’ Potter House Ministries announced it would be making a $25,000 contribution to the fund. “We believe the NBMBAA’s intention to help displaced students is laudable and welcome other corporate and business support,” said Bishop Jakes.
The Chicago-based NBMBAA is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. The group had planned to hold its annual conference in New Orleans at the Morial Convention Center next month. Its conference will now be relocated to San Diego, California on Oct. 11th -16th. A major fundraiser will be held at the conference in support of the fund that week as well, said Barbara Thomas, NBMBAA president and CEO.
“While we offer our deepest condolences to those who lost their family members, friends and property,” Thomas said, “We also pledge support as well as Godspeed to our friend, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.”
Mayor Nagin, Xavier University President Dr. Norman Francis and Dan Packer, President & CEO of Entergy of New Orleans had been scheduled to be this year’s conference co-chairmen. Xavier, along with New Orleans-based Dilliard University, Tulane University and Loyola University are all colleges that were ravaged by the storm and whose students will be eligible for assistance.
For more information about making contributions to the NBMBAA Student Empowerment Relief Fund, go to www.nbmbaa.org
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