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Rankin Celebrates 125 Years

THE AFRO — In 2020, Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel will celebrate its 125th year of serving as a spiritual, historical and cultural center on Howard University’s campus.  Built between the years of 1894 and 1895, Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel has served as a pillar of truth, service and a spiritual oasis for students, faculty, staff, alumni, the greater Washington D.C. community and visitors from across the nation and throughout the world for almost 125 years. 

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By Brianna McAdoo

In 2020, Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel will celebrate its 125th year of serving as a spiritual, historical and cultural center on Howard University’s campus.

Built between the years of 1894 and 1895, Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel has served as a pillar of truth, service and a spiritual oasis for students, faculty, staff, alumni, the greater Washington D.C. community and visitors from across the nation and throughout the world for almost 125 years.

The chapel was constructed under the leadership of former Howard University President Jeremiah Rankin. In 1896 the chapel was dedicated and named after Andrew Rankin, President Rankin’s late brother. Rankin’s widow had donated $5,000 to the construction of the chapel.

Throughout its existence, the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel has had four Deans of the Chapel including Dr. Howard Thurman, Dr. Daniel Hill, Dr. Evans Crawford and Dr. Bernard Richardson who currently serves as the Dean of the Chapel. The Chapel is serviced and supported by the Chaplains, Chapel Assistants, the Chapel Ushers, Interfaith Fellows and “Friends of Rankin Chapel.”

In a newsletter to the Howard University community, President Wayne A.I. Frederick shared that an architectural assessment of Rankin chapel took place.  Frederick explained that major monetary contributions are necessary, in order to renovate and repair the historic chapel to the extent that the university wants and needs.

“A significant fundraising effort will be needed to complete this project,” Frederick wrote. “Our desire is to move forward with the renovation and expansion of this national landmark given its central place in Howard University history and those chapters yet to be written.”

Rankin Chapel is a non-denominational chapel that has welcomed prolific people throughout history to the pulpit including Howard’s very first Black President Dr. Mordecai Wyatt Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Douglass, Eleanor Roosevelt, Desmond Tutu, Vernon Johns and Mary McLeod Bethune. For over a century, many people have been able to find a spiritual haven in the 90-foot long building that offers an array of worship, ranging from their Jummah Prayer Series to their Sunday Chapel Service.

“As a member of the Howard Gospel Choir, the chapel became my second home,” Samiyah Muhammad, a current student at Howard University shared. “Rehearsals in the Chapel became my place of refuge and release from the stressors of college life, and I am grateful to know I always had a place where I could find peace of mind.”

Their Sunday Speaker Series is one of a kind.  Every Sunday a new sermon is delivered by a different speaker, who range from clergy, to civil leaders, ambassadors and the president of the Howard University himself.

“Andrew Rankin Chapel is the easiest way for me to stay connected not only spiritually, but also politically. Being that every Sunday there is a new speaker and it’s situated in the capital, Rankin creates somewhat of a breeding ground of different forms of Christianity, while bringing in notable speakers with different sets of social beliefs,” said Howard student, Kennedy Jennings.

“The chapel itself feels like nothing short of home, and seeing the families within the community that come out allows for it to be a pivotal part of history by linking us all by experience and spirituality.”

President Frederick also emphasized the importance of Rankin to Howard history and the community at large.

“For more than a century, Rankin Chapel has served as the locus of spirituality for generations of Howard students, faculty and staff and has been a consistent haven for all marking different seasons of life,” he said.  “Within its walls, students have been inspired and provoked to manifest heavenly values here on earth. Sacred vows have been exchanged at the altar to celebrate love and marriage. Generations of families have been comforted in its pews even as they grieved loss.”

Frederick is hopeful for Rankin’s future.

“We look to the future of Rankin Chapel with great anticipation, knowing that a thriving chapel advances a dynamic University and strong community,” the 17th Howard University said. “In the words of Dr. Howard Thurman, ‘community cannot feed for long on itself; it can only flourish where always the boundaries are giving way to the coming of others from beyond them — unknown and undiscovered brothers.’  With open hands and open hearts, we begin to press beyond old boundaries to build an even stronger community in our time with Rankin Chapel leading the way.”

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

#NNPA BlackPress

Biden Administration Focuses Money on HBCUs After Bomb Threats

NNPA NEWSWIRE — On March 16, in a small auditorium at the Old Executive Office Building next door to The White House, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke on the plan. The allocations, coming from existing money from the Department of Education budget, comes to about $150,000 per school.

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By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor

Shifting funds from the Department of Education to assist Historically Black Colleges and Universities experiencing sporadic bomb threats, several top officials in the Biden Administration spoke out. Over the last two months repeated bomb threats have been made against several HBCUS including Morgan State, and  Howard University.

On March 16, in a small auditorium at the Old Executive Office Building next door to The White House, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke on the plan. The allocations, coming from existing money from the Department of Education budget, comes to about $150,000 per school.

HBCUS have received a record amount of funding from the federal government over the last year into the billions.

“At the Justice Department, we believe the time to address illegal threats is when they are made, not after tragedy strikes. We also know that the threat against HBCUs and their students has deep, historical roots… In the over 150 years since the founding of the Department, the threats posed by hate-fueled criminal acts have taken on many different forms. But our task remains the same: to use our resources and our legal authorities to prevent and confront bias-motivated violence and threats of violence,” the Attorney said in front of education officials, reporters and supporters of HBCUs.

Black Press USA asked Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH) and Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond about the historic allocations.

“If you look at our Administration, if you look at what we’re doing we’re making sure we empower our universities. They’ve done great with less for far too long,” Richmond said standing in the White House driveway.

Members of the CBC received a briefing on the bomb threats from Department of Justice officials in early March. In an era of divisive politics and a former President, Donald Trump, who negatively openly targeted Black members of Congress and cities with large Black populations such as Baltimore and Philadelphia, concerns for HBCUs have remained high.

“The threats made against our nations Historically Black Colleges and Universities are far from new, and I commend the Administration for finally allocating the necessary attention and resources to HBCUs as we work to end the string of threats and bring the perpetrators to justice,” said Rep. Frederica Wilson in a statement.

“Our administration is sending a very clear message that intimidation will not stand and we will not be intimidated. We will do everything in our power to protect all our communities from violence and from hate,” said Vice President Harris.

Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is a political analyst who appears regularly on #RolandMartinUnfiltered. She may be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on twitter at @LVBurke

The post Biden Administration Focuses Money on HBCUs After Bomb Threats first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Crime

Assemblymember Demands Probe into Bomb Threat at California’s Only HBCU

Earlier this month, there were bomb threats at approximately eight historically Black colleges across the country: Spelman College in Atlanta; Howard University in Washington, D.C.; the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Florida Memorial University; Norfolk State University in Virginia; North Carolina Central University; Prairie View A&M University in Texas; and Xavier University in Louisiana.

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Founded in 1966, CDU has trained more than 8,000 health care professionals, including doctors, nurses and public health specialists.
Founded in 1966, CDU has trained more than 8,000 health care professionals, including doctors, nurses and public health specialists.

By California Black Media

Following a racist bomb threat Jan. 11 that disrupted operations and terrified students, faculty and staff at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) in Los Angeles, Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) is calling on state and federal authorities to investigate.

CDU is the only historically Black college in California. It is also designated a “Minority-Serving Institution” by the U.S. Office for Civil Rights.

“As I heard about the violent threat leveled against California’s current and future doctors, nurses, and first responders, I was utterly enraged and pissed off! How can anyone threaten to take the lives of those who have committed themselves to provide life-saving services? This makes me sick to my stomach,” said Gipson in a statement.

Located in the Willowbrook community in Los Angeles, CDU prides itself on its high enrollment of minority students. Its student body is 80% students of color. About 71% of its faculty is Black, Latino or another ethnic minority.

“In light of the seriousness of this threat and the threats against Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the nation, I’ve contacted the Governor’s Office, Attorney General’s Office, the Federal Department of Justice, and President Biden to take action against this racist attack NOW,” continued Gipson.

Earlier this month, there were bomb threats at approximately eight historically Black colleges across the country: Spelman College in Atlanta; Howard University in Washington, D.C.; the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff; Florida Memorial University; Norfolk State University in Virginia; North Carolina Central University; Prairie View A&M University in Texas; and Xavier University in Louisiana.

On Jan. 11, CDU officials say they discovered a bomb threat that had been e-mailed to a generic university e-mail address on Jan. 9.

The sender identified himself as a “Neo Nazi Fascist” and wrote: “…I will detonate all 3 of the Titanium Nitrate Sulfuric bombs. My reasoning … I want to show the Black Population what the White Man can do, we will take back our land!”

“The threat claimed that explosive devices had been planted on the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science campus in South Los Angeles. Out of an abundance of caution, CDU immediately closed the entire campus and notified authorities,” read a CDU statement.

CDU Campus Safety and local law enforcement completed a review of the grounds and facilities and determined that the campus is safe.

The campus reopened for operations Jan. 12, according to Jonathan Zaleski, CDU director of Communications.

Founded in 1966, CDU has trained more than 8,000 health care professionals, including doctors, nurses and public health specialists.

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#NNPA BlackPress

IN MEMORIAM: Cheryl Hickmon: National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Dies

NNPA NEWSWIRE — THE BURTON WIRE — Hickmon, a beloved and celebrated member, served the organization for 39 years. The Connecticut native was initiated into the Alpha Xi Chapter at South Carolina State University in 1982 and was an active member of the Hartford (Conn.) Alumnae Chapter. The national office of the sorority released a statement announcing Hickmon’s  death which reads as follows, in part: “It is with great sorrow that Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. shares the passing of our beloved National President and Chair of the National Board of Directors, Cheryl A. Hickmon. President Hickmon transitioned peacefully on January 20, 2022 after a recent illness.

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Cheryl Hickmon, national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, the nation’s largest African-American sorority.

By Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D, NNPA Newswire Culture and Entertainment Editor

The nation is mourning the passing of Cheryl Hickmon, national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, the nation’s largest African-American sorority. Hickmon was elected president of the organization dedicated to sisterhood, scholarship and service  November 21, 2021 at the 55th national convention held in Atlanta, GA.

Hickmon, a beloved and celebrated member, served the organization for 39 years. The Connecticut native was initiated into the Alpha Xi Chapter at South Carolina State University in 1982 and was an active member of the Hartford (Conn.) Alumnae Chapter. The national office of the sorority released a statement announcing Hickmon’s  death which reads as follows:

“It is with great sorrow that Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. shares the passing of our beloved National President and Chair of the National Board of Directors, Cheryl A. Hickmon. President Hickmon transitioned peacefully on January 20, 2022 after a recent illness.

President Hickmon was a devoted member of Delta Sigma Theta since 1982 and served in various capacities at the chapter, region, and national level before being elected National President. She is remembered not only for her role as a leader but for being a colleague, friend, and most of all, sister.

The entire sisterhood of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated mourns the loss of President Hickmon. During this difficult time, we ask that you respect her family’s privacy and keep them in your prayers.”

In addition to serving as the national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Cheryl was employed at Montefiore’s Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Health in Hartsdale, NY where she supervised the In Vitro Fertilization Laboratories for Andrology and Endocrinology. A licensed Clinical Laboratory Technologist, Hickmon worked in the Reproductive Medical Laboratory for more than 30 years.
Members and supporters have been offering remembrances and calling for prayers in response to Hickmon’s death. Florida representative Val Demings,  who is a member of the sorority, shared her thoughts via Twitter:
Organizations including the NAACP and fellow Black Greek Letter Organizations like Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma and Alpha Kappa Alpha have issued statements about Hickmon’s passing.

Cheryl Hickmon is the daughter of the late Dr. Ned Hickmon of Hartford, CT and Bishopville, South Carolina and the late Consuella Anderson Hickmon of Hartford, CT and Cincinnati, Ohio. She is survived by her two older brothers Ned and David Hickmon.

Hickmon’s bio reads, “Cheryl lives her life by the motto … ‘Don’t measure life by the number of breaths you take but by the number of moments that take your breath away.’” She was 60.

This obituary was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. Follow Nsenga on Twitter @Ntellectual.

Follow The Burton Wire on Instagram or Twitter @TheBurtonWire. 

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