In honor of HBCU Week, the Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, SC, hosted its second annual breakfast program on Sept. 13.
According to Live 5 WCSC, the program was initiated by a group of students from the school’s Black Excellence Society. HBCU Week celebrates the rich history of HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities). It was introduced in the 1980s when then-President Jimmy Carter declared the week an official celebration.
According to the school’s website, the Office of Community Engagement and Belonging and the Office of College Counseling at Porter-Gaud School hosted the breakfast program from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Washington Hall on the school’s campus at 300 Albemarle Road.
The program has opened its doors to people of all races after only allowing Black students to participate last year.
“Something new we’re doing this year is last year our breakfast was only open to Black students, but this year we want to expand it,” one of the students, Kendall Givens, said.
“Regardless of if you are a Black, white, Asian, Hispanic, whatever, you can be a part of this group and just be an ally peer.” Tyla Johnson, another Porter-Gaud student, added.
The Director of Community Engagement and Belonging at Porter-Gaud, Dr. Yerko Sepúlveda, also expressed the importance of including everyone in this year’s event.
“They’re not only open to African American students, you know, they also want to bring in a little diversity,” Sepúlveda said. “So, what we’re trying to do is to highlight, you know, the existence of these colleges for kids who might be interested but also to allow other people to learn about the contribution of HBCUs throughout history.”
The program aims to explain the pivotal role HBCUs have played in the nation’s history and their contributions as higher education institutions.
“I think opening this up to all people allows Black kids to feel less isolated,” said student Amber Wilson-Debriano.
People who attended the breakfast heard from current and former students of Porter-Gaud tell them how their experience at an HBCU helped or is helping them. This week’s event was open to the community, including schools in the area.
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