2017-2018 Annual Report

Download a PDF version of the 2017-2018 Annual Report here. 



2017-2018 HIGHLIGHTS


Student Leadership Development


  • NAFEO in the Courts


    NAFEO hosts . . .

    NAFEO advocates . . .

    NAFEO speaks . . .

    NAFEO in the news



    2017-2018 BOARD OF DIRECTORS



    It is our pleasure to present to you the 2017-2018 NAFEO annual report, on the eve of our 50th Anniversary. 50 years ago, 1968, was plausibly the most historic year in modern American history. 1968 marks the assassinations of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Senator Robert Kennedy. It is the year that two Black athletes raised fists staging silent protests against racial discrimination in the United States at the 1968 summer Olympics; a malfunctioning garbage truck crushed Memphis sanitation workers Mr. Echol Cole and Mr. Robert Walker to death spurring the I AM A MAN protests by AFSCME members; hundreds of students, seeking a greater voice in student discipline and curriculum protested in front of the administration building at Howard University; and the Poor People’s Campaign culminated in the Solidarity Day Rally for Jobs, Peace and Freedom. The little-known Supreme Court case of Green vs. the School Board of New Kent County ruled that ten years after Brown v. Board of Education, New Key County school systems still had not converted schools to desegregated systems. Shirley Chisholm of New York became the first Black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and feminists gathered in Atlantic City to protest the Miss America Pageant. Also, in 1968, Congress enacted The Immigration and Nationality Act, also known as the Hart–Celler Act, which changed the way immigration quotas were allocated. It ended an immigration-admissions policy based on race and ethnicity, and gave rise to large-scale immigration, both legal and unauthorized.

    In 2018, 50 years later, the struggle for equal opportunity continues. The shift in the higher education landscape has heightened our advocacy for education equity, a more accessible and affordable college education, and safe learning systems. NAFEO, now 49 years old, joined AFSCME in Memphis to honor Dr. King and the I AM workers; rallied in front of the U.S. Capitol for the Poor People’s Campaign – Stand Against Poverty Mass Rally & Moral Revival; highlighted issues related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and the #MeToo movement; and worked with many of the now twenty female members of the Congressional Black Caucus.  Football players took the knee. NAFEO continues to champion the overarching issues and interests of the richly diverse community of HBCUs and PBIs.

    Gratefully, your voice, vote, financial and strategic support, and active participation have enabled NAFEO to continue its work of realizing its mission as the trade association for the presidents and chancellors of HBCUs and PBIs, and the advocacy association for the richly diverse public, private and land grant, two-year, four-year, graduate and professional HBCUs and PBIs. With your collective advocacy efforts and strategic counsel, NAFEO has made a compelling case for the value of HBCUs and PBIs to American higher education, to the economy, our global competitiveness; to justice in America and around the globe; and to the realization of the egalitarian ideal.

    The NAFEO team has championed the issues and interests of urgent and paramount concern to our members on Capitol Hill, in targeted states, in specified judicial and administrative forums, with the State Higher Education Executives (SHEEOs), accrediting agencies, and others. The team has responded decisively and creatively to three broad scale member challenges: (1) disproportionately smaller endowments; (2) governance challenges; (3) the need for independent funding streams.

    Thank you for your continued support!

    Glenda Glover, Board Chair
    Lezli Baskerville, President & CEO

    2017-2018 HIGHLIGHTS

    Highlights of NAFEO’s 2017 and 2018 efforts and outcomes to date include:

    • Increasing work with the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEOs), state and county officials;
    • Spawning the HBCU College Promise Campaign & Fund;
    • Launching the NAFEO Nation CommUniversity Portal Program enabling HBCUs and PBIs to connect with resources worldwide, expand their reach, move more students to completion, and workers to new certification; and have an independent funding stream;
    • Securing new collaborative purchasing partners for members in the health, scientific, technological, coffee, and water industries;
    • Securing new partnerships to expand the NAFEO footprint and the involvement of our members in the cyber security industry and in workforce development programs; accelerate the numbers of “stop out” students being graduated from HBCUs; and increase numbers of HBCU administrators and faculty who attain a PhD;
    • Forcing and cementing more articulations and seamless transfers between 2- and 4-year institutions and master’s and terminal degree programs; and
    • Hosting roundtables on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Title IV – the #MeToo Movement.

    Our Mission

    • Champion interests of HBCUs and PBIs
    • Provide membership services
    • Build capacity of HBCUs
    • Serve as an international voice and advocate for the preservation and enhancement of HBCUs and PBIs and for blacks in high education.


    Student Leadership Development


    The NAFEO internship, ambassadorship, and apprenticeship opportunities offer students the opportunity to learn about the inner workings of federal and state government, corporations and NGOs, while augmenting the knowledge they acquire in the classroom with real life experiences and enriching the targeted workforces. The opportunities provide the employers/placement centers an opportunity to learn, firsthand, about the excellence, intellectual curiosity, passion, and professionalism of HBCU and PBI students who are excelling in many disciplines, disproportionately in high needs and growth disciplines. During 2017–2018, the NAFEO Internship Program afforded students an opportunity for practical, hands-on experience and career-building opportunities with federal agency.

    Student Journalist Programs

    Discover the Unexpected

    NAFEO partnered with Chevrolet and the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) to help expand the Discover the Unexpected Journalism Fellowship Program. This Fellowship provides HBCU students with an incredible opportunity to earn a $10,000 scholarship and a $5,000 stipend while receiving immersive journalism training and exploring various cities on a road trip adventure with their cohort. This summer, students are working with the following NNPA newspapers: The Washington Informer in Washington, DC; The Atlanta Voice in Atlanta, GA; The New Journal & Guide in Norfolk, VA; and the New York Amsterdam News in New York City, NY. The Fellows will be broken into two teams and each team will embark on a road trip in a 2018 Chevrolet Equinox.  During their travels, the Fellows will report on the inspiring people that they meet along the way. This year, Chevrolet and NNPA partnered with NAFEO to expand the program to allow every HBCU student an opportunity to apply. Students from Claflin University, Florida A&M University, Howard University, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, and North Carolina A&T University are participating.

    March on Washington Film Festival

    The March on Washington Film Festival’s Student Journalists Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for student journalists to learn the critical role reporters undertake in influencing and preserving Civil Rights while affording them the opportunity engage first hand. The program offers in-depth training, mentorship, expert insight from journalists, and resources. NAFEO worked with Film Festival representatives to help identify HBCU students. Selena Mendy Singleton, NAFEO’s Chief Operating Officer, spent an afternoon with the aspiring journalists sharing strategies advocates might use to work with journalists.


    NAFEO on the Hill

    Relative to the primary mission of NAFEO, advocacy on behalf of the overarching issues and interests of the diverse HBCU and PBI communities, NAFEO continued:

    • Leading in advancing the issues and interests of HBCUs before executive, administrative, legislative, and judicial branches of government solo, or in strategic alliances;
    • Partnering with UNCF, TMCF, and the Congressional Black Caucus (“CBC”) to shape and champion an HBCU Community Congressional Budget, to work collaboratively to advance the restoration of year-round Pell, and a 6-point HBCU agenda for Higher Education Act reauthorization; NAFEO chaired the Education Work Group of the Black Transition Project that includes a new request for dollars to improve HBCU infrastructures ($1.375B in deferred maintenance), STEM facilities ($2.75B for updating laboratories, engineering buildings and other STEM facilities), and medical, dental, nursing, and public health school facilities ($1.25B);
    • Serving as the voice for HBCUs on the America’s College Promise Campaign Board;
    • Leading, a national writing team on private funding models on the ETS national dialogue on “Designing Sustainable Funding for College Promise Initiatives;”
    • Continuing to serve as Chair of The Alliance for Equity in Higher Education (NAFEO, HACU, AIHEC, APIACU), getting Congress to overturn odious teacher preparation regulations; assisting a bipartisan group of Members of Congress in shaping and advancing The Access, Success, Persistence in Reshaping Education Act (ASPIRE), designed to incentivize colleges to expand access for low-income students and increase graduation rates for all students, especially low-income students and students of color; and working to secure fair and just immigration policies, including restoration of DACA and Temporary Protected Status (TPS).[1]
    • Advocating before Congress for example:
      • Offering public comments regarding the new Statewide Family Engagement Centers as authorized under the consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 and suggesting that the Administration consider certain proposed adjustments;[2]
      • Urging support of two amendments offered by the Honorable Alma Adams (D-NC) regarding promoting federal procurement with HBCUs;[3]
      • Responding swiftly and urgently, when President Trump announced the end of DACA by urging his leadership in ensuring that Congress seeks a long-term solution to the US immigration policies;
      • Urging the House Committee on Ways and Means to amend the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to establish a College Promise Fund for Minority Serving Institutions to benefit the disproportionate percentage of low-income, minority and first-generation students;
      • Offering recommendations to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions ensuring the continuation of Title III Part F of the Higher Education Act funding for our institutions and ensure affordability, and access expansion and accountability;
      • Urging the Committee on Education and the Workforce to add language extending the authorization and mandatory funding currently included in the Higher Education Act – along with other members of the Alliance for Equity in Higher Education (the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the Asian American & Pacific islander Association of Colleges and Universities, and the Hispanic Alliance of Higher Education); and
      • Urging support for the Congressional Black Caucus Alternative Budget for Fiscal Year 2018 (“CBC Budget”), which recommends a fair tax code that will allow Congress to reinvest in communities, such as infrastructure and school modernization, energy infrastructure and broadband access, adult and youth job programs, neighborhood revitalization, a package that protects the safety net and helps to eradicate poverty, and aid for those areas ravaged by the recent Hurricanes 

    NAFEO in the Courts

    NAFEO has worked in eighteen (18) states with its member institutions; with the state higher education executive officers, governors, state legislators, corporate and foundation partners; and with Federal executives, legislators, and appropriators to shape and advance programs to eliminate the vestiges of de jure segregation and to promote equal educational opportunities for all. The Association has filed amicus curiae briefs in the Supreme Court in The Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation v. Weber, Fullilove v. Klutznick,, United States v. Fordice, and joined as amici on Supreme Court briefs in Gratz v. Bollinger, Grutter v. Bollinger, and University of Texas, Austin  v. Fisher (Fisher II). We bring to this important case, the unique lens of nearly 50 years as a leading voice in this space.

    Most recently, NAFEO joined as amicus curiae in Thomas v. Bethune Cookman and The Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education v. Maryland Higher Education Commission 

    Thomas v. Bethune Cookman

    NAFEO, on behalf of Bethune Cookman University, joined as amici in amicus curiae brief in the case of Thomas v. Bethune Cookman.  On June 5, the District Court of Appeals in the State of Florida decided in favor of Bethune Cookman University ruling that that colleges and universities have no duty to protect students from harm caused by off-campus, non-university sponsored activities that violate institutional policies.  Plaintiff’s counsel may move for rehearing/rehearing en banc/for a written opinion.

    The Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education v. Maryland Higher Education Commission

    NAFEO joined as amicus curiae in the decade-long lawsuit concerning the continued segregation with the University System of Maryland, arguing that predominantly white universities such as the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Towson University encourage segregation by offering nearly identical classes and programs at the University System’s historically Black universities – Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.


    NAFEO hosts . . . 

    NAFEO Presidential Peer Seminar and Leadership Development Institute

    In July of 2017, NAFEO successfully convened the annual NAFEO Presidential Peer Seminar and Leadership Development Institute (PPS) in Jacksonville and Amelia Island, Florida, and Edward Waters College.  Throughout the four days, NAFEO provided the presidents and chancellors in attendance with information, inspiration, and new relationships to enhance their ability to lead these institutions of higher learning.  NAFEO’s goals for this convening were to connect our members with valuable resources, to provide them a quiet, reflective space in which to reconnect, retool, refresh themselves, deliberate and develop a collaborative action plan to address challenges that threaten the stability of HBCUs and PBIs, and, importantly, to better position the member institutions to seize and create new opportunities. PPS Sponsors were Aramark; C&A Scientific; Corvias; Goldman Sachs; Philanthropy and Leadership Project; Rice Financial Products Company; Rooms to Go Foundation; Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr; The National Forum on Higher Education for Public Good at the University of Michigan; Thompson Hospitality; and Walden University.

    NAFEO DACA & TPS Roundtable

    On October 17, 2017, NAFEO hosted EDUCATION, NOT DEPORTATION!  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Temporary Protected Status, at Morgan State University.

    After opening remarks by Morgan State President David Wilson, roundtable participants,[4] Attorney Singleton moderated a session with policy makers, university and college leaders, and national and local advocates, who discussed the implication of the DACA rescission and the end of TPS on college and university students; legal strategies, legislative initiatives, and court challenges; and support and resources.  In addition to this forum, NAFEO engaged in letter-writing campaigns with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the American Council on Education,[5] and other coalitions. While supporting our Latinx sisters is important, roundtable participants raised the importance of also addressing the advocacy needs for our African-ancestored families, including those from Sudan and Somalia in need of Temporary Protected Status.

    Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) NAFEO Annual Brunch

    On December 3, 2017, NAFEO convened our annual HBCU and PBI president’s and chancellor’s brunch at the December convening of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) in Dallas, Texas. The Honorable Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Dr. Ruth Simmons, President of Prairie View College presented remarks to NAFEO member presidents and chancellors and guests.  Also, on this, the 50th anniversary of the Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., AFSCME representative Dominik Whitehead shared updates concerning the partnership between NAFEO and AFSCME in support of its I AM 2018 initiative to mark and commemorate these watershed moments in the Civil Rights Movement and to use the 50th anniversary celebration to catalyze strategic actions in 2018 and beyond. Brunch attendees also heard from Drew Melendres, the Vice President of Partner Strategy for Collegis.  Collegis, the brunch sponsor, is a higher education enrollment growth company that partners with colleges and universities to identify prospective students by utilizing data driven analytics. Mr. Melendres shared information about Collegis’ marketing and technology solutions that could assist NAFEO members attract, enroll, and engage new students.

    NAFEO Title IX Roundtable – Moving #MeToo from Agitation to Legislation

    On February 14, 2018, NAFEO hosted a Title IX Roundtable – Moving #MeToo from Agitation to Legislation. Roundtable participants[6] shared various perspectives and observations that helped us to examine and consider the history and potential future of legal, legislative, and regulatory initiatives. U.S. Representative Alma Adams started the roundtable with comments. Dr. Julianne Malveaux moderated the discussion where we explored the complex problems of sexual violence, and the work on college campuses, at organizations, and among various constituency groups.  We heard chilling statics – one out of every four female undergraduates will be sexually assaulted –  and acknowledged that sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of one’s gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or race. Participants shared thoughts about resources and the related impact on university responses and response time, due process, university disciplinary systems, and the emotional, financial and other distresses that ensue as a result of suffering or being accused of sexual assault. In addition, participants discussed how cultural and religious foundations may shape what is shared and with whom.

    NAFEO advocates . . .

    I AM 2018

    In April 2018, NAFEO participated in several 50th Anniversary I AM events. Led by The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and The Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the I AM 2018 campaign commemorates the 50-year anniversary of a watershed moment in the fight for labor and civil rights.

    Dream Core Activist Training

    Citing her years of experience as an advocate, organizer, and coalition builder, AFSCME asked Dr. Baskerville to serve as one of the speakers during the Dream Core Activist Training sessions that took place during the first day of the I AM 2018 Mountaintop Conference in Memphis, Tennessee. Titled “Joining Forces: The Role of Faith, Students, and Labor in Movement Building”, the opening session helped set the tone for the entire conference. AFSCME convened a dynamic group of esteemed panelists for this session including: Dr. Baskerville; Mary Kay Henry, Executive Director, Service Employees International Union (SEIU); Jeremiah Chapman, National Director, NextGen America; and Ben McBride, Co-Director, PICO California Project. Dr. Baskerville educated the attendees on the significant ways that HBCUs and HBCU students have helped lead every social justice and civil rights movement that has taken place since the 19th century. She also engaged with the other panelists regarding the importance all sectors of our society working together to effectuate change. The session was moderated by SirisXM Radio Host, Mark Thompson and the event was live streamed on Facebook and Twitter.

    Youth Town Hall

    The I AM 2018 Youth Town Hall kicked off the second day of the AFSCME’s activities in Memphis and consisted of panel discussions, workshops, and information sessions designed to engage and connect high school students, college students, and community leaders. NAFEO was instrumental in securing over 100 HBCU students from LeMoyne-Owen College and Florida A&M University to participate in the event. Dr. Baskerville served on the “Are You Economically Woke?” panel moderated by political correspondent Angela Rye. In addition to Dr. Baskerville, this panel featured Tiffany Loftin, NAACP Youth & College Director; Ben McBride, PICO California Project Co-Director; and Tom Steyer, NextGen America CEO. Dr. Baskerville delivered a powerful message about the collective power of HBCUs and how the HBCU community can lead our community in creating social change and long-term economic stability.

    Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. Advocacy Day

    On April 16 and 17, 2018, delegates from the Progressive National Baptist Convention, under the leadership of President Dr. James C. Perkins, convened in Washington, D.C. to oppose policies that hurt the poor, including restrictions on safety net programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp program) subject to stricter work requirements. The two-day gathering commenced with a Prayer and Unity Service at the host congregation, Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. On Tuesday, April 17, NAFEO attended a press conference on Capitol Hill, along with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including House Assistant Minority Leader, U.S. Representative James Clyburn, U.S. Representative John Lewis, and U.S. Sheila Jackson Lee and spoke out, among other things, the proposed cuts to SNAP.

    HBCUs: The Key to Diversifying Tech

    On July 19, 2018, in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, The National Urban League hosted a discussion about the diversification of the technology sector particularly concerning Black students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s). Notable attendees were NAFEO’s Lezli Baskerville, Esq.; National Urban League president Marc Morial; U.S. Congresswoman Dr. Alma Adams; Howard University president Dr. Wayne I. Frederick; and diversity and inclusion representatives from Intel, Airbnb, and Verizon.

    President Morial, referencing the National Urban League’s 2018 State of Black America, began the program stating the realities of Black students’ preparedness for the technology industry, and dispelling myths about the perceived scarcity of Black professionals in the technology sector. He stated that the number of Black students who earn degrees in computer science is 2.6% higher than the number of white people who earn computer science degrees. He also remarked that in 2017, $70 billion was invested in network infrastructure alone. Although Black students make up 3% of all university students in the United States, they earn 24% of all science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees. Congresswoman Adams offered remarks about the importance of an HBCU education in raising up generations of educated Black people. For the Congresswoman, a former HBCU graduate and educator, ensuring jobs after college is crucial to the continued success of Black people. Dr. Lezli Baskerville of NAFEO introduced NAFEO as the voice for Blacks in higher education and pronounced the organization’s role in advocating for partnerships between HBCUs and technology companies.

    Diversity and Inclusion representatives from technology and service corporations discussed initiatives already kickstarted on the corporate end to pipeline HBCU students and graduates into internships and full-time technology jobs. A representative from Airbnb mentioned that the company had begun to make recruitment efforts on college campuses and will expand those efforts to HBCU campuses. Intel and Comcast suggested that both companies would make brochures available on HBCU campuses for the Fall 2019 semester with information detailing college students’ best pathway to the technology industry. One discussion point was whether HBCU curriculum were sufficient to educate students and prepare them well for the industry. HBCUs will continue to develop strong course material that meets the highest standards for a university STEM educated graduate possible. Furthermore, roundtable discussants shared thoughts about what more companies could do to accelerate the process of pipelining HBCU students into corporations. The panelists agreed to continue this discussion and work to develop and enhance partnerships between HBCUs and corporations.

    University of the Virgin Islands Rise Relief Fundraiser

    Dr. Baskerville served as a Co-Chair of the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) hurricane disaster relief fundraiser held in Washington, DC. The event was hosted at the TMCF headquarters and the purpose was to raise critical funds to support the UVI students, faculty, staff, and community that suffered greatly due to the catastrophic destruction caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria. As one of the Co-Chairs, Dr. Baskerville made a significant financial contribution and invited influential individuals from academia, the philanthropic community, and corporate America to attend the event and hear about the widespread devastation caused by these historic storms directly from UVI President, Dr. David Hall. Dr. Hall passionately shared details of how both UVI campuses suffered unimaginable damage as a result of the storms and how the entire Virgin Islands community was suffering because UVI is truly the economic, educational, and social center of the islands. Dr. Hall also shared stories of UVI’s incredible resilience in the wake of the disaster and how through their dogged determination, they were able to reopen the University for the spring semester despite the destruction. The well-attended event raised much-needed funds for UVI and for the Virgin Islands community.

    Meeting with U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Officials

    Dr. Baskerville received an invitation from Colonel Christopher Bourne, the Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to attend a meeting to discuss ways HUD could enhance its partnership with HBCUs.  The senior officials from HUD requested the meeting with Dr. Baskerville to learn the history of how HUD partnered with HBCUs in the past and to obtain her insight on specific ways HUD could engage the HBCU community going forward. During the meeting, the HUD senior officials also shared information about HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s desire to create “EnVision Centers”, which would be centralized hubs in low-income communities across the country.  The HUD officials shared that the “EnVision Centers” would ideally be developed as public/private partnerships and the purpose of the centers would be to provide economic empowerment opportunities, educational advancement, health and wellness information and leadership development services to individuals and families living in or near HUD-assisted housing units.

    NAFEO speaks . . .

    The American Enterprise Institute – Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the Road Ahead

    On May 26, 2017, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) hosted a discussion on the state of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and the challenges and opportunities await them on the road ahead. AEI’s Gerard Robinson moderated the panel ‒ Dr. Baskerville, Michael Lomax of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Johnny Taylor Jr. of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), and Beverly Wade Hogan of Tougaloo College.

    HBCUs at 150 – The State of the Union

    On September 30, 2017, Morgan State University hosted “HBCUs at 150 ‒ The State of the Union,” in Morgan’s Earl G. Graves School of Business & Management auditorium, closing a three-day celebration marking the 150th anniversary of the founding of nine institutions of higher learning ‒ Morgan State University, Alabama State University, Barber-Scotia CollegeFayetteville State University, Howard University, Johnson C. Smith University, Morehouse College, and St. Augustine’s University, and  Talladega College. Dr. Baskerville noted that fifty percent of teaching professionals and forty-two percent of African-Americans with advanced degrees are HBCU graduates.  She urged that “[w]e should call on… the HBCU community to lead the nation from its current position of division, its current position with African-ancestry people and other people of color being left behind”.  Noting that the African-American community has a combined income estimated at $1.3 trillion, Dr. Baskerville noted that America cannot realize its economic goals without HBCUs, she floated the idea of using one-tenth of 1 percent of that, or $1 billion, to set up an endowment fund for HBCUs.

    Microsoft HBCU Partnership Luncheon

    During the 2017 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference, Microsoft hosted an HBCU Partnership Luncheon in conjunction with U.S. Representative Alma Adams and the HBCU Caucus to discuss ways to strengthen the partnerships between corporations and HBCU advocacy organizations like NAFEO, APLU, TMCF, and UNCF. Dr. Baskerville was invited to make a presentation and inform the attendees about some of the partnerships with private companies that NAFEO has developed and how those partnerships have benefited and will continue to benefit NAFEO member institutions.  In addition to Microsoft, representatives from several other companies were in attendance including Ebay, Toyota, LinkedIn, Navient, Intel, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.

    National Newspaper Publishers Association Annual Mid-Winter Conference

    On January 29, 2018, Dr. Baskerville addressed the challenges and celebrated the success stories of the African American community during a “State of Black America” forum at the 2018 National Newspaper Publishers Association Annual Mid-Winter Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    NAFEO in the news


    Intellectual Property

    NAFEO is finalizing a partnership with an international intellectual property and technology transfer company operating in the constantly evolving intellectual property portfolio marketplace.  Once completed, this partnership will enable NAFEO to generate additional revenue streams through the acquisition, monetization, and protection of intellectual property assets issued from industry leading companies.

    In addition to growing and monetizing a valuable portfolio of intellectual property assets, this partnership will enable NAFEO to help its research-intensive member institutions develop disruptive technologies and expand their portfolios of intellectual capital through leveraging NAFEO’s growing suite of powerful and convenient technology transfer services.  These intellectual property portfolios will also provide exciting opportunities for NAFEO member institutions to provide clinical learning environments for law students, business students, and STEM students to receive hands-on experience in developing, commercializing, and enforcing viable intellectual property assets.

    Federal Aviation Administration

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) partnered with NAFEO to foster collaboration opportunities with Minority Serving Institutions that have research capabilities in Aviation, Engineering, Aerospace and Weather.  The FAA is soliciting proposals for research grants and cooperative agreements to pursue the long-term growth and short-term technical needs of civil aviation and would like more HBCUs and PBIs to apply for these grants.  NAFEO convened a conference call to provide an opportunity for FAA officials to share information about the FAA’s Aviation Research and Development Grants Program with representatives from NAFEO member institutions. Representatives from Hampton University, Howard University, Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T University, and Tuskegee University participated in the conference call and were able to speak with members of the FAA Research Grants Program about their priority research target areas and the current grant research funding opportunities available.

    National Urban League (NUL)

    NAFEO is in the process of finalizing a partnership with the National Urban League (NUL) to create a Consortium of HBCUs and PBIs to expand access to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Program.  NUL was selected by the U.S. Department of Labor to specifically increase outreach to African Americans interested in the various employment and apprenticeship opportunities made available through the Registered Apprenticeship Program. The NUL is seeking a partnership with NAFEO because they understand that the systematic engagement of HBCUs and PBIs will be a key factor to the success of this initiative. Once finalized, the NAFEO/ NUL partnership will: expose HBCU and PBI students to the opportunities to participate in the Registered Apprenticeship Program; forge HBCU/PBI partnerships with current and future employer-sponsors of Apprenticeship Programs to facilitate meaningful student participation; and disseminate industry specific information to NAFEO member institutions to assist in the development and implementation of educational curricula designed to fully prepare students for post-graduation success. NAFEO and NUL expect to have the partnership finalized in advance of the 2018 NUL Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio taking place from August 1-4.

    828 Coffee

    NAFEO is in the process of finalizing a partnership with an African American and Latino owned coffee company known as 828 Coffee. 828 Coffee is headquartered in Yorba Linda, California with a manufacturing and processing facility in Petaluma, California.  828 Coffee sources coffee beans from around the world and through their partnership with NAFEO, they seek to supply high quality coffee products to HBCU and PBI campuses and use a portion of the proceeds to invest back into the underserved community.  828 Coffee takes pride in providing jobs to some of the most vulnerable segments of our society including veterans, ex-offenders, and the homeless and once the NAFEO/828 Coffee partnership is finalized, NAFEO will also be able to provide additional fundraising opportunities for NAFEO member institutions by selling monthly coffee subscriptions to their alumni networks and other stakeholders.

    Vertical Farming Initiative

    NAFEO has partnered with the founders of Black Wealth 2020 to help support their goal of increasing the collective wealth of Black America by the end of the year 2020. In order to bring this goal to fruition, Black Wealth 2020 has identified the three separate, but interconnected initiatives listed below:

    • Increase the size and number of Black-Owned businesses.
    • Increase the number of Black homeowners by 2,000,000.
    • Increase support of Black-owned banks.

    One of the specific programs that is being developed as part of this initiative is a vertical farming pilot program that will continuously supply multiple restaurants with high quality and cost-effective produce. Black Wealth 2020’s vertical farming team has created a proprietary design that optimizes light and space usage to minimize costs and maximize yield of the crops.  Through the partnership with NAFEO, the Black Wealth 2020 Vertical Farming team hopes to identify 500 sq. feet of unused indoor space on an HBCU campus that can be used as a test site to house the project’s first vertical farm. Additionally, Black Wealth 2020 Vertical Farming team has asked NAFEO to help them identify an agricultural professor or botanist to help them develop their crop specific designs to maximize yield and minimize risk for each of the crops’ growing cycles.


    NAFEO is in the process of finalizing a partnership with the creators of the EYE NEED A WITNESS smartphone application. The app will soon be available for all Apple and Android smartphones and once the app is installed, it converts a user’s cell phone into a personal safety device. EYE NEED A WITNESS allows the user to immediately alert their family, friends, and their campus network (including campus police) if they feel in danger, are the victim of a crime, or if they have an emergency.  Potential witnesses receive the alert when a nearby user requests a witness or sends a danger alert when they feel unsafe.  Both the user and the witness’ locations will then appear on the app along with any text, photo, audio, and video information that may have been sent along with the original alert. The EYE NEED A WITNESS app will elevate campus security to a new level and provide students with enhanced piece of mind whether they are walking home alone, leaving the library late, or just feeling like they need an extra set of eyes to ensure their safety. Through this partnership with NAFEO, the creators of this app will provide all NAFEO member institutions the opportunity to install this revolutionary technology built to help protect students.

    Water Transit Solutions

    NAFEO has formed a strategic partnership with Water Transit Solutions (WTS), an African American owned company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with patented clean water solutions that will revolutionize water filtration and water quality around the globe.  In the next three to five years, WTS is expected to create approximately 300,000 jobs at various skill levels as it seeks to deliver clean water across the country. Many of the areas with poor water quality and attendant health challenges in America are in HBCU service delivery areas.  NAFEO entered this partnership to place America’s HBCUs and PBIs in the forefront of leveraging their human and technical resources to improve water quality and reduce human suffering in communities across America and around the globe, especially in under- served and under resourced communities.  HBCUs have engineers, scientists, attorneys, technology professionals, communications and marketing experts, business, finance, and accounting professionals, as well as a host of other resource persons who can support and accelerate the realization of the WTS goal of revolutionizing the clean water industry and improving the health and economic outcome for millions of people.  In partnership with WTS, NAFEO member institutions are going to move the world closer to realizing the goal of the UN General Assembly of having 100 percent of the human population with sufficient, continuous, safe, acceptable, physically accessible, and affordable water for personal and domestic use.

    Black Wealth 2020

    Black Wealth 2020 is an economic strategy initiative created by a coalition of business leaders and the leaders of national organizations.  The overarching goal of Black Wealth 2020 is to increase the collective wealth of Black America by the end of the year 2020 by increasing the number of black homeowners, strengthening black-owned businesses and increasing deposits in black owned banks. NAFEO joined Black Wealth 2020 to ensure HBCUs are interwoven into all of Black Wealth 2020’s economic development strategies and to bring potential business opportunities to NAFEO member institutions.  Some of the other organizations that are a part of the Black Wealth 2020 collective are:

    • National Bankers Association
    • Home Free USA
    • S. Black Chambers, Inc.
    • National Association of Real Estate Brokers
    • The Collective Empowerment Group
    • National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters

    Educational Testing Services (ETS)

    Armed with the report by Dr. Michael Nettles and the ETS Research and Policy Team, Challenges and Opportunities in Achieving the American Higher Education Goals, which demonstrates that without tremendous shifts in the numbers of students and approaches to educating students to completion, African Americans will not reach the Big Goal by 2060.  To position members to more aggressively move toward the Goal, NAFEO secured two new partners that will enable our members to expand their reach exponentially and to educate more students on their time and in their space.  NAFEO also determined a way to assist our members in creating additional independent funding streams.


    • Letter to The Honorable Jeff Denham (R-CA), dated May 24, 2018 regarding House Resolution 774 – a vehicle to bring bipartisan bills to the floor providing a permanent solution for DACA recipients;
    • Letter from NAFEO to the Honorable Pete Sessions (R-TX) and the Honorable Jim McGovern (D-MA), dated May 17, 2018, urging support of amendments introduced by Representative Alma Adams;
    • Letter from NAFEO to the Honorable Betsy DeVos, dated May 11, 2018, regarding comments on the Statewide Family Engagement Centers;
    • Letter from the Alliance to the Honorable Kevin Brady and the Honorable Richard Neal, dated March 10, 2018;
    • Letter from the Alliance to the Honorable Lamar Alexander and the Honorable Patty Murray;
    • Letter from ACE members to the Honorable Mitch McConnell and the Honorable Charles E. Schumer, dated Feb. 15, 2018 support of bipartisan legislation for DACA;
    • Letter from NAFEO to U.S. Representatives urging support of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Alternative Budget for Fiscal Year 2018;
    • Letter from The Alliance to the Honorable Virginia Foxx, Brett Guthrie, bobby Scott, and Susan Davis regarding collective concerns with a number of proposed changes to the Higher Education Act, dated Dec. 11, 2017;
    • Letter from ACE members to President Donald J. Trump, dated August 28, 2017 urging the President to keep DACA in effect.

    2017-2018 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

    Glenda Baskin Glover, President, Tennessee State University
    Board Chair

    James A. Anderson, Chancellor, Fayetteville State University
    Board Member

    Lezli Baskerville President & Chief Executive Officer, NAFEO
    Ex office Board Member

    Benjamin F. Chavis, President, National Newspaper Publishes Association
    Vice Chair of the Board

    George T. French, President, Miles College
    Member of the Board

    Michael T. Nettles, SVP & Chair for Policy Evaluation & Research, ETS
    Board Member

    Kent Smith, President, Langston University
    Board Member

    Thelma B. Thompson, President TBT CASPA & Associates, Former President, University of Maryland Eastern Shore
    Board Member

    Harry L. Williams, President, Delaware State University
    Retiring Board Member


    Dr. Lezli Baskerville
    President & Chief Executive Officer

    Ms. Selena Mendy Singleton
    Chief Operating Officer

    Mr. Derek Simms
    Director of Development & Strategic Alliances

    Ms. Ricki Fairley
    Social Media Consultant

    Dr. Carol A. Page
    Special Assistant to the President

    Mr. Paul Taylor
    Director, NAFEO CommUniversity Initiatives

    Ms. Joy West

    [1] See letter from the Alliance to the Honorable Kevin Brady and the Honorable Richard Neal, dated March 10, 2018; and letter from the Alliance to the Honorable Lamar Alexander and the Honorable Patty Murray.

    [2] See letter from NAFEO to the Honorable Betsy DeVos, dated May 11, 2018.

    [3] See letter from NAFEO to the Honorable Pete Sessions (R-TX) and the Honorable Jim McGovern (D-MA), dated May 17, 2018.

    [4] Participants were Fatmata Barrie, Managing Attorney, The Barrie Law Center; Lezli Baskerville, President & CEO, NAFEO; Marietta English, Vice President American Federation of Teachers & President, National Alliance of Black School Educators; Jonathan Jayes-Green, Co-Creator & National Coordinator UndocBlack Network;  Loretta Johnson, Secretary-Treasurer American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO; Stephanie Peters, Director of Federal Governmental Affairs, Microsoft; Diana Pliego, Policy Associate National Immigration Law Center; Carlo Sanchez, Delegate, Maryland General Assembly; Gustavo Torres, Executive Director, CASA de Maryland; Jheanelle Wilkins, Delegate, Maryland General Assembly, and Senior Field Manager, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

    [5] See sign-on letters: Letter from ACE members to the Honorable Mitch McConnell and the Honorable Charles E. Schumer Feb. 15, 2018 support of bipartisan legislation for DACA; Letter from ACE members to President Donald J. Trump, August 28, 2017 urging the President to keep DACA in effect; Letter to The Honorable Jeff Denham (R-CA), May 24, 2018 regarding House Resolution 774 – a vehicle to bring bipartisan bills to the floor providing a permanent solution for DACA recipients.

    [6] Roundtable participants were U. S. Representative Alma Adams (D-NC); Leslie Annexstein, University of Maryland; Lezli Baskerville, NAFEO; Amy Becker, AAUW; Anurima Bhargava; Jerry Blakemore; University of North Carolina; Katherine S. Broderick, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law; Adonna Green, Bowie State University; Donna Harris-Aikens, National Education Association (NEA); Anne Hedgepeth, AAUW; Danielle Holley-Walker, Howard University School of Law; Aranthan “AJ” Jones, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Tony Lee, Community of Hope AME Church; Becky Levin, AFSCME; Julianne Malveaux; Derryn Moten, Alabama State University; Robert Raben, The Raben Group; Zeke Thomas; Sarah Warbelow, Human Rights Campaign; and Dr. China Wilson, Title IX Coordinator, Trinity Washington University.