Harris-Stowe State Should be Part of the Solution to Failures in Ferguson

Courtesy: Jeff Roberson (Associated Press)
Courtesy: Jeff Roberson (Associated Press)

If there is no other take away from Ferguson, Missouri; a town where African-Americans comprise two-thirds of the population but none of its municipal electorate and less than five percent of its police force, its that Black folks need an engine to jumpstart our own destiny.
13 miles away from Ferguson is Harris-Stowe State University, one of two historically Black institutions in Missouri. All eyes should be on HSSU as class returns to session, and raging tempers, hopefully, transform into action for civil justice. Harris-Stowe is known for its criminal justice program, and should be a leading voice of criticism in how the city has botched police action, and on how the citizens have completely muted their own voices in the political process.

HBCU students and faculty nationwide are showing solidarity with Ferguson, but the real call should be solidarity with HSSU; the institution best equipped to stand in the gap for consulting on relationships between the police force and Ferguson residents, and to partner with the city in preparing a next generation of Black police officers to deter future incidents like this.

The ultimate failure in Ferguson is the murder of an unarmed Black man; an occurrence that has become so regular in today’s society, that it seems we are speeding our way back to a culture of violence against Blacks last seen in reconstruction. But we should all take a closer look at what leads up to Ferguson or any other incident of violence against Black people; how educated are we? How much money do we collectively invest in our communities? And how much voice do we have to generate the kind of political clout that prevents incidents like this, instead of priming us to respond to them?

HBCUs are the solution. And fortunately, the family in Ferguson has one just 13 miles away.


4 thoughts on “Harris-Stowe State Should be Part of the Solution to Failures in Ferguson

  1. We need knowledgeable, educated black people to run for elected office in locations like this. Stop sitting back and letting someone else control your lives.

  2. There will be an event hosted by the MO NAACP Youth and College Division entitled “Truth Has No Color” it will take place on Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 3pm. Ke Ke Palmer (akeelah and the bee) and Judge Mathis will be our guest speakers. Please spread the word. This event will take place at Harris Stowe State University in Henry Givens Administration Building’s MAIN auditorium! My Alma Mater is involved and students and alumni did clean up the day after the riots we have been active in the community since day one we are busy on the frontlines not concerned with making headlines If you want to publish a story publish one on the event this Sunday thank you 🙂 #PositivityBreedsPositivity

  3. As the world has turned its attention to the shooting death of Michael Brown and the ensuring  civil protest and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri , all institutions of higher learning should be asking the question as to what is their responsibility is in the shaping of  communities.  Harris-Stowe State University has been in the forefront of commitment to this region.  As it relates to the events unfolding in Ferguson, individually and collectively the Harris-Stowe campus community—students, faculty and staff—have been actively involved in ground zero activities.  As President of Harris-Stowe, I have personally provided leadership and have committed Harris-Stowe’s campus as an intellectual think tank to critically analyze these pertinent issues and to draft a set of workable solutions that can positively impact our communities. 
    Historically, Harris-Stowe has been in the forefront of community engagement, social justice and equality for over 157 years.  Harris-Stowe is the institutional leader in the region that enrolls individuals who are the first in their family to go on to become our region’s most productive business and civic leaders, attorneys and educators.  In fact, Harris-Stowe is ranked as one of the top degree producers for African-Americans in Missouri and ranked number one for producing African Americans in Mathematics out of the 34 Missouri institutions. As an aside, Harris-Stowe enrolls many of the graduates of Normandy High School, the school that Michael Brown graduated from.  

    As an urban institution, Harris-Stowe is committed to the needs of the community.  This is evident though the numerous activities that Harris-Stowe promotes on it campus.  The Harris-Stowe tax clinic provides free tax services for low income residents yielding thousands of dollars in refunds and savings in filing costs.  One of the largest public jobs fairs in the St. Louis region is held at Harris-Stowe.  Hundreds of immigrants become naturalized citizens at Harris-Stowe through the U.S. Department of Immigration and Naturalization.  Various town hall meeting on issues that confront our community are held at Harris-Stowe.  My point is that Harris-Stowe specializes in tackling the various, educational, political and economic challenges that confront our region and turn them into opportunities for a greater good.  St. Louis continuously counts on Harris-Stowe and trust that we have the intellectual capacity to address the issues such as the Michael Brown tragedy.  We have not and will not let them down.

    Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack
    Harris-Stowe State University

    1. The “world”….None of my friends in England, Tunisia, Germany, Morocco, and Mexico heard about it……check out his rap “video” and consider that the facts aren’t in although you seem to know them….

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