Bennett College Embarks On Campaign To Save School

Dec 26, 2018

Jake and Jussie Smollett and their siblings are part of the 'Stand with Bennett' campaign. Jussie, right, stars on the Fox series, 'Empire.'
Credit Bennett College

Bennett College in Greensboro has embarked on a new campaign to build support and help raise millions of dollars to preserve its accreditation and the future of the school.

The name of the campaign is #StandwithBennett.  The hashtag is making the rounds nationally and there are even t-shirts with the slogan.

President Phyllis Worthy Dawkins says they have received a great outpouring of support from other schools.

"Presidents have called me asking how they can help. And there are various different ways they have reached out," said Dawkins. "Our sister and brother institution, Morehouse and Spelman are supporting us as well."

Bennett faces a monumental, almost impossible task. The small, historically black women’s college is trying to raise $5 million dollars by February 1. Dawkins says they are optimistic during this holiday season.

President Phyllis Worthy Dawkins standing outside her Bennett College office in Greensboro, NC.
Credit Leoneda Inge

"I would just say right now, we have over 200 people who have made donations from $1 to $100,000," said Dawkins. "And so we’re encouraged every day we see an increase in the number of people donating."

The Smollett Family, an African-American family of musicians and actors, has signed-on to support the college and to help with fundraising. They have lent their activism to several causes including 'Black Lives Matter' and HIV/AIDS prevention.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges voted in December to end Bennett's accreditation, citing major budget deficits over the years. The college is appealing that decision.