By Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
11.16.13: Philadelphia — (Politics/Education): “What would 60 minutes look like without Ed Bradley?” ask City Councilman Curtis Jones, nearly two months ago on a Monday morning in mid-September, marking the 33rd anniversary of the filing of a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Cheyney University against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Standing with elected officials and prominent city leaders, demanding “parity through equity” on behalf of America’s oldest HBCU, Councilman Jones, standing over a podium draped with a blue and white banner of the famed institution, reminded the huddled mass in attendance that not only was the African-American Emmy award-winning journalist an Alumnus of Cheyney University, but that the school which first opened in 1837 by Quakers as the Institute for Colored Youth, also graduated Julian Abele, a prominent African-American architect who designed the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“Cheyney has made its mark in Pennsylvania and on the history of this country; it should be given not separate, but equal funding,” asserts Councilman Jones, before handing over the podium the next speaker.
Many in the widespread coalition of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and regional civic leaders that make up “Heeding Cheyney’s Call,” are stating that the racially inequitable funding formula is the main reason that Cheyney, an all-time great institution, now has an all-time low student enrollment and an all-time high budget deficit.
Millennial leader Malik Williams, 21, President, Student Government Cooperative Association, Cheyney University, stated:
Representing Heeding Cheyney’s Call, Michael Coard, the lead attorney in the civil rights lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, says while equality would be nice, “it’s insufficient.” Coard says for years the other 13 colleges and universities have been getting 90% of the pie, and leaving Cheyney with a mere 10%. He argues that making it equal now just isn’t good enough, that the state has a responsibility to make up for lost time.
City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, also a graduate of Cheyney University, has invited Coard to testify at a hearing concerning the funding formula, this Wednesday morning at 11am, City Hall, Room 400.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™
About Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris
A Philly Drummer playing a Global Beat, Christopher A. Norris is an award-winning journalist, online content producer and professional drummer endorsed by TRX Cymbals. An American businessman, Norris currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Techbook Online Corporation, overseeing a strategic initiative of mobilizing local, regional, national and global communities by encouraging the production, safeguarding and dissemination of diversified contents in the media and global information networks. Christopher Norris is a 2013 BMe Leadership Award Winner, a 2013 Philly DoGooder Emerging Leader and The Brothers’ Network 2013 Brother of the Year. Christopher Norris, known on stage as Flood the Drummer, has launched a campaign to raise awareness regarding the health benefits of drumming.
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