Altadena- CA Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) have been around since the mid 1800’s, and are still around and recognized today. On Saturday, July 21, 2018, the “Stepping In The Right Direction” Cali HBCU Reunion collective hosted an event, led by founder, Nicole Ford. There are over a hundred historical learning institutions of color. The Altadena event attracted more than a dozen schools acting as a college fair to explore HBCU colleges. The event took place at the Loma Alta Park in Altadena, and it managed to garner over a thousand guest reservations. There were food trucks, bounce houses, a Howard University School of Law graduate serving in the DJ booth, and most importantly, information about the most highly regarded Black colleges in the nation. The founder has held the reunion in our community for the past six years and plans to exemplify HBCU for life.
“I started doing the California HBCU reunion, because of my love for historically Black colleges and universities. Being so far removed from Black colleges, being in California, I missed the experience. I said if I can’t be [around Black colleges], I’m gonna bring them to me”
“I just started gathering all of my friends who were HBCU alumni, I also conduct Black college tours, so my students go to college and end up graduating. I stay in contact with them.”
“I could definitely see HBCU’s growing in population, because of the kind of society we’re in… I think it’s a very sensitive society right now. I could see parents wanting their children to be more in an environment that loves… their kid, that protects their kid. Not some place where they feel like it’s going to be a hostile environment. So for that case I could deﬁnitely see HBCU’s growing in population.”
“I originally started it with a few of my friends. I one day had them come to my house and I said to them, ‘Yo, I wanna do a Black college reunion, for us to get together. A barbecue and they’re like ‘Okay, cool what do we need to do?’ I said ‘I don’t know just call your friends up,’ so they just called their friends… and the ﬁ rst year we had over 300 people… and it just kind of grew from there.”
[Jackson Q. Jones is 15 years old and is a product of Pasadena Uniﬁ ed School District. He currently attends Aveson Global Leadership Academy in Pasadena. He will enter the 11th grade this Fall. He may be contacted via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or through The Journal at: journal@ pasadenajournal.com.]