Symposium (3):
Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Educational Attainment, and the Global Workforce: Maximizing Human Diversity, Talent Development, and Collaborative Leadership
Harry L. Williams; N. Joyce Payne; Tymon M. Graham; M. C. Brown II
The Payne Center for Social Justice; Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Washington, DC, USA
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the United States emerge as pivotal institutions within the landscape of educational attainment and workforce dynamics. This session delves into the multifaceted role of HBCUs in maximizing workforce capacity on a global scale, alongside broader strategies for leveraging education as a catalyst for organizational success. Through a lens of inclusion and empowerment, we explore how HBCUs serve as incubators of talent, providing historically marginalized communities with access to higher education and pathways to professional excellence. HBCUs enrich the global workforce with a diverse array of voices, driving innovation and creativity across industries. Moreover, we examine the unique role of HBCUs in talent development, spotlighting their innovative programs and initiatives designed to equip students with the skills and competencies needed to thrive in today's dynamic job market. From experiential learning opportunities to industry partnerships, HBCUs play a crucial role in bridging the gap between education and employment, empowering students to unlock their full potential and make meaningful contributions to the workforce. This presentation highlights the integral role of HBCUs in maximizing workforce capacity through human diversity, talent development, and collaborative leadership. HBCUs serve as best-in-class examples of how organizations can harness the full potential of their workforce and create a more equitable and prosperous future for all.
Short Biographies
Dr. Harry L. Williams serves as President & CEO of Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), the nation’s foremost organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. Dr. Williams oversees its 53 member schools, comprising America’s publicly supported Historically Black Colleges (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), collectively educating 80% of students attending HBCUs. Under his visionary leadership, TMCF has experienced unparalleled growth, witnessing a remarkable revenue expansion exceeding 250%. His strategic direction has elevated TMCF to serve as the premier representation of the HBCU community and thought leader in equity, access, and inclusion. As the former president of Delaware State University, Dr. Williams utilized his tenure to increase student enrollment and foster groundbreaking public/private partnerships, securing multimillion-dollar investments into the campus. Dr. Williams earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Appalachian State University and a Doctorate from East Tennessee State University.
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Dr. N. Joyce Payne founded the nationally recognized Thurgood Marshall College Fund in 1987. The TMCF is designed exclusively for exceptional students at the nation’s publicly supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). In 2008-2009, she served as Executive Director of the National Alliance for Public Trust, a new organization committed to advancing principled leadership in American institutions. She accepted this position following her retirement as Vice President, Office for the Advancement of Public Black Colleges, and Council of Student Affairs of the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) in cooperation with the American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU). An authority on women’s issues in relation to higher education and labor force participation, Payne has published and presented papers on the pursuit of equality for women and African Americans in higher education. Payne received a bachelor’s degree in speech pathology from the former District of Columbia Teachers College and earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in education from the former Atlanta University.
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Dr. Tymon M. Graham serves as the Director for Administration and Research Strategy of the Dr. N. Joyce Payne Center for Social Justice at Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a national research center commissioning research and public policy studies through data-driving social science research methods to inform theory, policy, and practice for and about Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Nationally acclaimed for his innovative work in higher education, Dr. Graham’s has held institutional administrative posts in enrollment management, student engagement, student success, and strategic initiatives. His commitment to race, social justice, and education spans research authorship and presentations in Africa, South America, and the United States. He has delivered over 35 presentations on education, race, organizational change, and administrative leadership strategies. Dr. Graham earned his bachelor’s degree from South Carolina State University, master’s degree from University of West Georgia, and doctorate degree from Benedictine University.
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Dr. M. C. Brown II serves as Executive Director of the Dr. N. Payne Center for Social Justice at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The Payne Center for Social Justice is devoted to research that leads to pragmatic ideas regarding the problems incident social justice facing society by conducting and commissioning policy studies and research from and about historically Black colleges and universities. Regarded as an international scholar in the areas of postsecondary education, public policy, research design, organizational governance, institutional contexts, social justice and diasporic racial dynamics, Dr. Brown has lectured and/or presented over 400 keynotes and research papers in various countries on five of six continents. He is the author/editor of 20 books and monographs, and over 100 journal articles, book chapters, and publications related to education and society. Dr. Brown received the Bachelor of Science in elementary education from South Carolina State University, the Master of Science in educational policy and evaluation from the University of Kentucky, and a Doctor of Philosophy in higher education from The Pennsylvania State University with a cognate in public administration and political science.
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